Pupils from a Scottish school helped Team Europe on their way to victory in the Solheim Cup.
Children from Morrison’s Academy played a starring role in Solheim Cup 2019 opening ceremony at Gleneagles, Scotland. Over 80 pupils, the youngest being eight years old, entertained the players and guests at this global golfing event.
The pipe band and choir both took centre stage. The 33 strong band, the youngest member being 11-years-old, performed five songs. The choir, consisting of 52 pupils, delighted the local and international audience with four songs, both modern and traditional.
In July, Ailise, a 13-year-old Morrison’s Academy pupil, was filmed playing the bagpipes in Glen Turret. This footage was played whilst Scottish Poet Laureate Jackie Kay MBE delivered a poem she had written for the Solheim Cup 2019. Pipers, including Ailise Milroy andMelissa McDonald, were also involved in the finale of the ceremony, leading the teams off the stage and through the audience to the awaiting coaches.
The pipe band and choir regularly perform across Scotland and further afield. However, the Solheim Cup was by far the pupils biggest show to date.
The pupils were very enthusiastic about the event and held their nerve.
Gareth Warren, rector of Morrison’s Academy, was delighted that the pupils had been given this fantastic opportunity and he encouraged them to enjoy the moment after the months of hard work and dedication. Perthshire was on the world stage and Morrison’s Academy was part of it.
Mairi Leggatt, director of music, said: ‘It was a tremendous experience for our young musicians. They enjoyed every moment of their time on stage.’
Scott Murray, the pipe band leader, added: ‘We were very proud. Some of the pupils are very young and they have worked so hard.’
Morrison’s Academy is a vibrant co-educational independent day school located in Crieff. Since 1860, pupils at Morrison’s Academy have benefited from a rich choice of academic, artistic and sporting experiences.
The Morrison’s Academy Pipe Band was formed in 1921 and is a very popular co-curricular activity. One in seven pupils, from age eight take tuition in a pipe band instrument. The band regularly performs in Scotland and also overseas.
In recent years the band has played in Hong Kong, New York, leading the 2014 Tartan Day Parade, Oman, Dublin, playing at the British Embassy in 2018 and most recently Malaysia.
The Morrison’s Academy Solheim Cup choir of over 50 young musicians has been drawn from the five choirs of Morrison’s Academy with their ages ranging from 8 to 18 years. Members of the choirs perform regularly in concerts, musicals and charity events in and around Perthshire with school groups.
Members of the choir also perform at the Edinburgh International Festival, with the National Girls’ Choir of Scotland and with the National Boys’ Choir of Scotland, the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland, the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, Edinburgh Youth Orchestra, Perth Youth Orchestra and the Gordon Duncan Experience.
Zoe Dalakas, aged 11, said: ‘I’ve sung in a choir but I’ve never done anything like this before.’
Emily Warren, aged 8, agreed: ‘It was one of those things where you were quite nervous and then when you got into it, it was easy.’
Ailise Milroy, piper aged 13, said: ‘It was great fun and so exciting. I have never been involved with anything like this before. Looking back it’s such an achievement and all the hard work has paid off.’
Melissa McDonald, piper, concluded: ‘It’s an honour to be part of such a prestigious event. It is always a privilege working with Mr Murray and Mr Brown – you just know that with their input it will be amazing.’
In 2020 the band will be returning to Dublin to participate in the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade. Members of the band participate most years in the Massed Scottish Schools ‘Beating Retreat’ at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Morrison’s Academy was involved in four sets during the Solheim Cup 2019 opening ceremony.
Morrison’s Academy has five choirs, four orchestras, a jazz band, a Celtic Fusion group – Feoras- and many Chamber Music groups.
Visit www.morrisonsacademy.org for more details on the school.