My sister drove me to Sanquhar on 28th of March, for which I am most grateful and mostly recovered. The ADG indoors had rolled around again and was to be our first competition of 2015. We had 3 soloists playing in the piping, side drumming and tenor drumming competitions this year and all did very well although it will have to wait until next year for placings. These guys went out there and played against pipers and drummers with years more experience and got some very complimentary remarks on their “crit” sheets.
The Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Solo and Full Band Indoor Competition is held in Sanquhar Academy, Sanquhar, Dumfries and Galloway at the tail end of March. Last year we were placed 5th, had a great time listening to the other bands and getting school dinners and sunburn. This year I had high hopes of playing but at first tune up I was finding it hard to blow anything resembling a tone as my head was elsewhere and decided to become band photographer and drone tuner. I had my reasons and a few weemin were giving me a hard time for not being beside my wife’s hospital bed holding her hand but I’m no surgeon and would only have gotten in the way. Better off distracted.
Pipey enquired of Wendy if there “weren’t any adults” in the tenor section as it was only her and Lucylou playing and Neil chased Big Stewart and his drummers out of the room while the alchemy of making individual bagpipes into a band began. We had a lot of young pipers playing this year, a testimony to the hard work that the tutors are putting in, and there were a few nervous honks during the tune up but after everything had been tweaked, hemped and shouted at the majesty of the pipes emerged. Just in time for the drummers to return, a quick practice and off to the final tuning room where soothing words were spoken and I ran about fine tuning already finely tuned drones.
The march in is a strange affair with everyone in single file; six pipers, the drum corps, six pipers. Next year we should enter doing the Conga with Drums N’ Roses playing Poker Face. The band played in Grade 4 and played up in Grade 3 where we went through the same rigmarole but with less stress, there was talk of playing the MSR set but too many pipers bottled it. I settled in to listen to some of the other competitors but my chauffeur came and badgered me and we left before the results. Boo.
The practice continues apace as we now have a taste for indoor events and the next one is the inaugural GWOS Indoor Full Band and Solo Drumming at Coatbridge on the 25th. Buckfast in the hipflask anyone?