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There was a weekend of success for the Balivanich School ABC band which came First in the Freestyle (Primary) Section of the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT) contest – promoted as the world's biggest School Pipe Band online event.

The band also came a close Second in the People’s Choice.

The school said on Facebook: "Our heartfelt thanks to those in our School Community - near and far - who voted for us, and of course to Esther MacDonald (Musical Director & Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Piping Tutor), Anna Black (Fiddle tutor) and Matt @Culla Creative for the amazing video production. You are all wee stars!"

This was the first time that the annual schools' championship had been held this year as an on-line event.  And, also for the first time ever, this freestyle competition was open to primary schools.

It was Esther MacDonald who encouraged pupils at Sgoil Bhaile a’ Mhanaich to form a small band and to submit an entry. 

And they succeeded although the timescale has been very short, and with Covid restrictions on singing, and the playing of wind instruments in schools, combined with all instrumental music tuition being delivered online since Christmas, it has been an extra challenge to get a performance together.