Call issued for young pipers to join new Aberdeenshire Schools Pipe Band

Young pipers and drummers from the whole of Aberdeenshire are being encouraged to come forward to join a new pipe band for young musicians from Sandend to St Cyrus and Boddam to Braemar.

The first meeting of the Aberdeenshire Schools Pipe Band will take place between 10am and 4pm on Sunday, January 22 in Inverurie Town Hall.

The day-long ‘kick start’ event is open to any pupil who currently plays the bagpipes or drums and is interested in joining the new pipe band.

The Aberdeenshire Schools Pipe Band will formally launch in summer 2017 giving its new members time to work with piping and drumming music instructors Andrew Gray and Nicky Gibson who currently teach at Banff Academy.

They will be supported by a team of tutors including Pipe Major of Scottish Power Pipe Band, Chris Armstrong, Pipe Major of Grampian Police Scotland Pipe Band, Pamela Whyte, and Graham Drummond of the Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band.

120 pupils in the Banff schools network are already receiving pipes or drums tuition and this is being rolled out to some schools in the Turriff and Oldmeldrum networks.

The project is supported by the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust and the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association.

Those who cannot attend the kick-start day but are interested in joining the pipe band can complete the online application form on the council’s website.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning & Leisure Committee, Cllr Alison Evison, said: “Aberdeenshire already has a very successful pipe band community which the council has been working with to support and develop our piping and drumming heritage.

“The new Aberdeenshire Schools Pipe Band will give young people who love piping and drumming a chance to come together and we’ve had a lot of interest from schools already.

“Our hope is for the new pipe band to take part in the annual Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships so we can showcase the calibre of our young musicians and allow them to compete in a positive and encouraging environment alongside their peers.”

Vice-chair of the committee, Cllr Charles Buchan, said: “The kick-start day later this month is a chance for Aberdeenshire’s young pipers and drummers to find out more about what the Aberdeenshire Schools Pipe Band is all about.

“The new band will be the pinnacle of piping and drumming performance for young people in Aberdeenshire, is open to any pupil who plays the bagpipes or drums and is something those who play the chanter can aspire to joining.

“So if you, or someone you know, is a young piper or drummer, come along to the kick-start day – the perfect way of finding out how you can develop your musical and performance skills as part of this new Aberdeenshire-wide initiative.”