We are delighted to announce that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to celebrate Scotland’s young pipe band talent alongside hundreds of tutors, parents and teachers, when she attends the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships in Livingston.
Over 70 bands from schools across Scotland are set to take part in the Championships which is organised by national charity, the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT), and will be hosted by Inveralmond Community High School on Sunday 11th March. 
The First Minister will present awards to the winning quartets, bands and freestyle ensembles during the prize giving ceremony in the afternoon.
“Scotland has a proud tradition of pipe band music.  We place great importance on the valuable opportunities that learning musical instruments can provide our young people. The Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust play an important role in expanding access to those that want to take up the pipes or drums, and provide opportunities to play in competition and meet with young people from other bands.
“I’m delighted to be able to attend the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships in 2018, Scotland’s Year of Young People, and celebrate what I’m sure will be many wonderful performances from bands from across the country.”
Alexandra Duncan, Chief Executive, SSPDT, said: “We are honoured that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will attend the Championships this year. 
“All pupils in Scotland can learn an orchestral instrument whereas the vast majority of young people in Scotland’s state schools do not have the chance to learn the pipes or drums. SSPDT aims to safeguard our wonderful musical traditions and to help young people develop skills for life learning and work, with a focus on deprived and remote areas, by helping to introduce piping and drumming tuition to state schools on a par with orchestral instruments.
“We established the Championships in 2011 to offer a positive and friendly experience for players who are new to competition, as well a forum for bands at the very top of their game.  This year we are delighted to see entries from new schools pipe bands that have been created with the Trust’s help. The Trust has resources to support more state schools in Scotland to introduce piping and drumming tuition, and we invite teachers and parents to contact us.” 
The Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships take place on 11th March at Inveralmond Community High School in Livingston. For more information, please visit www.thechampionships.org.uk.