Arran Schools’ pipe band take a step onto the world stage

The Isle of Arran Music School’s pipe band before their performance at the British Pipe Band Championship.

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Resplendent in their new uniforms, the Isle of Arran Schools’ Pipe Band had the thrill of performing last weekend at the international British Pipe Band Championship at Battery Park in Greenock.

Organised by Royal British Pipe Band Association’s (RSPBA) it is one of the biggest events in world piping and attracted 100 pipe bands and thousands of spectators on the day.

The attendance of the Arran junior band was an achievement in itself and all the more remarkable is the fact that many of the band members received the bulk of their tuition online during the pandemic lockdown.

And they achieved further success by being placed 14th out of the 17 bands in the Grade Novice Junior B final category.

The pipe band, whose new uniforms have been bought by fundraising and donations, is part of the Isle of Arran Music School and its chairman, Quinton Black, speaking after the performance, said: ‘This is really positive as it was their first time competing at a RSPBA event.

‘The band had a great experience and can now reflect with their tutors and work on improving their performing skills.

‘The standard of the band has already increased in the last few months as Covid restrictions have lifted and it is only through the dedication of the students, tutors and families that there is a band that survived the lockdowns. Well done and aim high for the next one.

‘A special thanks to tutors for their hard work getting the band to today’s standard and to the families for continuing support.

‘Biggest thanks is to the students, they played very well but it was their behaviour and manners that also stood out and was remarked upon. Well done.’

The Arran Music School is a registered charity and all of its activities and costs are met by funding applications and donations.

The success and determination of the organisation, its drummers, clarsach players, ceilidh and the pipe bands, are due to community and corporate support that is always welcomed.

Helping to make their attendance possible, Mr Black thanked all of the people and organisations which contributed to their success.

He said: ‘Huge thanks to the Girbow’s for taking the bulky stuff to and from the ferry, Whiting Bay improvements for the gazebos, Big Co-op, Brodick for the meal deals, Lamlash Co-op for the treats, parents who attended for the continuous help during the 24-hrs, CalMac Ferries for using the van to make life easier, Shuttle Coaches for awesome service, sportscotland National Centre Inverclyde for being accommodating with accommodation, RSPBA for an amazing event, school staff for the organising the trip, Arran High School for contributing to costs and the community for being so interested in the event and interacting on social media.’

If you wish to watch the pipe band performing they will be playing at all three island Co-op shops on Thursday June 2, and they will also be streamed on Facebook.

Pipe tutor, Ross Miller, offers pupils some last minute advice and guidance.
Arran Schools’ Pipe band looking resplendent in their recently acquired band outfits.