School drums up interest in piping

The Howe o the Mearns Pipe Band are a strong part of the Auchenblae and wider Mearns community.

The Howe o the Mearns Pipe Band are a strong part of the Auchenblae and wider Mearns community.

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Pupils at Auchenblae Primary School have been drumming up their interest in piping as part of a community partnership with their local pipe band.

The school has been working with Howe O Mearns Pipe Band to develop the music skills and talents of pupils in Primary 4, Primary 5 and Primary 6 as part of the curriculum and a number of pupils have gone on to join the band.

An Auchenblae pupil takes advantage of the bagpip lessons on offer at the school

An Auchenblae pupil takes advantage of the bagpip lessons on offer at the school

It is just one example of piping partnerships within Aberdeenshire Schools and signals an exciting step in the development of an Aberdeenshire Schools Pipe Band.

The headteacher of Auchenblae School, John Forrester, explained: “We were originally approached in May by Howe O Mearns Pipe Band about the potential for free bagpipe, snare drum and tenor drum tuition for some of our pupils.

“After a few taster sessions and workshops, we had lots of interest and pupils in P4, P5 and P6 are now learning the pipes and drums for 45 minutes every Friday morning.

“Quite a few of them have also joined Howe O Mearns Pipe Band sessions in the evenings.

“This has been a great community partnership and a benefit to both the school and the local pipe band.”

The chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning & Leisure Committee, Cllr Alison Evison, said: “It is great to see this initiative at Auchenblae and my thanks go to Mr Forrester and his staff as well as the Howe O Means Pipe Band. The initiative really fits in with our work towards an Aberdeenshire Schools Pipe Band, which we hope to launch in June 2017.

“Pipes and drums are very much part of the council’s wider North East cultural programme which aims to support and develop our local heritage and includes music, song, dance, stories, poetry, arts and of course Doric.”