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Piping hot tune supports bid for air ambulance; Campaign: Composer backing helicopter in music.

Byline: STEPHEN WALSH

A north-east piper has penned a soaring tune to muster support for a new Aberdeen air ambulance.

Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance committed to making the Granite City its base for a second helicopter last November - after a campaign supported by The Press and Journal.

The charity-funded emergency air ambulance service has been scrambled more than 2,070 times since launching in 2013.

This year alone, its crew - based at Perth Airport - has responded to hundreds of emergencies.

Now Robert Gordon College's piping instructor has composed a tune, Angels of the Glens, in tribute to SCAA's work.

Ross McNaughton, who served as an NCO in the Black Watch regiment, said: "I've seen first-hand the life-saving role of helicopters in my military and offshore careers.

"I know how the precious minutes gained by helicopter transfer and expert paramedic care can make the difference between life and death.

"I've been a big supporter of SCAA since the service launched in 2013 and wanted to do something special for them; something using my skills to honour theirs."

The song premiered at SCAA HQ on the charity's sixth birthday to an enthusiastic audience that included Scotland's Lord High Commissioner, the Duke of Buccleuch.

The duke requested a copy of the composition as an important addition to his personal musical archive.

Mr McNaughton, 40, from Pitlochry, has played since he was six and is pipe major with the Vale of Atholl Grade 4 development Pipe Band and piper with The Atholl Highlanders.

He said he was "immensely proud" of the tune, adding: "A march is a rallying call to supporters to fall in and follow and I hope people will get behind SCAA as it continues to help those most in need," he said.

"If you're lying ill or injured in one of our inaccessible glens then a team such as SCAA appears, literally, like Angels of the Glens."

Calling the tune "an incredibly thoughtful gift" SCAA chairman John Bullough said: "Ross has been a supporter since day one and he proudly wears a black SCAA wristband in recognition of donating over PS1,000 of his own money to the charity in our first year."

CAPTION(S):

PROUD: Piper Ross McNaughton penned Angels of the Glens in honour of the SCAA - with him are SCAA crew, from left, paramedic Matt Allen, senior pilot captain Russell Myles and lead paramedic John Pritchard

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Publication:The Press and Journal (Aberdeen,Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 31, 2019
Words:398
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