Last chance for young­sters to pipe up for cham­pi­onships

The Oban Times - - Leisure -

TIME is run­ning out for schools across Scot­land to get their en­tries in for the world’s big­gest schools pipe band event be­fore the fi­nal dead­line for this year passes.

The clos­ing date for ap­pli­ca­tions to com­pete in the an­nual schools pipe band com­pe­ti­tion in Ed­in­burgh in March is Jan­uary 20.

The Scot­tish Schools Pipe Band Cham­pi­onships at­tracts 700 young­sters from 120 schools and was es­tab­lished to en­cour­age the for­ma­tion of school pipe bands.

It fea­tures taster grades for young­sters with no com­pet­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, as well as pro­vid­ing a fo­rum for schools com­pet­ing at the high­est level.

Alexan­dra Dun­can, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Scot­tish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT), which or­gan­ises the event, said: ‘ We are de­lighted to be host­ing the cham­pi­onships once more and have al­ready re­ceived a huge num­ber of en­tries.

‘ With the clos­ing date for ap­pli­ca­tions fast ap­proach­ing, we are en­cour­ag­ing any­one wish­ing to com­pete to visit our web­site (http://thecham­pi­ uk/en­ter- cham­pi­onships-2017/) and en­ter now.’

The SSPDT has also re­vealed plans to dou­ble its vi­tal fund­ing through its schools pro­gramme to al­low pupils in Scot­land the chance to learn the pipes and drums on the same ba­sis as other or­ches­tral in­stru­ments.

In its first year, more than 1,000 pupils in Scot­land – in 93 state schools from 13 lo­cal au­thor­ity ar­eas – re­ceived tu­ition un­der schemes funded by the SSPDT, which to­talled around £275,000.

But the char­ity has said it is pre­pared to in­vest £ 500,000 in tu­tors and loan­ing in­stru­ments in 2017 to en­sure even more young peo­ple can be taught.

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