Primary schools in the Girvan area will be at the centre of a new initiative to encourage youngsters to take up the bagpipes and learn pipe band drumming too.
South Ayrshire Council has teamed up with the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT) and the William Grant Foundation to provide expert tuition for the young musicians.
A total fund of £90,000 provided by SSPDT and the William Grant Foundation will enable the project to run until March 2019 with interested children benefitting from weekly lessons.
Instructor Alasdair Turner is a professional piper who is already part of the South Ayrshire Music Service team. He is joined by Graham Fullerton, an experienced pipe band drummer who has been heavily involved in pipe bands for many years. They are both looking forward to passing on their skills to the fledgling players and will be forming a pipe band for those involved in the project too.
Lessons will take place in schools during the day and the group will get together to use Girvan Academy for their pipe band practice sessions. The Council is providing instruments and resources to help the aspiring musicians.
Councillor Margaret Toner, Lifelong Learning Portfolio Holder at South Ayrshire Council said: “This is a great project and I would like to thank SSPDT and the William Grant Foundation for all their support.
“Sadly, Girvan and District Pipe Band disbanded some years ago but our enthusiastic youngsters could help revive the playing of traditional Scottish music in the area.
“Not only will the project bring children from different communities together, it could also inspire other pipe bands to form across South Ayrshire.”
Alex Duncan, Chief Executive at SSPDT said: “The Trust is very pleased to be partnering the William Grant Foundation and South Ayrshire Council to create a schools pipe band programme in Girvan.
“The young players will learn not only how to play the pipes and drums, but they will also develop skills such as teamwork and resilience, confidence and self-discipline - these are skills that will help them in life, learning and work.”
Nick Addington, Chief Executive at the William Grant Foundation said: “The William Grant Foundation is keen to see a thriving future for Scotland’s distinctive cultural traditions. We also think that playing music in a group or band is great for young people’s confidence and skills.
“So, we’re delighted to support a project that does both those things and that’s also local to William Grant & Sons’ distillery in Girvan.
The schools involved in the project will be Girvan Primary School, Ballantrae Primary School, Barr Primary School, Barrhill Primary School, Colmonell Primary School, Dailly Priamry School and Sacred Heart Primary School.
As well as teaching the primary school children how to play the instruments, the instructors will also guide them through the business of cleaning and maintaining their instruments too.