Renfrewshire schools Freestyle winner 8-2

Renfrewshire pupils bag medal at major music championships

75 Scottish school bands go head-to-head at coveted event in Kilmarnock 

Young musicians from a Renfrewshire schools pipe band have won gold at one of the nation’s biggest piping and drumming events.

Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band hit the right note with the judges at this year’s annual Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championship (SSPBC), bagging wins in the highly-contested Freestyle category.

In what was one of the most anticipated dates in the piping calendar, 97 schools schools went head-to-head vying for success across The Championships’ eight categories.

The Championships was launched in 2013, as part of a nationwide drive by the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT) to revive dwindling access to the instruments across schools – despite evidence of multiple positive benefits.

Keith Bowes, Tutor with Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band said " "It is just so fantastic to see so many young people on stage with such levels of confidence and talent. To win the freestyle for the first time was super. We are extremely proud of the young people.  They worked so hard on the feedback they received last year and managed to pull off a great performance. "

"The young people at Renfrewshire Schools’ absolutely love the freestyle event. They put so much thought and effort into it. They worked so hard on the feedback they received last year and managed to pull off a great performance."

The array of talented pipe bands, quartets and freestyles showcased their skills on Sunday at East Ayrshire Council's William McIlvanney Campus in Kilmarnock. 

Dumfries and Galloway Schools, St Ninian’s High School, The Glasgow Academy, The High School of Glasgow, Fettes College, George Watson’s College and Dollar Academy were all on tune and picked up awards on the day, with prizes  being presented by East Ayrshire Provost, Councillor Jim Todd. 

Alexandra Duncan, Chief Executive of SSPDT, said: “The day itself lived up to all the expectations and we were lucky to witness some incredible performances across the board from the pipe bands.

“The category winners and all the bands who performed were absolutely brilliant on the day, demonstrating real teamwork and putting on a serious show – making it very hard for our judging panel to pick a winner.”

SSPDT was formed with the belief that pipe bands are much more than a musical pastime; they develop life and employability skills and attributes such as teamwork, shared and individual achievement, resilience and perseverance, self-confidence, camaraderie and a sense of discipline and dress.

Alexandra Duncan added: “It was inspiring to see the sheer number of school pipe bands turning out and giving their all on the day too.

“We’d like to say a huge thanks to the schools, tutors and parents who continue to show such commitment to supporting these pupils in learning what is an invaluable skill for so many reasons. And thanks to the excellent East Ayrshire Council staff and school staff and pupils for their support of this event.”

“We hope to see all of the excellent school pipe bands return next year for what I’m sure will be another excellent celebration of Scottish traditional music and talent.”

The Championship is independently organised by the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT). It carries the support of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA) but is not a RSPBA competition.

SSPDT believes that every pupil should have the chance to learn the pipes and drums on the same basis as other school instrument tuition.

For more information on the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships, visit

For more information on the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust, visit




Notes to editors

Issued by the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust.

For more information call Alex Duncan on 07906 102 009 or email