School tu­ition

The Galloway News - - FRONT PAGE - Kenny Mac­Don­ald

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

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