Young musicians from Garnock Valley have beaten lockdown to form an online band for a national competition.

Pipers and drummers have teamed up with other instrumentalists in a bid to win £1,000 and the chance to play with the world famous Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

The event is being staged by a schools piping charity and the Chillis to help keep kids focused on their music while schools are out.

Seventeen bands have got together to make socially distant music and their efforts will be broadcast over the weekend on Facebook with a final on Sunday night. Among the bands is Garnock Valley Pipes and Drums playing a cover of Hallelujah by pupils from Garnock Community Campus.

The often covered song, written by Leonard Cohen, has been sung by Jeff Buckley and Alexandra Burke, but the pipe and drum band have given it a truly Scottish twist.

The group's performance is a dedication to the heroic NHS staff and key workers who have kept going throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: The band's performance is dedicated to NHS and key workers.The band's performance is dedicated to NHS and key workers.

Alexandra Duncan, head of the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust, said she had been knocked out by the standard of entries for the competition – called Wake up Scotland.

She said: “We had no idea what to expect and have been amazed at the talent on show in these entries. It’s hard enough performing as a band but the kids have had to overcome huge technical challenges to get their efforts sounding so good.”

Craig Munro from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers said his band was looking forward to playing a gig with the winners.

He said: “We have been off the road for weeks now and are desperate to get back performing – to have one of our first shows playing alongside the winning band will be something to look forward to.”

Eight bands will perform tonight with nine taking the stage on Saturday.

The public will have all Sunday to cast their votes online with the results being announced at 7.30 on Sunday night.

Make sure you tune in to support Thomas C, Thomas M, Emily, Zak, Chloe, and Craig playing the bagpipes for the Garnock Valley Pipes and Drums.

The final films will be played live on the Chilli’s Facebook page on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7.30 with a grand final on Sunday on the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust’s Facebook site.

Judges include some of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and the Director of the National Piping Centre in Glasgow Finlay MacDonald. An online people’s vote will decide who gets an additional £500 prize.