14th August 2018, Where Are They Now? The Govan Schools Pipes and Drums Association

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 to inspire confidence, commitment and team spirit. Within a few short months of the programme commencing, some of the pupils had progressed so fast that they were able to enter a quartet of pipers into the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships.

Currently, over 100 pupils are learning piping and drumming at Pirie Park, Riverside, St Constantine’s and St Savour’s Primary Schools and in Govan High School and Lourdes Secondary School. The band is growing in size and the dedicated pupils attend band practice every Wednesday in Govan High School. The band are now a regular feature at a number of local events including The Govan Fair, the switching on of the Christmas lights and remembrance services each November. In the past year, the band have also played at other events out with the local area, including at the Glasgow Refugee Association Fun Day and Kiltwalk.

The band are also well-accustomated to television appearances, having featured in the hour-long documentary ‘The Wee Govan Pipers’ in January 2016. BBC Alba followed the young Govan Pipers for eighteen months for the programme. More recently, the GSPDA pipers starred on the BBC One Show as part of a 12 Days of Christmas feature.

Iain Watson, a tutor in Govan schools, former World Championships winner and member of the Strathclyde Police Band commented “I’ve seen kids come in here with no self confidence and seen the changes that learning an instrument can bring about. It’s amazing to see what piping can do. Learning a skill, making friendships that will last a lifetime, being part of something.”

In just a few short years, the GSPDA has come so far and achieved a great deal. The programme is providing many youngsters with new life skills and an array of fantastic opportunities and everyone involved in the project deserves huge congratulations on this brilliant achievement. To find out more about the GSPDA please visit their website https://gspda.co/.


July 2018, Bagpipes for young children to be loaned to Aberdeenshire Council

SSPDT is delighted to announce that 6 new sets of pipes, with small bags and adjustable pipes, will be loaned to Aberdeenshire Council. These 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.


July 2018, Bagpipes for East Renfrewshire Council

15 sets of bagpipes will be loaned to East Renfrewshire Council for 3 years due to recent approval of the award by SSPDT Trustees.  The pipes will be put to use by pupils at Barrhead High School and its feeder primary schools. Our best wishes to all the pupils involved and happy piping!


June 2018, £6,580 start-up grant awarded to Lossiemouth and District Schools Pipe Band

Congratulations to Lossiemouth and District Schools Pipe Band who have been awarded a £6,580 grant by the Trust. This will fund start-up costs, a hardship fund for 20 pupils and band practice for one year for Lossiemouth High School and four feeder primary schools, to enable the formation of the Lossiemouth and District Schools Pipe Band. The best of luck to everyone involved!


May 2018, A new full time drumming post to be funded in Highland

SSPDT has pledged a grant of up to £30,000 across two years to Highland High Life to underwrite a new full time drumming post. 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 and good luck to all over the next two years.


12th March, Piping Hit 2018 winner crowned!

Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships 2018

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 here.


12th March, Another great year for the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships!

Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships 2018

Students from 150 Scottish schools attended the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships, which showcases Scotland’s young musical talent, at Inveralmond Community High School in West Lothian and took part in a range of competitions from quartets to pipe band performances, wowing the judges and audience with phenomenal playing. Read more here.


February 2018, Purchase of pipe band drums for the Stirling and District Schools Junior Pipe Band

SSPDT has awarded up to £5,000 to the Stirling and District Schools Junior Pipe Band to go towards the purchase of pipe band drums. The Junior Band involves 25 children from four different school clusters in the region, so the Trust are delighted to award this grant to such a worthy cause.


February 2018, £13,600 funding awarded to Kinross-shire Youth Pipes and Drums

The Trust was delighted to award £13,600 across two years to the Kinross-shire Youth Pipes and Drums. The funding will go towards two Kick-Start weekends, a hardship fund over two years, band/club practice, tutor costs and travel across the Kinross High School cluster.


8th February, First Minister to support young pipe band talent!

First Minister - SSPDT

We are delighted to announce that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will join us at the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships in March! Read more here.


4th February, Teaching and Learning Hub

The latest in our Teaching and Learning films, drawn from the national Professional Development Forum held in October with the National Piping Centre is here https://sspdt.org.uk/about/learning-and-cpd/

Films include: Working with Mixed Ability Groups by Dr Rachel Drury, Muscoskeletal Disorders by physiotherapist Patrice Berque, Fundraising by Mike Nicholson and Hearing Protection by former musician and director of ACS Custom, Jono Heale.


January 2018, Pipe band drums for Stromness Academy

Stromness Academy have been awarded funding of £4,900 from SSPDT to purchase of a set of pipe band drums, and for the loan of 12 sets of bagpipes for up to three years. The Trust is thrilled to provide the award and excited to see the results over the coming years.


26th January, £58k funding boost for young pipers and drummers in Dundee

Dundee City Council is delighted to announce a new partnership which will extend  piping and drumming tuition to pupils in Dundee thanks to funding from the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust. Read more here.


4th January, Work with us – Piping intern position

The Trust is offering a paid internship for a piper from February to August/ September 2018. Full details here.

22nd December, Govan pipers on BBC The One Show!

Our pipers from Govan were selected to take part in a special rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas on BBC The One Show! You can watch it back on BBC iPlayer at 22.25 minutes here.

13th December, £70k funding boost for Arran schools

Arran Pipes

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 here…


23rd October, Tuition launched at Pilrig Park School

SSPDT has pledged a grant of £15,000 to the school to fund piping and drumming tuition to 20 pupils with additional support needs over the next three years. Read more here…

16th October, Tarbert youngsters to benefit from funding

Credit Kevin MacKaveney

Fèis an Tairbeirt will be bringing piping and drumming tuition to pupils in Tarbert, thanks to funding from the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drum Trust. Read more here…

3rd October, Piping and Drumming Forum and Workshop


We’ve just held our second Piping and Drumming Forum and Workshop in partnership with the National Piping Centre in Glasgow. The day was attended by piping and drumming instructors from across Scotland and they were presented with invaluable sessions. Read more here.. 


30th September, What a year!

SSPDT Annual Review

It has been an incredibly busy and successful year for everyone at Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust. Our annual review marks our second year as a national charity and we are delighted that, with our support, we have now seen the number of pupils playing chanter, pipes and drums double to 2,000 in 160 schools across 15 local authority areas. Read more…


27th September, Piping Hit 2018 – the search is on…

SSPDT Piping Hit 2018

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? Or even hearing it online or on the radio? If you think you could compose a piece of music, suitable for our national instrument, the Great Highland Bagpipes, then this is the opportunity for you! Read more…


25th September, 10 reasons to start a pipe band!


The Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust exists partly to protect and expand our musical heritage, but more importantly to give young people opportunities to develop a unique set of skills that will stay with them for life. The dedication, discipline and teamwork needed to be part of a successful pipe band match the attributes needed to be successful elsewhere in life, learning and work. Here are our top 10 reasons to start a pipe band in your school or community. Read more… 


20th September, Entries now open for The Championships!


Less than six months to go until our next Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships! The Championships, the world’s largest competition of its type, is a showcase and celebration of our young people’s talent whilst also promoting the playing of our national instruments. Read more…