Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band go to Tartan Week NY

by Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band in Benbecula

We did it
On 31st December 2017 we successfully raised £8,010 with 108 supporters in 56 days

Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band have the dream of piping up Sixth Avenue as part of the biggest ever 20th Anniversary Tartan Week in New York.

by Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band in Benbecula

Sgoil Lionacleit playing at EDF, Benbecula

SLPB at EDF, Benbecula 2017

Tha Còmhlan Pìoba Sgoil Lìonacleit a’cur aghaidh air an fhicheadamh [20mh] Seachdain Thartain ann an New York.

Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band to play at the 20th Anniversary Tartan Week in New York (2018).    

Endorsements from Scotland's top Traditional Musicians -

Julie Fowlis, Multi Award winning Gaelic Singer supports our cause:

"This is a wonderful opportunity for hard-working, talented young musicians to showcase the best of the Hebrides, and the best of Scotland, at Tartan Week in NYC. I know that this trip will be of huge benefit to the youngsters in this island pipe band. Please support them! Gur math a thèid leotha".  

Phil Cunningham (MBE), Scottish Folk Musician and Composer, gave us positive feedback on our Freestyle Competition performance 2017:

“Fantastic, a very musical performance. So musical, very lilting. ... That is one of the most musical performances of the day,  ... very exciting to listen to."

Beinn Lee Ceilidh Band supports our cause:

"Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band has been an integral part of the school community for years helping Uist’s strong piping tradition to grow and flourish. We’ve seen many of our friends go through the band and become great pipers. It has been great to see the band come on in recent years, achieving successes at competitions as a band and as soloists. The band really deserve the opportunity to go to New York and we wish them all the best in getting there!"

Seonaidh MacIntyre internationally renowned piper and member of top ceilidh band Trail West supports our cause:

"Attending the Tartan Day parade would be a fantastic experience and honour for the Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band. The band works very hard throughout the year and this trip will be a fantastic reward for all their time and commitment. Moreover, it would be a fantastic opportunity to showcase Uist's talent on an international stage. They deserve all the support they can get." 

Aonghas Phàdraig Caimbeul award-winning poet, novelist, journalist and actor supports our cause:

"Thoireabh taic dha na pìobairean òga seo. I can hardly think of a better thing for New York to experience than a visit from the wonderful Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band. They may have The Statue of Liberty and Carnegie Hall (and even Trump Tower!) but what could be better for The Big Apple than to see and hear these youngsters giving Fr. John MacMillan of Barra full energy all the way down 5th Avenue! Support them in their musical journey. Siuthadaibh!"

Gary Innes from Manran supports our cause:

"Congratulations that will be an amazing experience for the band. I hopefully might even see you there too!"

Our dream of Tartan Week, New York ...

We, Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band, have the dream of piping up Sixth Avenue as part of the biggest ever 20th Anniversary Tartan Week in New York on 7th April 2018. Our plan is to travel to the USA as youth ambassadors for Gaelic Culture, the Outer Hebrides and Scotland. This will be the first time any pipe band (youth or adult) has represented the Hebrides at Tartan week - a great achievement for a bunch of island kids!

Who we are ...

We come from a small island state high school in the Uists with around 300 pupils, geographically remote from many of the opportunities available to kids on the mainland. Travelling to New York to play as part of Tartan Week in April 2018, will be the chance of a life time for us. We will pull together as a team, set our sights and do our best to represent our Gaelic Culture and island heritage with pride.


SLPB at Barrathon 2016

Scottish Schools Pipe Band Freestyle Champions 2017 ...

Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band is made up of pipers and drummers aged between 12-17 years old from throughout the Uists, as far North as Berneray and to the Southern tip of Barra. For Tartan Week we will, also, be taking along local highland dancers. As a team, we are current winners of the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships Freestyle Competition 2017 and have been placed in the top six in our class at the World Pipe Band Championships for two years running. 


Annual Open Competition at Askernish Golf Course 2017

Our story ...

As Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band, we plan to travel from the Outer Hebrides to the ‘Big Apple’ New York to perform at the magnificent 20th Anniversary Tartan Week on Saturday April 7th 2018.

Our main objective while there will be to share our pipe music and dance, Hebridean and Gaelic culture with a huge international audience. We also plan to perform for specific Gaelic audiences and groups within New York. This trip will encourage a sense of self-worth and pride in our cultural roots and music. As ambassadors for our Gaelic culture we will highlight what our islands have to offer the world and potentially increase tourism to the Outer Hebrides. While in the city we will also get to explore and expand our knowledge of American history and culture including the story behind emigration from the Hebrides to the USA.

As the Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band is from a small state school in the Outer Hebrides, the opportunity for us to travel internationally with the school is rare and often too expensive. Some of us have never travelled abroad before, so imagine how exciting it will be to get on a plane to New York!

We have set our sights and ambitions on this amazing goal. We know that it will be hard work, we will have to practise and pull together as one to make this trip of a lifetime happen. Doing so will give us a great sense of ambition, team-work and achievement.

BBC Alba have commissioned a Trusadh documentary which will follow our story as we prepare, fundraise, embark on and experience this Tartan Week, New York adventure. The programme will be an opportunity for us to share this experience with a wider audience. 

So with your help, we believe we will march up Sixth Avenue with pride, showcasing our Gaelic and Hebridean culture to an international audience as part of the 20th Anniversary Tartan Week celebrations 2018.

Smuainich, creid, soirbhich!

Dream, believe, achieve!


Celebrating at the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships 2017

What will the funding go towards?

There are 24 members in the pipe band including pipers, drummers and dancers plus those teachers and adults that have to come along to keep an eye on us! Therefore, we need to raise £40,000 towards our flights, accommodation and other travel expenses. Some funding may be required for tuition, new equipment and uniforms so that we represent our islands to a very high standard.

Members of the band are already working hard to fundraise in the local community through various events e.g. bingos, fundraising concerts etc.  Each team member travelling will personally contribute £500 towards the costs.

The Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band would be very grateful if you are able to make a donation, however small or large, to help us realise our dream and get us on our journey to Tartan Week New York 2018.

Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band Calendars

Our Pipe Band 2018 Fundraising calendars are now available to buy from:

Lovats Shops in Carnan and Balivanich. 

CalMac Port Offices in Castlebay, Lochboisdale and Lochmaddy as well as on board CalMac ferries: MV Isle of Lewis, MV Lord of the Isle and MV Hebrides - we are very grateful for CalMac's assistance with this.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£50 or more

£50 Reward

A SLPB 2018 calendar.

£100 or more

£100 Reward

A signed picture of SLPB in New York to be gifted on our return.

£350 or more

£350 Reward

A signed picture of SLPB in New York and 3 track SLPB CD gifted on our return.

£1,000 or more

1 of 10 claimed

£1,000 Reward

“Skype a Pipe”, an exclusive live performance from the SLPB via online video.

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