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Piping institutions merge to create centre of excellence

The two charities in Glasgow said that joining forces will be ‘extremely positive for the bagpipe world’.

The National Piping Centre and College of Piping are to merge to create a single centre of excellence for study of the instrument.

The two charities in Glasgow have agreed that joining forces is the best way to promote and support piping in future.

The combined organisation will continue to offer a full range of educational activities and qualifications, to act as a home to The National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland and to host ‘Piping Live!’, the Glasgow International Piping Festival.

Roddy MacLeod, Principal of the National Piping Centre (left), and Finlay MacDonald (right), one of the teachers, outside the centre in Glasgow (National Piping Centre/PA)

It will operate under the name “The National Piping Centre, incorporating The College of Piping”.

Colin MacNeill, the Chairman of The College of Piping said: “To merge the organisations at this time makes sense for many reasons, not least because this is the best thing to support the tuition and promotion of the history and performance of the bagpipes.

“This will be extremely positive for the bagpipe world.”

The College of Piping, based in Otago Street, Glasgow, was formed in 1944 by Seumas MacNeill and Thomas Pearston to pass on the art of the Great Highland Bagpipe to all who wanted to learn.

The National Piping Centre was founded in 1996 by Sir Brian and Lady Ivory and Sandy Grant Gordon.

Based in McPhater Street, Glasgow, its Royal Patron is Prince Charles.

Prince Charles chats with members of the National Youth Pipe Band outside the National Piping Centre in Glasgow (Danny Lawson/PA)

The combined organisation will operate from both premises with the merger due to be completed by May 1 this year.

Sir Brian Ivory, on behalf of the National Piping Centre, said: “We are delighted that the College of Piping has decided to join us.

“It has played a very important role in support of the piping tradition since 1944.”

The Board of Directors of The National Piping Centre will be joined by the present Chairman of The College of Piping.

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