Juvenile Pipe Bands Get More Assistance from the RSPBA/ Preston Lodge Contest

Juvenile and Novice Juvenile Pipe Bands have received a boost with the decision by the RSPBA to apportion 1% of their annual surplus to the National Juvenile Pipe Band Fund. The Fund was established in 2015 to help theses bands pay for buses and other running costs.

The Association’s Board of Directors took the decision last year following a proposal by Finance Director Kenny Crothers, Northern Ireland.

It has also been announced that the Northern Ireland Branch of the Association has made a £1,000 donation to the Fund – and this despite the fact that there are very few juvenile bands in the Province.

The 1% allocation for 2016 meant the NJPBF received £500 last year from the RSPBA. In previous years it would have received more given that the Association’s surplus in 2014 was £110,843 and in 2015 £114,452.

Ian Embelton, RSPBA Chief Executive

RSPBA Chief Executive Ian Embelton said: ‘The Board of Directors is fully behind the NJPBF. The Association is a registered charity and all the money we accrue is held in reserve for the re-development of our Headquarters at Washington Street. This is proceeding. At the same time the Directors consider it important that we do what we can to support our young bands.

‘Many of them find it difficult to raise money for buses for example and often have to rely on the good work of hard-pressed parents to make up any deficit. Through the Fund we can offer some assistance and the decision to make an annual allocation means that the Fund is now sustainable in the long-term.’

Four bands have received substantial grants from the Fund for 2016 and they will be notified shortly. In 2015 bands which received £350 in assistance were Boghall Juveniles, Lochgelly High School, Dumbarton Juveniles, Lochalsh Juniors (pictured below) and Ross and Cromarty Junior Pipes & Drums. Given the one year gap rule, these bands could not apply in 2016 but can now do so in 2017 with applications open from the end of the season. 

PP Editor Robert Wallace, who along with piper James Cameron Stuart is a Fund co-founder, said: ‘Everyone should applaud this decision by the RSPBA’s Board of Directors. It guarantees the sustainability of the Fund in the long-term. These young bands are the future and we should all do what we can to help them. I am particularly heartened by the support from the Northern Ireland Branch. This is extremely generous of them especially given that apart from the Ulster Scots Juvenile Band there are very few under-18 outfits in the Province.

‘The hope is that our bagpipe manufacturers and Highland supplies companies will perhaps follow this branch’s example and make a donation. These youngsters are their customers of the future after all and the more money the Fund has the higher the disbursements can be. Any company donating to the Fund would receive substantial publicity and the goodwill of the worldwide pipe band community.’ 

If your band would like to apply for assistance the application form can be downloaded here. The National Juvenile Pipe Band Fund is administered by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, registered charity SC018153. Address: 45 Washington Street, Glasgow G3 8AZ; Tel: 0141 221 5414

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Still with the youngsters, Preston Lodge High School Pipe Band are holding a Solo Piping and Drumming and Miniband Competition at their school in Prestonpans on Saturday 18 March 2017.

Organiser P/M Lee Moore reports: ‘The competition is open to all young pipers and drummers resident in or attending a school in East Lothian. There will be some fantastic prizes on offer and it is a great opportunity for all young pipers and drummers to come along and show off their musical talents in a relaxed and friendly environment. It is a great opportunity for players who haven’t competed in solos before to have a go. We are also including miniband competitions this year. The emphasis is on participation and fun so the rules around numbers involved are not stringent.

Preston Lodge High School competing in the Novice ‘B’ category at the 2016 Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championship. The 2017 Championships are on Sunday, March 12 at John Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh

‘The aim is to encourage individuals from a school or community pipe band or even a group of friends to put together a selection of music to perform in front of an audience. The only stipulation is that each miniband has 2-4 pipers, 1 bass drummer, one or two snare drummers and up to two tenor drummers. All participants must be 18yrs or under. There will be two categories of miniband competition:  Junior Miniband – to play 2 – 5 minutes of tunes of Quick March time.  Senior Miniband – to play a 3 – 5 minute medley of tunes of mixed time signature and idiom.

‘Entry for soloists is £3 per event and minibands are £5. A full list of solo events and an entry form can be found below. Please return the entry form to Lee Moore, Preston Lodge High School, Park View, Prestonpans with the appropriate entry fee. Cheques should be made payable to “Preston Lodge High School Pipe Band”. For any enquiries telephone Lee on 07720 261 306.
Closing date for entries is 1 March 2017
Spectators will be charged £3 on the door and catering and refreshments will be provided. Lee Moore Piping Instructor – Preston Lodge High School Preston Lodge High School Pipe Band is Sponsored by Scotmid and Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.’

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