Balivanich makes the competition grade.

Balivanich Primary School's "ABC" Band has entered the world's biggest school pipes band online event.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 9:10 am
Updated Monday, 22nd March 2021, 2:39 pm
Balivanich School Band

The newly formed Balivanich Primary Freestyle Band comprises of pupils in the P6/7 Gaelic Medium Class at the school.

Schools Piping Instructor Esther MacDonald recently encouraged pupils at Sgoil Bhaile a’ Mhanaich to form a small band and to submit an entry to the world's biggest school pipes band competition.

The Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT) support Piping in schools throughout Scotland with help towards tuition costs, loans of instruments, grants to help purchase equipment etc. Due to Covid restrictions their annual schools' championship is being held this year as an on-line event. For the first time ever, this Freestyle competition is open to Primary schools.

The timescale has been very short, and with Covid restrictions on singing, and the blowing of instruments in schools, combined with piping tutors not being allowed into schools to teach, but having to provide online lessons, since Christmas, it has been an extra challenge to get a performance together.

Esther said: “Pupils have worked very hard to produce an entry - they have even set up lunchtime practices by themselves and given up their evenings and weekends in order to improve enough to manage an entry.

“Balivanich School and Parent Council have been very supportive, and local businesses have assisted with the purchase of E Chanters for tuition in Western Isles schools during Covid restrictions. MacInnes Bros. Builders assisted with the purchase of T shirts for the new band and its members.

“Special thanks must go to Culla Creations for the fabulous job they made of filming the entry.

“Local businesses have supported the band – a huge thanks for all the help!”