The inaugural Scottish Schools Pipes and Trad Music Fest takes place in Edinburgh next week

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•Scotland’s youth shining at the 10th Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships. Photo: David Gordon for EAC

Head along and see Scotland’s youth at its finest this June, as groups of young people demonstrate their musical talents and delight audiences at the inaugural Scottish Schools Pipes and Trad Music Fest. 

With the support of the City of Edinburgh Council and the National Galleries of Scotland, the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust are hosting the new open-air music festival from 12th – 15th June inclusive. 

With over 20 performances from pipe bands, ceilidh groups and trad music groups gathering from Edinburgh, Falkirk, Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire, and the Highlands, each day you can expect to see a dynamic programme of performances from Scotland’s talented young people. The daytime performances will take place on the Mound Precinct, in the auspicious surroundings of the National Galleries of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy, with Edinburgh’s iconic skyline as the backdrop. 

City of Edinburgh Council Leader Cammy Day said: “This is the first time this new open-air music festival has taken place and I’m delighted it’s here in Scotland’s capital. It’s a fantastic opportunity for young people to gain experience in performing to the public and showcase national and traditional instruments in an iconic surrounding. 

“Next week our Education Committee will consider proposals to employ two instructors over the next three years who will teach piping and drumming. This is thanks to our partnership with the Scottish Pipes and Schools Drum Trust, which demonstrates our commitment to traditional Scottish music. My own school, Preston Lodge High School, is actually one of the best in the country for their pipe band and I want Edinburgh’s young people to have this same opportunity to learn our national instrument. 

“I’m hoping to pop down to The Mound next week to catch one of the performances and I’m sure the immense talent of all the young people on show will delight and impress audiences as they pass by.” 

Gerard McClumpha from the Ardrossan Academy Pipers says: “The Group is excited to participate in this inaugural event. It will certainly be a different experience for us and hopefully one which will stay with them for some time to come”. 

The full programme is available to view below and on the SSPDT website – sspdt.org.uk – and as it is a free and un-ticketed event, you are welcomed to come along, invite your friends, enjoy at your leisure and help support Scotland’s young people. Donations will be encouraged during performances, with proceeds distributed to the participating groups to help support them to continue. 

The Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust is a registered charity promoting the playing of pipes and drums in Scottish state schools. The charity offers cash grants for tuition and other related band costs, free bagpipe and b-flat chanter loans, paid trainee internships, and organises the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships – the biggest schools piping competition in the world. 

More details on the Festival and how to apply to take part in 2025 can be found at: www.sspdt.org.uk or find us on social media @Piping4Pupils 

The Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT) is the national charity that works to introduce piping and drumming tuition to state schools in Scotland and that encourages the formation of schools pipe bands.