Bagpipe Black Sabbath for school championship

Young performers at the 2013 Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships. 'Pic: Neil Hanna

Young performers at the 2013 Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships. 'Pic: Neil Hanna

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PIPING will go pop when Scotland’s annual schools bagpipe contest introduces a new “freestyle” section to next year’s event in the Capital.

Organisers of the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships (SSPBC) will allow musicians to perform anything from Scottish traditional melodies to Black Sabbath.

David Johnston, chairman of the SSPBC committee, said the freestyle competition was unique in the world.

He said: “We decided to introduce this category as a way of highlighting the versatility of the pipes and drums alongside other instruments.It offers a chance for pipers and drummers to let loose from the rigid competition format to perform some more modern pieces in a relaxed atmosphere.”

The new rules will also allow competitors to bring in piano, guitars or other instruments part way through their performance, following in the anarchic footsteps of top Scottish acts such as Treacherous Orchestra, which mixes dance beats and electric guitars with the bagpipes.

The championships take place on March 8 at Broughton High School and Fettes 
College.