The Ross and Cromarty Pipes & Drums School
Since 2005 I was Pipe Major of this Novice/Juvenile Band. I relinquished the position in September 2009 when I went to study in Benbecua.
The history of the School is that in September of 2004 Pipe Major Niall Matheson invited 10 of his most promising piping students to an extra tuition session at Alness Academy. Six months later 4 drumming students joined and The Easter Ross Pipes and Drums School was inaugurated. Five years on we were the fastest growing band in the Highlands with over 35 piping and drumming students attending from Tain through to the Black Isle and from Dingwall and are now re-named The Ross and Cromarty Pipes & Drums School.
The Band’s appearances have included playing for the departure of many of the cruise liners at Invergordon including the QM2 and the QE2. They have also played at many Highland events including the Alness Historic Vehicle Parade, The Glenmorangie Highland Gathering, The Invergordon Highland Gathering and at the Moy Game Fair and at Kinkell Castle. Mini Bands also played at Kintyre House, for the senior citizens in Evanton and also at a Ceilidh in Evanton. Many of our individual pipers were also asked to play at many charity events.
2006 also saw the band entering the competition circuit for the first time by competing at the both European and World Championships and at Championships in the North of Scotland. In our first year of competition the Band became The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association North of Scotland Branch Champions at The Aberdeen Highland Games.
Since June 2006, when The Band started competing, we won 5 trophies and also received a Highland Council Award for our contribution to music in the community. Sam Shaw, Marcas Robertson and I also played at Lycksele in Sweden to help celebrate Lycksele’s 400th Jubilee.
ALI, SAM AND MARCAS PLAYING IN LYCKSELE
The Band have been complimented by many people in the piping world for their professionalism, dress, decorum and their musical ability. These are just three of the endorsements we have had:-
“I am amazed at the standard of playing and control shown by such a young band”
Pipe Major Donald MacIntyre, Queen’s Own Highlanders.
“Their professionalism and technique is a credit to them. This Band will go far.”
Pipe Major Donald MacKay, Strathclyde Police Pipe Band.
“The enthusiasm, commitment and hard work put in by these young Pipers and Drummers
will pay off in their competitions.”
Pipe Major Norman Gillies