Dumfries and Galloway Schools Pipe Band competed for the first time at this year’s Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships and were crowned winners of the Junior B category.

Pupils in the band have been learning to play the pipes and drums through the South West of Scotland Piping and Drumming Academy. The local tuition organisation achieved charitable status in February 2015 and is now working with 11 schools, both primary and secondary. Comprised of a group of volunteer trustees, Chairperson, administrator and three tutors, the charity aims to support and promote the tuition of pipes and drums in local schools in Dumfries and Galloway.

The band travelled to Livingston on Sunday 10th March to compete in the Junior B category of the Championships. They triumphed over 13 other school pipe bands in their category to claim first prize and were awarded a winner’s shield and a cheque for £500.

Callum Moffat, piping tutor with the SWSPDA said; “I am blown away with what the band have achieved, having only had four practices with us all together.”

He continued; “They have done a tremendous amount of quality practising at home, and during their school sessions, and this result is testament to that practising. Very well done to them all – I’m so proud of them.”

Earlier this year, SSPDT agreed to loan nine sets of bagpipes to the South West of Scotland Piping and Drumming Academy over a period of three years.  Allan MacMillan, SWSPDA Trustee said: “For some pupils, accessing their own pipes would be a financial impossibility and so the bagpipe loan is a highly practical and important way of supporting piping among our young people. The pipes are high quality and will be much appreciated by our pupils in Dumfries and Galloway.”

Last month, SSPDT approved a grant of £15,000 to the SWSPDA to help towards tuition costs over the next three years.