New bagpipes and drums classes at Dalbeattie High have been hitting all the right notes with pupils and teachers.
Tutors from the South of Scotland Piping and Drumming Academy have just started to teach children at primary and high school level in a bid to boost traditional music.
And the move has been voted a winner by teachers with the classes gaining credits for the pupils in national music exams.
Vincent Donnelly, principal music and arts and drama teacher, welcomed the initiative.
He said: “We had nine pupils for the pipes and drums and it’s all
gone very well. We had pupils from the primary school, which is attached to us, here for the tuition as well so it was a good mix of ages.
“The piping classes are on Fridays and the drums take place on Tuesday for both primary and secondary children and it can range from half an hour to an hour.
“There is one-on-one tuition but sometimes if there are two or three kids at the same level then we will keep them as a wee group.
“I think it’s a good project and it is a skill that the community here appreciates.”
He added: “We have groups of kids who can go to events with these skills and it just adds a bit to the occasion. For instance, we have assemblies in school and memorial services where some pupils will play the pipes and it makes it more poignant.
“A lot of families are quite keen for the children to be involved. We have a school choir and a band here at Dalbeattie High and if we get more pupils playing the pipes and drums there could be a pipe band started.
“It depends on numbers, of course, but if we did have a pipe band then they could turn up for functions and events and take part in competitions.
“Since we have moved into the new school we have all these new facilities and we’ve been starting clubs and events because we have the space now.”
Academy director Andy McCartney said: “It is great to get the tutors started and the pupils did very well.
“The whole idea is to encourage more young people to take up the pipes and drums because we have had a dearth of new, young talent for a while.
“It is like football in a way where say a young, promising player at Queen of the South is scouted by Rangers or Celtic and gets a move to the bigger club.
“We have had a lot of good pipers join bigger bands up in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen and they don’t come back.
“It can happen too when young people head to university in these cities, or get a job and join the local band.
“So this is like our youth policy to keep the traditions going.”
Learning Callum Moffat with Andy McCartney and Aaron Brydson
Concentrating Pupils stick in at class. Right and below
Expert advice Andy McCartney instructs the youngsters
Next generation Thepupilswith AndyandAaron
Taking care Charlie Doughty tries the chanter
Plenty of puff Reece Latimer with the chanter