Aberdeenshire pupils hit the right note

Aberdeenshire pupils have recorded a double music success.

The Aberdeenshire Schools Pipe Band finished runners-up in the ‘Debut’ section of the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships. Under the leadership of music instructors Andrew Gray and Nicky Gibson, the 21 young pipers and drummers performed a set of competition marches called ‘Greenwood Side’ and ‘Prince Charles Welcome to Lochaber.’

There was also triumph for The South Central Aberdeenshire Music Centre Youth Concert Band; Portlethen Academy Concert Band and Mackie Academy Concert Band. They all received the ‘Gold Plus’ award at the Scottish Concert Band Festival.

Mackie and Portlethen Academies were conducted by Sarah Gove whilst Bruce Wallace led South Central Aberdeenshire Music Centre Youth Concert Band at the event in Perth. Portlethen Academy Concert Band performed ‘Where the Sun Breaks Through’ by Michael Sweeney; ‘Enchanted’ by Ryan Nowlin and ‘Mystic Journey’ by Robert Sheldon. Mackie Academy chose ‘Overdrive’ by Robert Sheldon; ‘Silverbrook’ by Michael Sweeney; ‘Shipwrecked’ by Ryan Nowlin and ‘Arabian Dances’ by Roland Barrett. ‘In Tantum Lux’ by Todd Stalter; ‘Nevermore’ by Brian Balmages; ‘Old Churches’ by Michael Colgrass and ‘Rage’ by Jeremy Freer were the pieces selected by South Central Aberdeenshire Music Centre Youth Concert Band.

Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, said: “Congratulations to the Aberdeenshire Schools Pipe Band and the three youth concert bands on their success in both competitions. Their efforts demonstrate the evident musical talent at schools in Aberdeenshire. I very much hope they continue to be successful in the future.”

Vice committee chair, Cllr Mark Findlater, said: “I would like to pay tribute to the hard work and effort our music teachers put in to ensure both the pipe band and concert bands could perform at their best. Congratulations everyone!”

The Scottish Concert Band Festival took place on Saturday and Sunday, March 18 and 19, whilst the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships were held in Livingston on Sunday, March 11.