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Student spotlight: Medical Sciences student and champion piper Harris MacLennan

Medical Sciences student Harris MacLennan returns to his second year at the University of Edinburgh fresh from winning the Grade 1 World Pipe Band Championships 2018 with pipe band Field Marshal Montgomery.

Hands of pipers from the Field Marshal Montgomery pipe band
Pipers from the Field Marshal Montgomery pipe band

What do you play?

The bagpipes.

Tell us about your win; how are you feeling?

Absolutely thrilled! It makes all the dedication completely worth it.

Who were you up against?

There were 22 bands in the Grade 1 contest this year, split over two heats. The top 6 bands from each heat then progressed to the final.

A snare drum from the Field Marshal Montgomery pipe band
A snare drummer from the Field Marshal Montgomery pipe band

How young were you when you started playing?

8 years old.

What’s the biggest challenge to maintaining a high standard?

The biggest challange to maintaining a top standard is balancing your academic work. Practicing every day, as well as travelling to and from rehearsals, takes away considerable revision time. Keeping a good routine to ensure success in both academic work and performing is vital.

What's your advice for young players?

If you have a goal and you set your mind to it, it’s always possible to achieve. There will be plenty hurdles to jump, but never give up, focus on the end result.

Related Links

Watch Field Marshal Montgomery band’s winning medley performance on the BBC