Ayrshire is set to play host to some of the very best young pipers and drummers Scotland has to offer - and local school bands are being urged to make sure they don't miss out.

The Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championship (SSPBC) – which is run by the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT) - is set to take place in Ayrshire on Sunday, March 12, 2023.

More than 60 pipe bands, quartets, and freestyle ensembles will showcase their talents at the championships in Kilmarnock’s Willliam McIlvanney Campus.

Alexandra Duncan, chief executive of SSPDT, said: “The championships are a highlight of the year for young players who not only get a chance to perform in public, but to test themselves against their peers.

“Being a part of something like a pipe band can positively influence young people in so many ways.

“It is a great way to make long-lasting friendships and it is proven to improve a host of life skills by building confidence, improving concentration and fostering teamwork.

“While the pandemic forced us to either cancel events or run a reduced event online, we know there is huge pent up demand for this event among pupils and tutors alike. It is going to be brilliant.”

Bands of all experience levels can enter as the competition has eight categories ranging from debut to novice juvenile standard.

The Eilidh MacLeod Endeavour Award which pays tribute to the young piper from Barra who died in the Manchester Arena attack in 2017 will also be presented at the competition.

The event is free to enter and free to attend – with financial help available for transport costs.

Acclaimed musicians Craig Munro of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and Steven Blake of Rura will be judging the competition.

More information on the championships can be found online at www.thechampionships.org.uk