Piping Society AGM – Tuesday the 9th of May – 7:30pm – Tiree Trust Office

The Tiree Piping Society are holding their Annual General Meeting on Tuesday the 9th of May, 7:30 in the Tiree Trust office and are encouraging all eager pipers or those interested in the future of piping on Tiree to come along.

The society, which was set up some years ago by the driving force – the late Mr Robert Beck, is designed to support the future of piping on Tiree and has been heavily involved in creating tutoring opportunities, particularly for the younger generation of the island. Mr Beck, who was responsible for the tuition of many talented pipers who have hailed from Tiree, first realised there was a need for the society when he felt unable to continue tuition due to ill health. The society was formed and acted as the body responsible for securing funding to enable bringing a tutor to the island.

The society first received funding in 2011, from the local Windfall Fund which allowed them to bring a tutor to the island on a regular basis to provide lessons to children at the school. This was successful for a number of years and was then taken in house and received some internal funding from Argyll and Bute to continue it. Over those years children were lucky to receive tuition from a number of talented pipers, including the late Donald Campbell, who particularly loved coming over to Tiree to teach. Mr Beck was heavily involved in the program up until his death and would often accompany Donald to lessons and give his valued input.

In 2015 the coordination of the tutoring program was handed over the Music and Culture coordinator at Tiree Trust and here the society were successful in receiving funding from two local trusts, The Windfall Fund and the Charlie MacLean Trust. This enabled them to restart the tutoring program and welcome on board Scott Wood as the resident tutor. Scott has a wealth of piping experience and has travelled all over the world with his own band The Scott Wood Band along with playing with the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and has just recently been announced as the newest member of Skerryvore! The first year of the pilot under the coordination of the MCC was extremely successful, with 8 pupils taking up the opportunity to learn the chanter and pipes, with one of them already progressed onto bagpipes.

Scott visits the island twice a month and conducts lessons within the school and has recently started a ‘Pipe Band Practise’ session after school which welcomes along children who have been learning pipe band drums under the supervision of Willie MacKinnon. We were also extremely lucky to have been gifted two sets of pipes from the family of the late Donald Campbell, that have been put to excellent use – which I’m sure he would be very happy about.

The first year’s funding ran out in April and we are pleased to report that we have since secured 50% funding from the Scottish School of Pipes and Drums Trust for a three-year piping tuition program. For this coming year 2017 – 2018 we have secured the remaining 50% through the Argyll and Bute Supporting Communities Fund and have also received flight sponsorship from Loganair to cover the cost of 4 return flights. For the two remaining years, we will be working towards securing the remaining 50% to match fund that of the already confirmed SSPDT.

We are extremely pleased with how the program has been running to date and are confident that we will produce a number of budding pipers in the forthcoming years. The next step will be to introduce them to the local Pipe Band and allow them to start playing with other pipers and players, which will hopefully raise their confidence and interest.

We would very much encourage anyone to come along to the AGM on the 9th of May – particularly local pipers and those interested in the future of it. It would be great to see some new faces. If you have any questions then please get in touch with Donna on donna@tireetrust.org.uk or by calling 220 074

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