Here at Granton Youth – We love sharing the success’s and stories of our young people, and knowing that one of them was going to perform in The Tartan Day Parade in New York City, USA. We asked the to write us a little blog post about the trip! We’re very proud of Sarah-Louise and her growth as a person and musician since she started attending our Youth Clubs and Mixtape Music Group!

For more information, or if you are interested in joining Pulse of the Place, please look them up on their Facebook page at Pulse of the Place | Facebook

From GY to the Big Apple – By Sarah-Louise  


My name is Sarah-Louise and I’m a 13-year-old from Granton. I am in S2 at Broughton High School, and I have been part of Granton Youth for 3 years – since I started high school. I have just come back from one of the best trips of my life with my amazing Samba group Pulse of the Place  

I first started with Pulse last April all thanks to Granton Youth who introduced me to this drumming based music group. Pulse of the place is a youth samba band – Samba being a Brazilian style of music/drumming – where we work on playing together and making a lot of noise, we also do gigs like festivals and parades. 

After summer last year I was asked by Pulse of the Place if I wanted to go with them to New York to perform with them at The Tartan Day Parade – the Parade plays an integral role in marking National Tartan Day (April 6),  and is free to all those who participate and represents the highlight of a week-long series of Scottish-themed festivities designated as “NYC Tartan Week”. This includes performances from over 3,000 bagpipers, Highland dancers, clan organizations, Scottish dog breeds, and more, proudly marching up Sixth Avenue amongst tens of thousands of spectators in person and online. 

My first reaction? I was so excited! – but also scared as this would be my first time going abroad. Once my place on the trip was confirmed I felt happy. Then more so buzzing at the possibility I might see the building from the TV Show ‘Friends’ as it’s my favourite!  

The week before was one of the slowest weeks of my life. I just wanted it to fly by, the trip was all I could talk about and I even started literally counting down the days. I just couldn’t wait but was a little nervous as I was going abroad without family. 

The flight was only okay – the second flight was delayed by 3 hours on top of the 7 hours flying so we were on one plane for 10 hours…but luckily the flights themselves were calm with no turbulence!  

New York itself was one of the coolest places ever. We even went to see a Broadway show called ‘Bob Fosses DANCIN’ which was really cool. We took in a visit to central park, got to go to shops like Dunkin Donuts, Target and had great fast food such as Wendys. A food highlight being that we went to a really cool diner and their food was amazing.

We saw the FRIENDS building, which felt like a landmark as I’m a big fan(see below)

We then went on the ferry to see the statue of liberty and she’s pretty awesome. Times square is great, if a little too busy!  

The parade itself was so cool, the drums were massive and heavy but I feel like we played really well as a group. The other acts were so amazing, and I got a smile and thumbs up from the Grand Marshall Gail Porter which really made my day! it was such an honour to be in this parade and represent Scotland on an international level.

Now that I’m home I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on this trip and it has been one of the best trips of my life! I loved it so much just being chosen to go on the trip felt like a real privilege. I loved every second of it and now my little sister wants to join samba as well which is very exciting because I feel like I’ve inspired her to want to join!