Renfrewshire pupils bag medal at major music championships

Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band hit the right note with the judges at this year’s annual Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championship (SSPBC), winning the highly-contested Freestyle category.

•Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band celebrating their win in the Freestyle event.

In what was one of the most anticipated dates in the piping calendar, 97 schools went head-to-head vying for success across the Championships’ eight categories. The array of talented pipe bands, quartets and freestyles showcased their skills on Sunday, March 10, at Kilmarnock’s William McIlvanney Campus.

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.

Keith Bowes, Tutor with Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band said: “It is just so fantastic to see so many young people on stage with such levels of confidence and talent. To win the freestyle for the first time was super. We are extremely proud of the young people.  They worked so hard on the feedback they received last year and managed to pull off a great performance.”

Dumfries and Galloway Schools, St Ninian’s High School, The Glasgow Academy, The High School of Glasgow, Fettes College, George Watson’s College and Dollar Academy were all on tune and picked up awards on the day across various categories from Junior C to Juvenile.

The full list of winners is: 


  1. St Ninian’s High School
  2. East Dunbartonshire Schools
  3. Ardrossan Academy
  4. Lochgilphead Joint Campus
  5. Govan Schools and Community

Junior C

  1. The Glasgow Academy
  2. Dumfries and Galloway Schools Pipe Band
  3. Tobermory High School
  4. James Gillespie’s High School
  5. Lewis and Harris Youth Pipe Band

Junior B

  1. The High School of Glasgow
  2. Fettes College
  3. Gordonstoun School
  4. The Edinburgh Academy N
  5. Lathallan School

Junior A

  1. Fettes College
  2. Morrison’s

Novice Juvenile B

  1. George Watson’s College
  2. Strathallan School
  3. Dollar Academy
  4. Skye Youth Pipe Band
  5. Isle of Arran Music School

Novice Juvenile A

  1. George Watson’s College
  2. Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band A
  3. Dollar Academy
  4. Lochgelly High School
  5. George Heriot’s School
•West Lothian Schools Pipe Band. Photo: David Mollison


  1. Renfrewshire Schools A
  2. West Lothian Schools
  3. Sgoil Bagh a’Chasteil
  4. Renfrewshire Schools B
  5. Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band


  1. Dollar Academy
  2. George Watson’s College
  3. George Heriot’s School
  4. Preston Lodge High School

The Eilidh Macleod Endeavour Award

  • Lead winner – Dumfries and Galloway Schools
  • Co-winners – Tynecastle Youth Community Pipe Band and Tobermory High School Pipe Band
•Tynecastle Youth Community Pipe Band. Photo: David Mollison

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, demonstrating real teamwork and putting on a serious show – making it very hard for our judging panel to pick a winner.”

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.

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. And thanks to the excellent East Ayrshire Council staff and school staff and pupils for their support of this event.”

“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.

For more information on the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships, visit

For more information on the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust, visit