Winners have been announced from school pipe bands across Scotland after a day of intense competition. An array of talented pipe bands, quartets and freestyles showcased their skills on Sunday, March 12, at Kilmarnock’s William McIlvanney Campus.
Isle of Arran Schools Pipe Band, Lochgilphead Joint Campus A, Hutchesons’ Grammar School, The High School of Glasgow, Fettes College, Dollar Academy and Skye Youth Pipe Band hit the right note with the judges at this year’s annual Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championship (SSPBC), bagging wins across various categories from Debut to Freestyle.
More than 120 schools went head-to-head across 81 performances, vying for success across the championships’ eight categories.
The Championships was launched in 2013, as part of a nationwide drive by the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT) to revive dwindling access to the instruments across schools – despite evidence of multiple positive benefits.
Alexandra Duncan, Chief Executive of SSPDT, said: “The day itself lived up to all the expectations and we were lucky to witness some incredible performances across the board from the pipe bands.
“The category winners and all the bands who performed were absolutely brilliant on the day, showing true teamwork and putting on a real performance, making it very hard for our judging panel to pick a winner.”
Isle of Arran Schools Pipe Band won the Eilidh MacLeod Endeavour Award, Lochgilphead Joint Campus A won in the Quartets category, Hutchesons’ Grammar School won in the Debut category and The High School of Glasgow won in both the Freestyle and Junior B categories. Elsewhere, Dollar Academy won in Novice Juvenile A and Juvenile categories, Fettes College won the Junior A category and the Skye Youth Pipe Band won in the Novice Juvenile B.
Alexandra Duncan added: “It was inspiring to see the sheer number of school pipe bands turning out and giving their all on the day too. We’d like to say a huge thanks to the schools, tutors and parents who continue to show such commitment to supporting these pupils in learning what is an invaluable skill for so many reasons.
“We hope to see all of the excellent school pipe bands return next year for what I’m sure will be another excellent celebration of Scottish traditional music and talent.”
The Championship is independently organised by the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT). It carries the support of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA) but is not a RSPBA competition.
SSPDT believes that every pupil should have the chance to learn the pipes and drums on the same basis as other school instrument tuition.
SSPDT was formed with the belief that pipe bands are much more than a musical pastime; they develop life and employability skills and attributes such as teamwork, shared and individual achievement, resilience and perseverance, self-confidence, camaraderie and a sense of discipline and dress.
For more information on the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships, visit http://www.thechampionships.org.uk/
For more information on the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust, visit www.sspdt.org.uk