June 02, 2024

Emerging Composers program gets funding for another year with emphasis on under-represented communities

After three years, the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland’s Emerging Composers programs has proven to be an excellent success, attracting musical works from some of the world’s most creative young piping minds.

NYPBS Director Steven Blake confirmed that the initiative has received funding for 2024. The funding will allow music writers from 18 to 25 years old (or up to 30 for those who identify as disabled) to write for “Scotland’s only concert pipe band.”

Composers don’t have to be pipers or even be within the piping and drumming community to take advantage of the program, and applications are welcomed from people of colour, disabled people, women, and the LBGTQ+ community.

According to Blake, five successful applicants will each receive a bursary of £2,000 and support from NYPBS staff and industry mentors. Applications are open until July 8, 2024.

The National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland performing at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

Two of the places are reserved for “experienced piping artists and/or alumni of the NYPBS program,” and the remaining three spots are reserved for “under-represented groups within piping, including people of colour, disabled people, women and the LBGTQ+ community.”

All five will have the chance to collaborate, “supporting each other as writers alongside mentors and staff, and all playing to form the house band for the project,” which will run in two parts from July 2024 to April 2025.

The first phase offers training and support over four “Creative Weekends” at the National Piping Centre. During these weekends, the five successful applicants will work with mentors on the first drafts of their projects.

The second part of the program will see each composer gain experience in leading large-scale rehearsals of their work, supported by Steven Blake personally. This culminates in performances of the new musical works at the National Youth Pipe Band’s annual end-of-year concert in April 2025.

The application form can be found here, and further information is available by emailing the NYPBS.

The National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland is run under Scotland’s National Piping Centre’s umbrella.






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