Sponsorship & Award Feedback

The following feedback was received from those who received a sponsorship award from the Trust.  If you’re interested in sponsorship, please find out how to get funded.  Our sub-group carefully considers all submissions.

North Ayrshire Piping & Drumming Academy

A huge thank you to the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust from NAPDA for giving us funding in May 2019. This money has been used for specialised teaching materials and to pay for PDQB Exams for those receiving tuition (which we have 5 ready to sit this Easter).  The funding also went to advertising materials such as fliers and branded clothing to help get people through the door.  After nearly a year of running we are currently up to 20 learners all at different stages.  Without the help and support from the Trust, NAPDA would never have taken off the ground and there would not be this great opportunity for learners to learn and players to refine their craft in Ayrshire.

Submitted by:Scott Garden
Year of Award:2019

Kenzie Stephen


The funding Kenzie has received firm the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust has had a dramatic impact on him in a short period of time. Thanks to his online tutor, Stuart Liddell, his confidence has grown from strength to strength. Stuart has been working with Kenzie on some technical stuff and marching. Kenzie is currently learning a pibroch and a horn pipe and jig. Kenzie would always be shy to play in front of people however this has changed in a short period of time. Kenzie is looking forward to this coming season with Elgin and District Pipe Band and competing in solo competitions.

Some of his recent achievements are:

  • Fundraising for Elgin and District Pipe Band on Burn’s Day in Asda raising £511.
  • Playing at ‘Santa in the Streets’ charity event in Elgin and raised over £2,00 for local charities.
  • Volunteering with the Elgin Youth Café and helping with chanter workshops.
  • He was VIP guest at BBC studios in Glasgow after busking for ‘Children in Need’ and raising £350.
  • He played his pipes for Moray Mental Health Peer Support Group, for the Anderson Care Home and at the Geraldine Nursery in Lossiemouth.
  • Kenzie has just been told he has been nominated by Elgin Youth Café and his school for a Moray Young Citizen Award for his work with his bagpipes in the community.

Without the funding Kenzie would not have had the opportunity to have online lessons with Stuart who has encouraged Kenzie to have some self-belief and developed his piping skills incredibly.  Kenzie would like to continue lessons with Stuart Liddell which have made a dramatic change to his confidence, his piping skills and to our community.

Submitted by:Heather Stephen
Year of Award:2019

Warren Graham

Up until now any tuition that Warren had, whether it be at school through the Kilmarnock Schools Pipe Band or Kilmarnock Pipe Band, focused on his piping as a band player.  Whereas this funding from the GDMT allowed him to receive tuition that concentrated on him as a solo piper.  The tunes that he was focusing on during this time were solely his choice, which in turn expanded his repertoire and increase his confidence and knowledge as a solo piper.  Without the funding this would not of been possible.

Thank you very much for investing in this young players future.

Submitted by:Joan Graham
Year of Award:2019

Kilmarnock Pipe Band

Thank you so much for your support at Kilmarnock Pipe Band. It has been absolutely invaluable to our project and our young people.

Your funding was used to provide hall hire for the year, to enable us to run ‘the 6 o’clock club’ – an extra two hours per week specifically aimed at developing our young players.

During the course of this year the 6 o’clock club has:

  • provided 2 hours extra tuition per week specifically for our young people
  • provided a full weekend’s intensive tuition specifically for our young people
  • been able to deliver focussed individual tuition to ensure we are developing good players, and not allowing them to ‘shape’ as part of the band and pick up bad habits that would hamper their future ambitions
  • delivered workshops on band skills
  • delivered many hours of 1:1 blowing skills development
  • delivered workshops on tuning
  • provided tuition on music theory and music writing
  • ran sight reading workshops which have made a huge difference in our young people’s ability level, and impacted their ability to learn on their own
  • prepared our young people for SCQF level 5 and provided the opportunity to sit the exam
  • in the end, 4 young people decided to sit the SCQF Level 5 exam, and they all passed!
  • provided the opportunity for our young people to take leadership roles in our feeder programme ‘Epic East Ayrshire Pipe Band Academy’ summer school
  • as a band performed in concert at the Palace theatre, where a member of the 6 o’clock club performed a solo
  • performed at Cumnock Highland Games where a member of the 6 o’clock club performed a solo
  • we ran a CD club where members were able to broaden their knowledge of the traditional music scene by hearing cd’s by pipe bands, solo pipers, trad groups including pipes, and trad groups not including pipes. Prior to the cd club they didn’t know this existed and never listened to bagpipe music!!! Gordon Duncan’s music was of course the first on the list and have remained a favourite of all players
  • encouraged them to dream big: aim to make it to grade 1, aim to play with the NYPB and work towards achieving it now
  • we were able to encourage our young people to attend an NYPB weekend at Dumfries House
  • we attended a piobaireachd workshop by RCS graduate Chris Lee
  • we attended 3 Scottish Power Pipe Band practices in the run up to the competition season and the run up to their fantastic pre-worlds concert
  • thanks to the SWSPDA we were able to take the 6 o’clock club to the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow to see the NYPB in concert, and 2 members were able to attend the NYPB weekend in Barcaple
  • 9 under 25’s competed with us last season, with our highlights being 3rd place in the European Championships and 4th place in the World Championships

There is no way we could have achieved this without your support, and I think you can agree that it has been incredibly beneficial for our young people who’ve had an amazing year in the band.

From everyone at Kilmarnock Pipe Band – thank you for helping make our young people absolutely EPIC!

Submitted by:Karen McCrindle Warren
Year of Award:2019

EPIC East Ayrshire Pipe Band Academy

Huge thanks to the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust for enabling EPIC to begin our pipe band drumming programme. Last year you helped us start ‘Chanters for Children’… now with our ‘Drummer’s Launch Pad’ we are on the way to creating EPIC’s first ever pipe band. We are a grass roots charity working in an area of high deprivation – without your help we really wouldn’t be able to offer this, and our young people would be missing out on such a valuable life experience. From all staff and students at EPIC – thank you so much for giving our community this wonderful opportunity!

Submitted by:Paul Warren
Year of Award:2019/20