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Young pipers descend on capital for contest

YOUNG pipers raised the roof at Broughton High School in Edinburgh as the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships got under way.

IN TUNE: Contestants from 98 schools took part.
IN TUNE: Contestants from 98 schools took part.

Pupils from 98 different schools travelled from across the country to compete in the event and demonstrate their mastery of traditional Scottish music.

A record number of youngsters took part in the championships, which are in their second year, with many getting their first taste of performing in public.

Bands travelled from as far away as the Outer Hebrides and the Scottish Borders to compete in a variety of categories ranging from debut and experienced to a unique "freestyle" category.

And the competition also attracted two schools from England for the first time, with Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire and Oundle School in Peterborough taking part.

However, Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band, from the secondary school in Benbecula, were unable to travel after high winds prevented their ferry from sailing.

Musicians in the freestyle category perform a song of their choice using the traditional influences of piping and drumming. David Johnston, chairman of the committee behind the competition, said: "The atmosphere was just electric. The competition has grown so much since last year which is just brilliant and the level of talent has definitely exceeded my expectations. We've also had more than 200 extra musicians enter the competition compared with last year which just shows how the popularity for playing the pipes and drums is growing.

"Being able to hear the impressive skills and techniques displayed by the youngsters is also just fantastic. It's obvious that so much time and effort has gone into preparing for this competition.

"Hopefully we see even more pupils take up the pipes or drums ahead of next year's championships."

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