Pipe Band Championships Record Success

by Melissa Clark

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Scottish School Pipe Band Championships Overwhelming demand from young musicians has forced organisers of this year’s Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships to find bigger premises to host the event.

Bands from across Scotland, as far as Sgoil Lionacleit on the Isle of Benecula to Stow, Heriot and District Schools in the Scottish Borders, will be piping and drumming their way through the competition in Edinburgh on March 9.

A record 600 pipers and drummers from 98 different schools have signed up for the competition, a significant rise from last year’s 400 competitors.

Due to this record number of entries, the competition – now in its second year –  is not only now taking over Broughton High School but also the neighbouring school, Fettes College.

David Johnston, Chairman of the committee behind the competition which has the motto Every school needs a pipe band, said: “The number of pupils we have seen enter this year is just staggering.

“It’s fantastic to see the competition really take off since last year and have so many more pupils enter.

“Seeing youngsters so keen to show their passion for bag piping and display their talents in front of peers is just great, this is exactly what we set out to achieve through the competition.

“It provides the perfect platform for the Scottish tradition to grow and encourages as many young players as possible from across the country to get involved. I’m really looking forward to the competition next week to welcome all the new talented youngsters and see what returning players have to bring to the competition and how much they have grown since last year.”

The categories in the Scottish School Pipe Band Championships include juvenile, novice juvenile, junior, debut, quartets and a new freestyle category which allows players to perform a song of their choice using the traditional influences of piping and drumming.

The popularity of the competition has also attracted two schools from England, Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire and Oundle School in Peterborough, further cementing the competitions’ aim of getting students from across the UK involved in the Scottish tradition.

David added: “Attracting young players of all abilities is something we are extremely passionate about so to see more than 600 students enter across all categories is very encouraging.

“I’m particularly looking forward to watching the new “freestyle category” to see what interesting adaptations of modern songs will be performed.

“If last year is anything to go by, we can expect a day of extremely high standards which will hopefully bring out some of the country’s best talent from young players.”

The Lord Provost of Edinburgh Cllr Donald Wilson, will also be on hand to present the winners with their prizes from 4pm at Broughton High school. 

Melissa Clark

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