Congratulations to Dollar Academy Pipe Band who have been nominated in Pipe band of the Year sponsored by Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust in the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2019. Vote here! Vote now!
We asked Craig Stewart of Dollar Academy Pipe Band the following questions.
Tell us about yourself
Today, over 200 pupils study piping or drumming at Dollar Academy. Four bands (Juvenile, Novice A, Novice B and the Pre-Novice Bands) work with six world-class instructors. The DAPB Juvenile Band has held the Champion of Champions title four times in the last five years. It has achieved the 'Grand Slam' (winning all five ‘Majors’: the Scottish, British, UK, European and World Championships) three times now, including in 2019.
Why are you involved in Scottish music?
Piping is part of our heritage – as a school and a country. There has been a Pipe Band at Dollar Academy since 1912, when it had strong connections with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. We travel all over the world sharing piping and drumming – from Germany to Japan, Switzerland to Jakarta.
Any particular career highlights?
Winning competitions is obviously incredible – we won the title of Juvenile World Champions at Glasgow Green in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014 and 2010 – but this is only possible with years of dedicated tutoring. Our pupils can start learning in P3…it's incredible to see these kids develop over the years into world class pipers and drummers. Sharing our music with the wider world is always rewarding, and educational, for the pupils. Every year, the senior players accept a longstanding invitation to travel to Sri Lanka to play for its High Commission. It's always very special.
What are your plans for the future?
For us, it’s about the music. Our tutors pass on their passion for traditional Scottish music and for playing to the next generation. As a Pipe Band, and a school, we're passionate about educating and inspiring the next generation.
Read more about Dollar Academy Pipe Band
If you wish to attend the final ceremony, tickets are are priced £25 (+ Booking Fee), and Concessions are available. To book please call Aberdeen Music Hall Box Office on 01224 641122, or visit: https://www.aberdeenperformingarts.com/whats-on/all-shows/the-mg-alba-scots-trad-music-awards/2734. Bands performing on Saturday 7th December include Skerryvore, Session A9, Benedict Morris (BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award Winner 2019), Heisk, Aberdeenshire Youth Band, Sian, Robyn Stapleton, Mairi Campbell and the Pendulum Band, Susan MacFadyen Scottish Dance Band and more to be announced. There will also be a late night ceilidh after the Awards till 1am.
If you would like to support Hands Up for Trad in their work with Scottish trad music and musicians please consider supporting our Patreon campaign. We have 3 tiers starting at $1 a month and everything helps support us in our work. Read more at www.patreon.com/handsupfortrad