Thenue Housing & National Piping Centre Join Forces for Community Success

Castlemilk kids are immersing themselves in the world of bagpipes, all thanks to a groundbreaking project initiated by Scotland’s prestigious National Piping Centre.

The talented musicians from this Glasgow-based centre are dedicating their time and effort to provide free bagpipe lessons to children as young as five. This initiative is not only fostering a newfound interest in playing the bagpipes but also promoting this iconic instrument as a symbol of Scotland’s musical heritage.

The classes are held weekly at Netherholm Community Hall during school terms, offering a platform for young aspiring musicians to explore their passion for music. The hall itself, established five years ago, was made possible with the support of Thenue Housing.

Remarkably, the funding for these lessons and necessary equipment has been graciously provided by the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo’s charitable board. This support has paved the way for the National Piping Centre to expand its project to two other urban communities in Glasgow – Ibrox and Pollokshields.

The primary goal of this initiative is to instil a love for bagpipes in a whole new generation of musicians by providing a nurturing environment for young talents to hone their skills, engage with music, connect with a global community, and foster a sense of achievement and belonging.

Castlemilk became the focus of this community-driven project after a local boy named Lealand Urquhart, now 10 years old, began taking virtual lessons via the venue in Cowcaddens. His enthusiasm and progress inspired the National Piping Centre to extend its outreach to Castlemilk in the hopes of engaging other youngsters in the vibrant art of bagpipe playing.

Currently, up to 14 children from the local community attend the weekly sessions at Netherholm, starting off their musical journey by learning the basics of playing the chanter, the precursor to mastering the bagpipes.

Lealand, expressing his delight, said, “I love the pipes and look forward to these sessions every week. It’s both enjoyable and educational.” Accomplished pipers Ailis Sutherland and Emma Hill are involved in delivering these lessons and are thoroughly impressed by the children’s dedication and passion for learning.

Ailis Sutherland remarked, “Witnessing the establishment of the Castlemilk Piping Club is truly heartwarming. Starting with Lealand’s lessons over Zoom at the age of six, I observed his remarkable progress with the chanter and the sheer joy he derived from it.”

She continued, “There’s a real potential here for these young individuals to pursue careers as professional musicians, teachers, or leaders in the music industry. But above all, these children in Glasgow are gaining access to an art form that is not only enriching but also exhilarating, right in their own communities.”

Rosie Robertson from Thenue Communities, the charitable branch of Thenue Housing, commended the National Piping Centre for its commitment to community engagement, especially in areas like Castlemilk.

Ms. Robertson stated, “The enthusiasm shown by our young residents towards learning the bagpipes is truly inspiring. We wholeheartedly appreciate the National Piping Centre for reaching out to communities like ours and offering such valuable opportunities.”

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