It's finally here. The band is headed to Scotland to compete at The World Pipe Band Championships. A baggage handlers' strike at Heathrow didn't impact the band too much, but arriving in Glasgow, several of us had a few vital pieces of luggage, ahem, delayed. There was no bass drum, with our slick new drum heads, one of the tenors along with integral parts of a uniform were M.I.A. We weren't the only ones, though. Caveat Emptor when flying Err Lingus.
A borrowed tenor got us through North Berwick where we finished 7th out of 8 bands. It was a good to get our feet wet before The Big Yin on the 17th. Perth was cancelled due to the swampy weather leading up to the games. REMINDER - Always verify the pick up point of your bus/coach during business hours.
The drums arrived in waves, with the final piece arriving on the day of our Buchanan Street concerts. The weather held out for us on that Tuesday and we played 3 times for appreciative crowds along Buchanan Street as part of Piping Live!
Award-winning piper, Glenn Brown helped out through the week getting us tuned and setting expectations. The bus arrived in a timely fashion and got us to Glasgow Green at 7am. Great parking spot and close to our qualifying circle. Tuning by the bus? Check! Tuning under the trees? Check! Approach to circle through 2 inches of water? Check!
All of the things we've talked about when great - good start, no mistakes and a good stop. 13th place out of 20 going 12, 13, 13, 12 in Piping, Piping, Drumming, Ensemble. The top 6 places qualify for the finals. The other bands were better, but not much. We played well! Congratulations to Sri Dasmesh for winning the whole enchilada.
Overall, Scotland was a great experience, new food, new friends, improvement as a band, When will we do it again.....