Kirsten, one of Scotland’s youngest pipers, is a P6 pupil at Cockenzie Primary School in East Lothian where she is learning to play the Great Highland Bagpipe. Read more.
Eilidh Alexander is a piping tutor based in East Lothian. She began playing at primary school and then joined the Preston Lodge High School Pipe Band which gave her many opportunities. Read more.
Rachel Thom is our current Drumming Intern at SSPDT. Her love of pipe band drumming began at the age of 10 when she attended a school taster session and she hasn’t looked back since.
She joined West Lothian School’s Pipe Band in 2010, becoming Lead Drummer the following year. She is proud to have competed with WLSPB in major competitions and taken part in many parades, for instance at the official opening of the Queensferry Crossing. During her time with the band they won two Stellar Award’s, The Trad Award and were crowned the 2014 Champion of Champions. Read more.
Up to £30,000 across three years has been awarded to South Ayrshire Council. The funding will go towards piping and drumming tuition within the Girvan Schools Cluster programme. Best wishes to the youngsters involved.
The Trust has approved the loan of a further 36 sets of bagpipes. These will go to a number of organisations across Scotland, from the Isles of Lewis and Harris to Dumfries and Galloway. A total of 12 set of pipes will go to the Lewis and Harris Youth Pipe Band. In addition 15 sets will go to the Lossiemouth and District Schools Pipes and Drums Band. Meanwhile, The South West of Scotland Piping and Drumming Academy will receive 9 sets. Congratulations to all involved.
Eighty promising players now benefit from free piping and drumming lessons in schools on the Isle of Arran. “Our project evolved from a chance conversation with a member of the local pipe band at a Burns’ Supper and is now a fantastic, fully-fledged (and pledged) programme,” says James O’Neil, faculty head of Music at the High School and chair of the Arran Music School. Read more
Eddie’s piping journey began at the age of 12 when he started playing the chanter at school in Edinburgh. He was taught the pipes by Colin MacLellan and throughout his time at High School he was a regular prize winner in the junior competitions and was thrilled that his piping took him on several trips abroad with various pipe bands. The joy he experienced when playing the pipes fuelled his desire to play professionally and to encourage others to take up this traditional musical instrument. Read more
The Lewis and Harris Youth Pipe Band Project launched in September 2016, following an award from SSPDT of £15,000 across three years towards drumming workshops and Skype lessons. Firstly, a taster session was provided for interested pupils which successfully led to the development of a drum corps for the youth pipe band, the first of its kind in the local area. Read more
Six sets of bagpipes have arrived on the island of Tiree, having been loaned by SSPDT to Tiree Piping Society for a period of three years. Pupils at Tiree High School and Primary School will be using the pipes over the coming years. Happy piping!
Back in August 2015, Callum and some of his fellow students at McLaren High School set out to start a school pipe band. Subsequently, within 18 months the McLaren High School Pipe Band placed 2nd in the debut category at SSPDT’s Scottish School’s Pipe Band Championships in March 2017 and won the prestigious Endeavour Award. By the time Callum had left the school, the band consisted of nearly 20 members and they had raised over £11,000 in order to employ two extra music tutors to teach at the high school and all 13 feeder primary schools. In addition, funding was provided by SSPDT to support the band; over £19,000 over three years was awarded in 2017 to go towards tuition costs and pipe band workshops.Read more
In September 2017 SSPDT set up a new tuition programme at Pilrig Park School and pledged £15,000 across three years. The school meets the needs of youngsters who require additional support, from those with moderate to complex needs. Two music tutors joined the programme, Andrew Warren, piping tutor and David Murray, drumming tutor. Over the course of the tuition, the pupils have grown in confidence and most certainly take pride in their new skills. In addition, a number of individuals are showing great promise in their musical abilities. Read more.
Would you like to be part of the world’s largest schools piping competition? Entries for next year’s Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships are now OPEN!
The event will take place on Sunday 10th March 2019 at Inveralmond Community High School in Livingston. Visit the Championships website for further details and to enter. In addition, you can nominate a band for The Eilidh MacLeod Endeavour Award too.
Hannah’s drumming journey started back in 2012 when she began pipe band bass drumming at Preston Lodge High School (PLHS). At that time, PLHS pipe band was a non-competing band but in the 2013 season the band made their debut as a competing Novice Pipe Band. The following year, the band placed in the top 6 at all the major championships and was crowned British Champions, experiences which Hannah was hugely proud to be a part of and describes as “a massive achievement as it was only the second year of competing”. Following such great successes, the end of the 2014 season saw the band promoted to the Juvenile grade. Read more.
The Govan Schools programmes started in 2014, supported by SSPDT, with the objective of providing piping and drumming lessons to school pupils in Govan Schools. The Govan Schools Pipes and Drums Association (GSPDA) is the steering committee for the programme and aims to provide the children of Govan with the opportunity to learn a life skill and above all to inspire confidence, commitment and team spirit. Within a few short months of the programme commencing, some of the pupils had progressed so fast and they were able to enter a quartet of pipers into the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships. Read more.
SSPDT is delighted to announce that 6 new sets of pipes are to be loaned to Aberdeenshire Council. These smaller pipes can be used by young children before they progress to full size pipes. Piping can be enjoyed by all ages so we hope these pipes can help facilitate this and inspire a new generation’s love of playing.
15 sets of bagpipes will be loaned to East Renfrewshire Council for 3 years, following approval by SSPDT Trustees. The pipes are to be used by pupils at Barrhead High School and its feeder primary schools. Our best wishes to all the pupils involved and above all, happy piping!
Congratulations to Lossiemouth and District Schools Pipe Band who have recently been awarded a £6,580 grant by the Trust. As a result a startup weekend will go ahead and a hardship fund for 20 pupils will be created. In addition, the grant will cover costs of band practice for one year for Lossiemouth High School and four feeder primary schools. This will enable the formation of the Lossiemouth and District Schools Pipe Band. The best of luck to everyone involved!
SSPDT has pledged up to £30,000 across two years to Highland High Life to underwrite a new full time drumming post. Moreover, this will bring tuition to all the primary schools and secondary schools in Lochalsh and on the Isle of Skye. Congratulations on this exciting opportunity, most importantly to all the pupils involved over the next two years.
At the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships, we were delighted to announce the winner of our first ever Piping Hit competition – Archie MacKechnie from Dollar Academy! Read more…
Students from 150 Scottish schools attended the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships, which showcases Scotland’s young musical talent. They took part in a range of competitions from quartets to pipe band performances, and consequently wowed the judges and audience with phenomenal playing. Read more…
SSPDT has awarded up to £5,000 to the Stirling and District Schools Junior Pipe Band. This will go towards the purchase of pipe band drums. The Junior Band includes 25 children from four different school clusters in the region, so is a very worthy cause.
The Trust have awarded £13,600 across two years to the Kinross-shire Youth Pipes and Drums. Firstly, the funding will go towards two Kick-Start weekends. In addition it will cover a hardship fund over two years, band/club practice, tutor costs and travel across the Kinross High School cluster.
We are delighted to announce that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is joining us at the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships in March! Read more here.
The latest in our Teaching and Learning films, drawn from the national Professional Development Forum held in October with the National Piping Centre are now available to watch online.
Stromness Academy have been awarded funding of £4,900 for a set of pipe band drums. SSPDT is thrilled to provide the award and above all excited to see the results over the coming years.
Dundee City Council recently announced a new partnership to extend piping and drumming tuition to pupils in Dundee, thanks to funding from the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust. Read more here.
Our pipers from Govan were selected to take part in a special rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas on BBC The One Show!
Primary and secondary pupils on the Isle of Arran can now learn the pipes and drums in schools for the first time, thanks to a new tuition programme funded by charitable donations and grants, totalling £70,500. Read more…
SSPDT has pledged a grant of £15,000 to the school over the next three years. As a result, 20 pupils with additional support needs will now receive piping and drumming tuition. Read more…
SSPDT has recently awarded £6,000 to Fèis an Tairbeirt. As a result, pupils in Tarbert will now have access to piping and drumming tuition. Read more…
We recently held our second Piping and Drumming Forum and Workshop in partnership with the National Piping Centre in Glasgow. During the event piping and drumming instructors from across Scotland were presented with invaluable sessions. Read more…
Have you ever tried composing your own tunes? Would it make you feel proud to hear other musicians playing a piece of music that you wrote? In other words if you think you could compose a piece of music, suitable for the Great Highland Bagpipes, then this is the opportunity for you! Read more…