Lochalsh pipe band set for European debut

The Lochalsh Junior Pipe Band will make their debut at the European Championships in Forres later this month.

Having recently registered with the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, the band – made up of pupils from Plockton High and local primary schools – will compete in the novice juvenile category at the championships on Saturday 27th June.

While the band has been in existence for a few years it is only in the last 18 months that they have managed to secure regular drumming instruction in the schools, thanks to some financial assistance from the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust, the support of local businesses and fundraising by the committee.

The Lochalsh Junior Pipe Band at the Scottish Schools Championships

The band now find themselves in a position where they have sufficient numbers to be able to compete at the championships and earlier this year they won the debut category at the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships in Edinburgh.

Pipe Major Niall Stewart said: “The band are very much looking forward to our first competition at the European Championships in Forres. I’m sure the pupils will benefit from the experience of being involved in a major championship. Our drummers are very young, with six of them being aged only nine or 10, so it will be a huge day for them in particular.”

Forres is one of the few pipe band competitions that we can attend without incurring the cost of overnight accommodation. The standard of juvenile pipe bands is very high at the moment and we have entered the championships purely to give the pupils some competition experience. We intend to enjoy our day and are proud to be representing the area of Lochalsh at the championships.”

A total of 105 pipe bands will compete at the championship, to be held in Grant Park, with bands from Belgium, England, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland joining their Scottish counterparts.