GUESTLING’S Buckswood School has employed the first full time bagpipe teacher in England.
Born in Ayrshire, 21 year old Stuart Cumming, was North West England Champion in 2009 and won the North West England solo piping championships this year.
He has played for Gordon Brown, Meryl Streep and Jedward and has even featured in a Bollywood film.
The school’s bagpipe tradition caught the attention of the Scottish national press, featuring in three of Scotland’s leading papers and the Metro.
Stuart recently led the School’s pipe band to victory at the Hastings Music Festival competition.
Mr Cumming applied for his ‘dream job’ after seeing it advertised on Twitter. He moved down to the school and is already proving a popular hit with the students.
The take up of the instrument has gone up by nearly double. The bagpipes play a large role in the school day and are played at break time, when the school dog Wisdom joins in and ‘sings along’ and also at assemblies and in the evenings for the borders.
Stuart is also taking the bagpipes round to local primary schools to give pupils a flavour of the different types of activities that go on at Buckswood.
So far the pupils at Beckley and Brede have been treated to a visit from Mr Cumming in his full tartan regalia and been given a demonstration of the bagpipes.
There will be a bagpipe academy too soon at St Mary in the Castle in Hastings, for anyone of any age to learn the bagpipes.
A spokesperson for Buckswood School said: “Stuart will visit many local schools and there is already one booked in almost every week until the end of the summer term – so if you hear a ‘drone’ and wonder what it is, it’s probably the Buckswood piper nearby.”