Media Release: Giffnock School wins national music competition

TALENTED pupils at St Ninian’s High School in Giffnock are making a song and a dance after winning a nationwide musical competition.

The students scooped top place in the ScottishPower Powerful Performance contest after outperforming schools across the country and won the opportunity to play at one of the biggest folk, roots and traditional music festivals in the world.

The St Ninian’s High School Ceilidh Band will perform at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 29th January 2010, as part of the final Education Concert of the festival, as well as the highly competitive Danny Kyle Open Stage competition, which the group will automatically be entered into.

The energy giant has been sponsoring Celtic Connections since 2007 and ScottishPower group sponsorships manager, Heather McDonald, who was on the judging panel, was delighted to announce the winner.

She said:

“We’d like to congratulate St Ninian’s High School Ceilidh Band for its fantastic version of the High Road to Linton. We received an amazing range of entries and it was difficult to narrow the seven finalists down to one.

“What a fantastic start to the New Year for the pupils and teachers and we hope they enjoy performing at the festival later this month.

“ScottishPower is proud to support the arts in Scotland. It believes that the arts should be accessible to all and competitions such as the ScottishPower Powerful Performance are the perfect example of how Scottish traditional music is still very much a part of our heritage and culture.

“The quality of the entries we received as part of this competition underlines this and we’d like to thank each and every school for entering.”

The competition invited Scottish S1 – S6 youngsters to submit a short recording of traditional music using instruments, vocals, or a mixture of both, for the prize of performing at the internationally renowned music event, Celtic Connections.

Tom Dalzell, Education & Outreach manager at Celtic Connections, who was also part of the judging panel, said:

“Considering that this was the inaugural year of the Powerful Performance schools competition, all the judges were pleasantly surprised by the high standards of all the schools who submitted recordings.

“The St Ninian’s High School Ceilidh Band was a worthy winner, demonstrating to the judges great musicality and musicianship.

“I’m looking forward to hearing the band play at our final 2010 Celtic Connections school concert in January.”

The St Ninian’s High School Ceilidh Band has been together since the start of 2003 and includes 14 pupils from S1 to S6 – Joseph Armstrong, Mark Carr, Stephanie Hands, Eilidh Deany, Siobhan McArdle, Clare Friel, Jennifer Cuffe, Thomas Harty, Sophia Amini, Mohsen Amini, Beth Marletta, Ewan Forsyth, Cheryl Turner and John LaCombre.

John Docherty, head teacher at St Ninian’s High School, said:

“I’m very proud of our talented, young, traditional musicians who’ve shown just what they can do against stiff opposition. I know that they’ll benefit enormously from their very valuable Celtic Connections experience and that what they learn there will be in close harmony with their musical education here at St Ninian’s.”

Celtic Connections brings artists from around the globe to perform in Glasgow each January and headline acts for the 2010 festival include The Chieftains with Ry Cooder, Natalie Merchant and Bobby McFerrin.

ScottishPower is once again sponsoring the event in 2010, which takes place between 14th and 31st January.

Donald Shaw, Celtic Connections artistic director, said:

“We’re delighted to be working with ScottishPower to offer the St Ninian’s High School Ceilidh Band the opportunity to perform at Celtic Connections.

“To play on the main festival stage in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall is an incredible achievement, and the Danny Kyle Open Stage is a very prestigious competition.

“I hope they have a great time at Celtic Connections, and we’re very much looking forward to welcoming them to the festival.”


Issued by The BIG Partnership on behalf of ScottishPower.

For more information please contact:

Kate McCheyne on 0141 333 9585 / 07766 076 469 or email


Eva Swanson on 0141 333 9585 / 07876 021 367or email

Notes to Editors:

  • ScottishPower became Principal Sponsor of Celtic Connections in 2007. Through the sponsorship, the company encourages its staff and the communities it operates within to experience and enjoy the arts.
  • ScottishPower’s partnerships reflect the company’s belief in the importance of enabling culture to be accessible for all.
  • Celtic Connections has been brightening up the Scottish winter for 16 years. Held annually in Glasgow over 18 days in January, the festival features performances by an impressive array of international artists in venues across the city.
  • Thousands of people from all over the UK and beyond flock to Glasgow to enjoy the best in folk and traditional music, alongside pop, rock, jazz, world and classical.
  • Celtic Connections also has an extensive education programme which sees more than 15,000 schoolchildren enjoy dedicated concerts during the festival.
  • For background on ScottishPower log onto and more details about Celtic Connections, log on to

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Contact: Kate McCheyne
Phone: 0141 333 9585