June 25, 2023

National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland opens summer applications for first time

If you’re a talented and promising piper or drummer from Scotland aged 10 to 25 and dream about walking in the footsteps of the likes of Calum Brown, Ben Duncan, Connor Sinclair and dozens of other players who gone on to even bigger things in the art, you have an opportunity this summer to try out for the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland (NYPBS).

The National Piping Centre-run program that has been going since 2002 pulls together young Scottish musicians “to connect, form lifelong friendships, and challenge themselves to grow as musicians through their one-of-a-kind training and performance experiences outside the competition space,” according to the group.

There are three National Youth Pipe Bands in various regions of the country, broadening access for players.

There’s an open process for applications and auditions that will go until August 20th. Successful pipers and drummers will join practices for performances that go all through the off-season, from October 2023 to April 2024, and then even more opportunities after that.

Welcoming applications during the summer is in response to feedback, moving away from the regular schoolyear and exam periods to let players apply when they’re in peak piping or drumming form.

“This year we’ve responded to feedback and moved applications: away from exam periods; closer to rehearsals starting and over a long period, while people have access to equipment and are at the top of their game through the competing season,” said NYPBS director Steven Blake.

The process: send in an application. If you get to round two, there are auditions in September that involve discussions with a panel and working on concert material together.

It’s an annual project, so incumbent members also have to apply every year. The NYPBS puts on a major annual concert before thousands of people, and in April performed at the famous Usher Hall in Edinburgh.

Check into further details, the process and the application portal.






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