WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
The programme is providing many youngsters with new life skills.
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 opportunities and everyone involved in the project deserves huge congratulations on this achievement. To find out more about the GSPDA please visit their website https://gspda.co/.