Young musicians challenged to Wake up Scotland

15 year old Tynecastle High School, Edinburgh, pupil Caitlin Mackay takes a break from composing to confer online with her bandmates.

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Pipe band members from all over Argyll and Bute are being invited to join a nationwide initiative to blast Scotland out of lockdown gloom.

Young musicians across the country are being asked to team pipes and drums up with other instruments and create inspiring music to cheer the nation. The collaborations will then be judged with the winning entry receiving £1,000 and a support slot at a Red Hot Chilli Pipers gig and showcase their composition at next year’s Scottish Schools Pipe Band

The Bagrock band has teamed up with The Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT) to launch the competition this week.

Craig Munro from the Chillis explained: ‘We want youngsters to form
bands of up to nine musicians to compose original pieces of contemporary music or create dynamic cover versions.

‘For now this will have to be done online but if the lockdown eases bands
maybe able to come together respecting any remaining restrictions that
might still apply and film their pieces for judging.’

SSPDT Chief executive confirmed that cash prizes are being offered for the three best entries. The first prize will be £1,000, then £500 and a third prize of £250.

‘We know how badly people are missing playing together during this
crisis and this is a great way of helping re-establish safe contact and then
wake Scotland up with a blast.’

All bands have to do is film their entries using music or conference aps
and submit them for judging by some of the country’s top musicians.

In the run up to the deadline for entries on June 12, the Chillis will be
releasing videos giving help on composing and showing how to make
bagpipes work best with other instruments.

‘This really is a natural extension of the hugely popular freestyle class we
run at our schools pipe band championships in March each year,’ said Alex.

‘We have seen how well pipes and drums go with other instruments and singers – here is a great chance for Scotland’s talented and creative young people to show what they can do.’

The SSPDT offers help and cash grants to councils and parent groups
seeking to start pipe bands in Scottish state schools. They also have the world’s biggest free bagpipe loan scheme lending instruments to hundreds of young players across the country.

Collaborations can include keyboard, voice, guitar, violin or anything. Just so long as at least one bagpipe is at the heart of it.

More details of the competition are on the Chilli’s Facebook page and the
SSPDT website