The countdown is on for 99 schools who are set to compete in one of the nation’s biggest piping and drumming events in Kilmarnock. 

Schools from Ayrshire to the Highlands will compete at the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championship at the William McIlvanney Campus on March 10, with contests for bands, quartets and freestyle ensembles.

Entries are also now officially open for the competition’s coveted Eilidh MacLeod Endeavour Award – an award honouring the young Manchester Arena attack victim from Barra, who would have turned 21 last month.  

The championships were launched in 2013, as part of a nationwide drive by the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT) to revive dwindling access to the instruments.

Expert judges will adjudicate eight categories, ranging from debut to novice juvenile.

Alexandra Duncan, chief executive of the SSPDT, said: “The championships are a huge day in the piping calendar and this, the 10th championships, will be bigger than ever.”

“We’re very grateful to East Ayrshire Council for hosting the event and working closely with us in order to bring the fun-filled day back to Ayrshire.

"As the big day gets closer, we can’t wait to welcome 99 schools to what is always an incredible, music-filled celebration.”

For more information on the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships, visit