Search for composer with piping X factor

Search for young composer with the piping x factor begins in Scotland.
Search for young composer with the piping x factor begins in Scotland.

A competition to find Scotland’s next superstar young composer for our national instrument has launched today - Piping Hit 2018.

Youngsters across Scotland are being asked whether they think they have the X factor and to compose a hit tune suitable for the great Highland bagpipe.

The competition is open to every school pupil in Scotland. Music charity organisers, the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT), want to showcase some of Scotland’s young musical talent whilst also helping to create some great new Scottish tunes.

Entrants must make a recording of the tune played on the pipes, but composers don’t have to be able to play the pipes themselves. The tune must be an original piece of work and can be as traditional as ‘Scotland the Brave’ or more contemporary.

Kenny Forsyth, chair of the judging panel and SSPDT trustee, said: “We have some fantastic young musical talent in Scotland and we are looking forward to hearing what they compose. The pipes are used in so many different types of music now and we want to encourage all pupils to get involved, whether they play the pipes or not. The tune doesn’t have to be what is considered a typical traditional Scottish melody, it could be as modern as Ed Sheeran or Katy Perry – it’s up to the composer! The judges will be looking out for tunes that have the power to connect with an audience.”

“The winner of Piping Hit 2018 will receive £250 as well as £1,000 for their school’s music department. The winning tune will also be performed at the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships in March 2018 – the world’s largest competition of its type.”

Lorne McDougall, piper, composer and one of the judging panel, added: “I started playing the pipes when I was at school and I am very lucky that it is now my fulltime career. I’ve written and performed music for TV and film including ‘Doctor Who’, ‘Brave’ and ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ and it all started with getting involved with piping when I was at school!”

The deadline for entries is the January 19, 2018, and full competition rules and entry details can be found on