The pupils of Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band have set their sights high on the skyscrapers of New York City with their ambition to be the very first Pipe Band from the Islands to participate in the Tartan Parade.
The pipe band hope to be marching down Sixth Avenue next April and want to share their pipe music and dance, as well as promoting Hebridean and Gaelic culture with Tartan Week’s huge international audience.
They also plan to perform for specific Gaelic audiences and groups within New York.
As ambassadors for Gaelic culture they will highlight what the Western Isles have to offer to the world and potentially increase tourism to the region.
During their stay in the city they also hope to explore and expand their own knowledge of American history and culture including the story behind emigration from the Hebrides to the USA.
BBC Alba have commissioned a “Trusadh” Documentary which will follow the pipe band’s story as they prepare, fundraise, embark on and experience the Tartan Week New York adventure.
But to realise their ambition the pipe band need to raise a target figure of £40,000 to cover flights, accommodation and other travel expenses. Members of the Band are already working hard to fundraise in the local community through various events and each team member will personally contribute several hundred pounds towards the costs.
The Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band consist of 12 to 17 year old pupils from the Southern Isles (Berneray to Barra) in the Outer Hebrides who play pipes and drums.
They will be joined by their fellow pupils who are part of the band’s dance team.
The majority of the Pipe Band members are fluent Gaelic speakers and they are very proud indeed to represent the Western Isles,their music, their language and their culture across the Atlantic.
They will also be able to display their own unique Sgoil Lionacleit Tartan which incorporates the school colours red, white and black and which was specially commissioned, patented and donated to them by Stornoway couple Robert and Kathleen Ferdinando of Celtic Clothing, ten years ago when the band was a young entity.
The Pipe Band, under Tutelage of Donald Ban MacDonald, Schools’ Piping Instructor, have enjoyed their fair share of recent success, taking home the Freestyle Trophy as Champions of this section at the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships earlier this year, as well as having been paced in the top six in their class at the World Pipe Band Championships for two years running.
The Band is at the heart of the Uist community and performs at local events and functions throughout the calendar year.
The Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band Accocation (the committee made up of parents tutors and school management) who organise and fundraise for the band, would be most grateful if you are able to make a donation, however small or large to help them realise their dream and get the journey to Tartan Week 2018 underway.
Any donations can be made online through their crowd funding link: www.crowdfunder.co.uk (search for Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band go to Tartan Week New York). You can also donate by checking out their Facebook page, or by cheque, made payable to Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band Association. This should be addressed to: Mrs E Peteranna,Treasurer, Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band,Sgoil Lionacleit Benbecula Western Isles HS6 5PJ.
The band are very grateful for your support and very much look forward to representing the Western Isles at Tartan Week in the Spring.