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Stow Pipe Band

09 November 2016

There has been a pipe band in Stow for many years, however, the modern day band was formed around 1953. Members of the band come from Stow, Galashiels, Lauder and further afield. The band are highly regarded locally and regularly play at prestigious events including the World Pipe Band Championships.

In 2010, Stow Pipe Band received a £6,240 grant from the EDF Longpark Community Fund which helped the band lay solid foundations for its future by investing in the Stow Pipes and Drums School for juniors. Since this initial grant, the band have received a further £47,000 from the Fund with the most recent grant received in 2015.

The band realised that if all their resources were spent on developing the main band, teaching for the junior levels would deteriorate and vice versa. The grants have provided them the flexibility to ensure time and resources are given to both sections.

The band is very active, with the pipes and drumming school and main band meeting once a week to practice. The main band regularly competes in competitions and attend events both locally and throughout the country.

The junior pipe band – born from the pipes and drumming school – also attend these events and more recently have started to compete. Thanks to the input from tutors their performances are improving, with them placed 12th out of 20 pipe bands in the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships in 2014, a significant improvement on the previous year.

The main band have been promoted from Grade 4B to Grade 3A over the past couple of years with the committee insisting that it isn’t a coincidence this progression occurred at the same time they were receiving grants.

Grants have not been limited to providing a high-standard tuition for the pipe and drumming school, but also to cover the costs of new uniforms and instruments.

One member, who has been learning the bagpipes at the school for the past 4 years, stated: “Playing in the pipe band has been a great opportunity to learn to play a fantastic instrument and to take part in so many events. The pipe band plays an important part in the community and it is great that we get the chance to experience this”.

Another young member added: “I have loved learning to play bagpipes at Stow and really enjoy playing with the band, with my highlight being the World Pipe Band Championships”.

With the band now playing at a high level, the goal is to maintain this for many years to come.

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