A Fife pipe band which had performed for the Queen could fold by the end of the year if tutors can’t be found.
West Fife Schools Pipe Band secretary Alister Rae said the group was sending out an SOS to the entire piping community as it struggles to find experienced teachers.
Failure to do so would be a huge blow to the band set up in 1994 specifically to provide school-aged children with the chance to learn to play traditional pipes and drums at an affordable price.
The band, which performed at the naming ceremony for aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, has seven intermediate pipers, three chanter learners and five drummers aged between 10 and 14 from schools in the west Fife area.
Mr Rae said the youngsters had produced strong performances in competitions and local galas over the last season and it would be a shame if they had to give up, due to a lack of adult support.
“Our senior piping tutor has retired, leaving the band without a leader,” he said.
“Without an experienced piping tutor in place, there no likelihood of competing next year and the band is at risk of folding altogether.
“We do have a couple of good pipers helping us out for now, but sadly this arrangement is not sustainable for next season,” he added.
Mr Rae said the group was appealing for help from experienced pipers who are able to commit to a few hours a week.
Far from folding, the group’s aim is to expand numbers if it can find more tutors.
“We competed at novice juvenile grade this year at all the major competitions by teaming up with another band,” said Mr Rae.
“Our ultimate goal would be to do the same again next year under our own steam.
“The guys are very enthusiastic and always keen to do their best.
“All we need is a leader to take us there by leading the tutoring of our pipe corps and developing our skills,” he said.
The band practises on Tuesdays in Rosyth and on Thursdays in Dunfermline.
“We have a great bunch of kids in the band and a supportive committee, we simply need more hands on deck for the band to survive,” said Mr Rae.
“Unfortunately, if we cannot secure tutors we may have to close the doors on this great little band which has been performing in Fife for 23 years and has produced world class pipers and drummers, many of whom went all the way to grade one bands.”