A record 73 schools bands will take centre stage at the 10th Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships next month in Kilmarnock.

The championships, the largest event of its kind in the world, sees school pipe bands, freestyle groups and quartets gather to celebrate young musical talent.

The event will take place on Sunday, March 10 at the William McIlvanney Campus in Kilmarnock.

The championship is independently organised by the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT).

It carries the support of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA) but is not a RSPBA competition.

Alex Duncan, CEO of SSPDT, said: “The championships have been going from strength to strength since the start in 2013.  

"There is something for every level - quartets for beginners right up to Juvenile grade for bands at the top of their game.

“The freestyle competition is very popular where any style of music and any combination of instruments go, as long as they include the pipes.  

"This year sees 17 freestyle bands ready to battle it out in March.”

East Ayrshire Provost Jim Todd added: “The pipes will be calling us to Kilmarnock Academy for the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships.

"It is a real honour to be hosting the competition, which is now in its 10th year, and to welcome young people and their families from all over Scotland to East Ayrshire.

“I will be there to enjoy the music and cheer on our young people. The standard of performance last year was exceptional and I can’t wait to celebrate the wealth of talent that I am sure will be taking to the stage this year.”

The charity awards grants to towards tuition and other band-related costs, lends bagpipes and concert chanters free of charge, and runs paid apprenticeships for aspiring tutors.