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  • Writer's pictureAyrshire Daily News

Virgin Money pipes up to make school band dream come true

Hundreds of young school pipers in East Ayrshire are set to benefit from sponsorship from Virgin Money.

A three-year deal will see the launch of a Kilmarnock Schools Pipe Band project, aimed at boosting the numbers of school pupils taking up the pipes and developing the skills and expertise of those already learning.

The sponsorship will cover the costs of a dedicated piping tutor. The project will be delivered in partnership with the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT) and East Ayrshire Council.

The SSPDT works nationally with schools, local authorities and partners, providing funding for piping and drumming tuition and loaning instruments. The Kilmarnock project will also benefit from funding from the SSPDT and East Ayrshire Council.

Alex Duncan, SSPDT Chief Executive said: “Pipe bands promote musicianship as well as important life and employability skills that include teamwork, confidence and commitment, as well as a sense of dress and discipline, fun and friendship. They also open the doors to travel and are a source of pride and focus for schools and their communities.

“The generous support of Virgin Money will help us build on these positives and provide a programme of piping excellence, leading to raised attainment. We’re delighted to be involved.”

Leader of East Ayrshire Council, Councillor Douglas Reid added: “Piping is an important part of Scotland’s cultural and musical identity and history and we are thrilled to announce the launch of the Kilmarnock Schools Pipe Band project.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our young people in East Ayrshire and we are immensely grateful to our partners Virgin Money and the Scottish Schools Piping and Drumming Trust for their generous support.

“As part of our own commitment to this exciting initiative, I am also pleased that the Council will contribute £10,000 a year to the costs of delivering the tutoring and look forward to seeing the band take shape in the months ahead.”

Stephen Pearson, Senior Advisor at Virgin Money said: “Virgin Money is very pleased to support this unique musical education project in East Ayrshire, an area that has a rich cultural reputation for piping and drumming excellence.

“This project fits well with our commitment to support local communities to help them flourish, and we look forward to working with our partners to make a positive and sustainable difference to as many young people as possible”.


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