NYPBS is looking for new music composers: application deadline May 8

Emerging Composers is a fantastic professional development opportunity offering paid commissions to emerging composers creating exciting repertoire from new perspectives for Pipe Band.

Now in our second year of the program, emerging composers: 20 years young is a fantastic paid opportunity to write for Scotland’s only concert Pipe Band. We are calling on emerging composers aged 18-25 (or up to 30 if you identify as disabled) from within and outside the bagpipe community to create a new work celebrating 20 years of National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland.


  • We especially welcome applications from people of color, people with disabilities, women, and the LBGTQ+ community.
  • Each composer will receive a £2,000 scholarship and support from NYPBS staff and top industry mentors.
  • Closing date extended May 8. We will write to applicants with the outcome of the selection process by May 16.

More information:

We have five places available in total. Two places are intended for experienced Piping artists and/or former NYPBS program artists. The other three locations are for groups currently underrepresented within Piping, including people of color, people with disabilities, women, and the LBGTQ+ community.

The 5 contestants will collaborate throughout the project, supporting each other as writers alongside mentors and staff, and all will perform to form the project’s house band.

Each recipient should:

  • attend and actively participate in 4 creative weekends;
  • participate in disability awareness training;
  • give a short informal presentation about writing for their instrument/musical experience to the band;
  • agree a tailor-made training plan covering the entire duration with the project manager;
  • keep a kind of reflective journal and provide updates to help promote the project and their own work;
  • work on at least 2 drafts until completion of a 3-5 minute piece celebrating the NYPBS 20th anniversary;
  • participate in the workshop, recording and performance of new works;
  • play Piping Live! Festival in August 2022;
  • conduct 2 full-scale rehearsals of their play with one of the NYPBS national bands;
  • participate in an evaluation session at the end of the project.

The project will run from May 2022 to April 2023 with activity divided into two phases.

First phase

The training and support will be structured into four training weekend events, delivered from May 2022 to August 2022, where our five successful candidates will work together alongside mentors for their first drafts.

Each composer will also be expected to perform as part of the house orchestra in a workshop on each’s pieces and a live performance at Piping Live!

Each composer will have to attend the four weekends which are scheduled as follows:

  • Training Weekend 1: May 14 – 15
  • Training Weekend 2: June 11-12
  • Training Weekend 3: June 25-26
  • Training Weekend 4: July 2-3

The first drafts of each piece will be performed at this year’s Piping Live festival in August with a bespoke band of professional musicians alongside our emerging composers and a project group of NYPBS players!

Phase two

From September 2022 to February 2023, each emerging composer will have the chance to gain experience conducting large-scale rehearsals of their work, with support from the NYPBS Director. One of our national bands will perform a final version of each piece at our year-end concert on April 2, 2023.

One of our composers from last year’s program, Kim MacLennan shares her thoughts on her experience:

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