The Vale of Atholl Pipe Band Schools Project
For a number of years there have been reducing numbers of young people learning skills in the instruments played in a pipe band. The Vale of Atholl Pipe Band and the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Trust aim to change that in Perth and Kinross. The Vale, with funding from the Trust, began providing tuition for children in six Primary Schools in Perth in January 2015.Children in P4 to P7 in Letham, Our Lady’s, Tulloch, Goodlyburn, Balhousie and North Muirton Primary Schools initially participated in free taster sessions where they had a chance to try playing the chanter or snare drum. Children who were interested in learning more then went on to participate in weekly lessons for a small charge.
The Vale have a strong history of supporting young people to learn to play the bagpipes and drums. For a number of years they have had not only a Grade 1 Pipe Band playing at the highest level in the competition circuit, but also a Novice Juvenile or Grade 4 Pipe Band and a Juvenile or Grade 3 Pipe Band. This has allowed a number of children in the area to join the band as a beginner, then develop their skills and progress to play in a band at the level that suited their abilities. For many children this meant that they were able to progress on to compete in the Grade 1 Pipe Band as they grew older.
One example of this is the Pipe Major of the Vale of Atholl Grade 1 Pipe Band, Adrian Cramb. The Vale was Adrian’s first pipe band over 35 years ago, and he’s been with it ever since, playing up through the grades until reaching Grade 1. Building on this experience, Pipe Major Cramb now leads the Schools Project and is the piping tutor for the initiative. The drumming tuition is provided by fellow Vale of Atholl Pipe Band member Graeme Peters.
The Vale of Atholl Pipe Band Community Tuition
The Vale of Atholl Pipe Band originated in the Highland Perthshire area over a hundred years ago. It continues to focus a lot of development activity in this area, with evening tuition sessions being provided for young people who are beginners or playing in the Grade 4 Pipe Band. These sessions are delivered on Tuesday evenings at Pitlochry High School.
To support the development of learners in the Perth City area evening tuition will shortly be starting on a Thursday evenings.