Want to read more?
At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income.
In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.
To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic. The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thanks you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time
We value our content, so access to our full site is only available on subscription.
Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device.
And there’s more – your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.
Schools in Argyll and Bute are being challenged to take part in an online music competition with prizes of more than £2,500 on offer.
The Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships are going online to beat Covid, and young musicians from across Scotland are being urged to take part.
The event is being organised by the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust.
Convener David Johnston said: ‘We had cancelled the event for 2021 – but then a number of school tutors contacted us asking for the event to go online to help keep young players focused and give them some fun in lockdown.
‘So we have slimmed the event down to just one class – the innovative Freestyle class where pipes and drums combine with other instruments and singers to give a modern twist to traditional music.’
Schools are being asked to express interest in taking part by February 7 and a number have already signed up.
The competition will be broadcast online across the weekend starting Friday March 26, and the public will have the chance to cast their vote in a live people’s choice event on Sunday March 28.
Some of Scotland’s top musicians will judge the event, including Gary Innes, box player for Manran and presenter of BBC Scotland’s Take the Floor and Craig Munro of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.
Craig said: ‘Amazing music can be created and orchestrated online now using apps, and this competition opens up a world-wide audience for the youngsters.
‘All bands have to do is film their entries using music apps and submit them for judging by March 14. Registrations close on February 7.’
The Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust offers help and cash grants to councils, schools and parent groups for piping and drumming tuition in Scottish state schools.
It also has the world’s biggest free bagpipe loan scheme, lending instruments to hundreds of young players across the country.
The trust is currently supporting the delivery of in-school pipe and drum tuition to more than 3,000 pupils in Scottish schools.
More details can be found on the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust website.