Published 25 July 2022

Alexandria girls Rowan Murdoch and Beth Turner are counting on a strong home support to inspire them to success when the Scottish Pipe Band Championships gets underway in Dumbarton.

Rowan, 19, and Beth, 15, are used to competing all over the country but it is their homecoming gig – one of the biggest free pipe band competitions in the world – that is the highlight.

The girls are among thousands of competitors preparing to wow the crowds at Levengrove Park this Saturday, 30 July.

As one of the biggest free pipe band competitions in the world, the Championships brings more than 100 bands and 25,000 visitors to the area for a day of traditional Scottish music and Highland Dancing. And with countless family members and friends among the spectators cheering them on, the girls are determined to give them a good show.

Rowan, who will compete in the Drum Majors competition for Johnstone Pipe Band, said: “With such a busy summer schedule travelling almost every week, there’s something extra special about performing in front of a home crowd.

“Knowing that you have lots of friends and family there watching definitely makes me want to give the best performance I can. I definitely feed off the energy from their support.”

Beth, a pupil at Vale of Leven Academy, will also be competing as a Drum Major in the Juvenile grade for Uddingston Pipe Band.

Beth said: “The Scottish Championships is one of the favourites among the bands who compete on the circuit because the setting at Levengrove Park is so picturesque, but it’s especially important to me. I’m very excited to perform in front of a home crowd and I’ll be doing my best to make them proud.”

Provost Douglas McAllister said: “We are proud and honoured to again be hosting the Scottish Pipe Band Championships in West Dunbartonshire.

“This celebration of tradition is always a highlight of the summer for the community and we love to see people flock to Levengrove Park to enjoy the sound of the pipes and the sight of bands in their traditional Highland dress. It’s a wonderful occasion in a very special setting below Dumbarton Rock.”

Ian Embelton, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, added: “Year after year this has been a fantastic event and it’s always popular with competitors and spectators. Plans are going well and I’m looking forward to welcoming everyone later this month.”

The annual competition brings significant financial benefit to the West Dunbartonshire economy, with visitors spending at the event and in local shops, restaurants, bars, guest houses and hotels.

There is a pay and park facility at the venue but, due to the high volume of people expected at the event, visitors are encouraged to use public transport. Dalreoch railway station and buses into Dumbarton High Street are both within easy walking distance of the park.

Free car parking is also available at the West Dunbartonshire Council offices at Church Street, G82 1QL.