Larbert musicians in running to play with Red Hot Chilli Pipers

Young Larbert musicians have entered a national contest which could see them play with a world-famous bagpipe band.

By Jonathon Reilly
Friday, 26th June 2020, 7:30 am

Pupils from Larbert High School and Ladeside Primary School are taking part in an online Wake up Scotland competition in a bid to win £1000 and perform with Celtic rock group the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

The event is being held this weekend by Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust and the Chillis to help keep youngsters focused on their music while schools are out.

The Larbert Cluster Band is among 17 acts made up of pipers, drummers and other instrumentalists who have combined virtually to create socially distant tracks, with their efforts to be broadcast on Facebook.

Larbert Cluster Band members hope their efforts will grant them the chance to perform with the Red Hot Chilli Pipers. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Their cover of Highland Cathedral will be streamed on the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust Facebook site prior to Sunday night’s final.

The final films will be played live on the Chilli’s Facebook page tonight (Friday) and tomorrow at 7.30pm before the winner is confirmed on Sunday on the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust’s Facebook site.

Judges include some of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and the Director of the National Piping Centre in Glasgow, Finlay MacDonald. An online people’s vote will decide who gets an additional £500 prize.

The public will have most of Sunday to cast votes online, with the results being announced at 7.30pm.

Alexandra Duncan, head of the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust, said: “We had no idea what to expect and have been amazed at the talent on show in these entries.

“It’s hard enough performing as a band but the kids have had to overcome huge technical challenges to get their efforts sounding so good.”

Craig Munro, of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, said: “We have been off the road for weeks now and are desperate to get back performing – to have one of our first shows playing alongside the winning band will be something to look forward to.

“This competition is an absolute first for Scotland and is a great way of showcasing the talents of our young people at a time they can’t get out to perform.

“I am sure that people are going to be knocked out at the talent on show and the lengths folk have gone to make really entertaining films.”