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Dundee City Pipe Band win award dedicated to Manchester Arena terror victim Eilidh

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A group of Tayside musicians have won a major prize dedicated to the memory of a young piper who died in the Manchester Arena terror attack.

Dundee City Pipe Band won the Eilidh MacLeod Endeavour Award at the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships at the weekend.

Eilidh MacLeod.

The prize was created in memory of the teenager from Barra, who died at the Manchester concert by the American singer Ariana Grande.  It recognises community contribution, resilience, inclusion, camaraderie and innovation.

The accolade comes just four years after the Dundee band was formed and recognises the group’s efforts to be accessible to all, including those with additional support needs and long term health conditions.

Eilidh MacLeod Endeavour Award winners, Dundee City Pipe Band.

Pipe major Iain Bryson said: “It is great to be recognised.

“We work hard to cater for people of all abilities in a way that other bands don’t. Pipes are not easy to learn but the kids do great and we have members aged seven to 70.

“We haven’t been going for long so it is outstanding to be recognised in this way.”

The Dundee band is the first recipient of the award, which was created at the end of last year.

Scott McNeil, the father of one band member, said it had changed his daughter’s life.

“Although she may never be able to live on her own or do many things, my daughter was invited to join this band as she had a talent and passion for drumming.

“On the first night of practice, I was like any parent and worried would she be okay and would be accepted by the other band members but I couldn’t be more wrong.

“I stayed all night and was able to observe how everyone, regardless of their needs, are given amazing coaching in drumming and piping.

“I’m so grateful for the chance they have given my daughter to play in a pipe band. It has changed her life and mine. So to win this award is a very special thrill for everyone connected with the band.”

The championships, held in Kilmarnock at the weekend, were established by Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT) to  showcase the talent of young musicians, and encourage the formation of school pipe bands.

The trust has helped 47 schools pipe bands to form so far, building on tuition provided in 265 schools.

It has been backed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who said:  “Pipe music sits at the heart of Scotland’s culture and communities and it is always wonderful to see how many young people are involved in pipe bands.

“I’m delighted that the SSPDT, and the Championships, continue to showcase our many talented young people who are learning traditional Scottish music and practising pipes and drums.”

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