Piping Competition Honours Manchester Bombing Victim
Tuesday, December 10th, 2019
on behalf of The Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust
The Eilidh MacLeod Endeavour Award established to pay tribute to bombing victim
THE WORLD’s biggest school pipe band championships have paid tribute to a young piper who died in the Manchester Arena attack by naming a special award after her.
Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships created The Eilidh MacLeod Endeavour Award to commemorate the memory of the talented piper from Barra who was only 14 when she fell victim to the tragic bombing incident.
Having started playing bagpipes at the age of eight, Eilidh’s dedication to the craft would see her set off on a two-hour journey – which included a ferry passage – every few weeks, to train with Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band in Benbecula.
Together with the band, Eilidh also travelled hundreds of miles from the Outer Hebrides to battle against other groups from around Scotland in the Championships.
Created to recognise bands that achieve more than just a competitive edge, The Eilidh MacLeod Endeavour Award will be awarded to groups that can demonstrate attributes such as perseverance and resilience in the face of challenges, community contribution, enthusiasm and camaraderie, innovation and efforts to include everyone regardless of circumstances.
Eilidh’s father, Roddy MacLeod, said: “We were incredibly touched when we were asked by Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships if they could name this exceptional award after Eilidh. It really means a lot to our family to have her memory honoured by the piping community like this, as it was such a big part of her life.
“It was Eilidh’s idea to start learning to play – she loved the sound of bagpipes. She would always stop to watch buskers and pipers in town and had so much admiration for them.
“She started playing the practice chanter when she was seven and moved on to bagpipes at the age of eight. She was the youngest one in class when she started.
“The influence that being a part of a school band had on her was immense – it was shaping her into an amazing young woman. It gave her a way to express herself, become more confident and resilient as well as build long-lasting friendships with other young people from around Scotland. The camaraderie amongst pipers and drummers is really strong and we could see the positive effect it was having on Eilidh’s life.
“Having to travel all the way to Benbecula to practice meant she was missing some Fridays at school but she was very diligent in keeping up with her school work because her band practice meant so much to her.”
From quartets to pipe bands, the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships offers a platform to showcase the talent of Scotland’s young musicians with the aim to promote and celebrate the country’s rich musical heritage.
Alexandra Duncan, Chief Executive of The Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT), who organise the event, said: “Eilidh’s legacy exemplifies so many virtues that SSPDT and the Championships aspire to celebrate and embed within young people.
“We strive to give them opportunities to develop a unique set of skills that will stay with them for life.
“Creating The Eilidh MacLeod Endeavour Award was our way of paying respect to Eilidh as an inspiring young woman and a musician – and keep her memory alive within Scotland’s piping community.
“We’re really honoured to have Eilidh’s family’s blessing in establishing this important platform and giving recognition to groups who embody the same traits that Eilidh has shown throughout her life.”
The Championships will take place on Sunday, March 8, 2020 at The William McIlvanney Campus in Kilmarnock and will see hundreds of young people come together for a day of music, friendship and fun.
Entries for the competition – which involves a range of categories for every level – are now being accepted ahead of the closing date in January.
SSPDT aims to advance the arts, heritage, culture and community development by encouraging youngsters to learn how to play Scotland’s national instrument.
The Trust has helped 47 schools pipe bands to form so far, building on tuition provided in 265 schools. It also supports existing youth and school pipe bands with grants and the free loan of bagpipes. It is currently supporting projects in 22 local authority areas.
To find out more about the Eilidh MacLeod Endeavour Award, please visit: https://thechampionships.org.uk/enter-championships/endeavour-award-nomination/
More information and details on how to enter the Championships are available on https://thechampionships.org.uk/
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