Kirkcaldy pupils are piping hot!

St Andrews High won the Quartets category. Pic by Claire Watson Photography
St Andrews High won the Quartets category. Pic by Claire Watson Photography

Pupils from St Andrew’s High School in Kirkcaldy were in fine tune after winning a prestigious honour in the world’s largest schools piping competition.

This year’s event saw pupils from St Andrew’s RC High School and Beath High School complete a Fife one-two to clinch the top spots in the Quartets category of the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships.

More than 800 youngsters from 120 schools across Scotland travelled to Edinburgh’s James Gillespie’s High School to take part in the competition which is dedicated celebrating Scotland’s musical tradition and the talent of its young people.

Funded by the Scottish School’s Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT), the event features taster grades for youngsters with no competing experience, as well as providing a forum for schools competing at the highest level.

Elsewhere, Renfrewshire Schools, Gairloch High School, Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools, Lochalsh Junior Pipe Band, and George Watson’s College won the Debut, Junior, Novice Juvenile and Juvenile categories.

Alexandra Duncan, chief executive of the trust, praised the young pipers and drummers for the level of talent and professionalism they displayed in their performances.

She said: “The competition has been an enormous success and it was great to see so many schools from across the country taking part. A huge congratulations to the Fife schools on their success in the Quartets category.

“The competition aims to showcase the versatility of the pipes and drums and the talent of Scotland’s younger generation when playing our national instrument.

Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, who presented the prizes, also praised the competition.

“I was delighted to have been invited to the world’s biggest school piping event to present the prizes,” she said.

“Seeing how much passion these kids have for music is an inspiration and to watch them perform at the level they did was unbelievable – they are all extremely talented.”

The SSPDT and the championships encourage the formation of school pipe bands.

Ms Duncan added: “This year has been our largest competition to date after receiving a record number of entries.  We would like to thank all those who competed.  

“Next year we expect to see even more bands taking part as a result of SSPDT’s expanding tuition programmes.

“Last year the trust was helping 1000 pupils to learn the pipes and drums in state schools; this year over 2000 young people are learning and we hope to double the number by this time next year.”