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Bagpiping degree awarded on St Andrew’s day

Scotland’s first ever ‘Doctor of Bagpiping’ will be awarded his degree at the University of St Andrews today (St Andrew’s Day, 30 November 2005).

Simon McKerrall (25), who studied at Glasgow’s Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD), will receive a PhD in ethnomusicology.

The unique degree – the first of its kind – was pioneered by the RSAMD but validated by the University of St Andrews.

Mr McKerrall, who is now Head of Piping Studies at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow, hopes his doctorate will help promote piping as a legitimate musical form, ranking it alongside classical music in terms of academic respectability.

The degree offers the chance for students to concentrate on the total study of piping in all forms, while also developing their performance under some of the best players in the world. Students receive instruction individually and in small groups and workshop settings. The course includes substantial study of the history, repertoire, contexts, traditions, performance practice and organology of the bagpipes, producing expert performers that have a deep understanding of their own, and other, traditions. Additionally, all students take instruction in a second-study instrument.

Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information, please contact Claire Grainger, Press Officer – 01334 462530, 07730 415 015 or cg24@st-andrews.ac.uk; Ref: press releases/bagpiping View the latest University news at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk

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