Last Monday, the Pipe Major let me know that the band had decided not to take a break after the AGM after all - we'll instead take a, much shorter, break in October. I can't say I was ecstatic at that news, but I said that was okay... but I wouldn't be able to make it to the practice yesterday. Which was fine.
Yesterday, when 7pm rolled around, I looked out the window and saw the members of the band all standing around the hall where we practice. Apparently, the other guy who has a key was also not able to make it and so they were locked out. So I quickly went up there and opened up, then returned home.
But not before talking to one of my learners, who had come to say goodbye. She's moving on to another band, making this two learners I've now lost in the last two weeks.
The reason for this departure is actually nothing to do with the piping side of the band at all. Unfortunately, though, she has a brother who was a learner drummer with the band, except that that was a largely theoretical proposition - apparently there have been difficulties getting someone to actually sit down with him to actually teach him to play. And so they've looked for another band where he can get taught, and that means my learner needs to leave too.
It's fair to say I'm a little dismayed at that, not least since this learner had just started to break into the band, having played at the march-past at the last two competitions, and been earmarked to play at the Armistice parade in November (and then every non-competition event thereafter).
It would be nice to think that losing all these people might cause the powers-that-be to consider whether they're maybe not going about things the right way - that's now a piper, two learner pipers, three drummers, and a learner drummer that we've lost in the last two months, so something's obviously not right. And especially when the fix for this issue is both easy to achieve and something we really should be doing anyway - we need to assign a dedicated person as the drumming tutor for our learners, with a named backup for those nights when that person isn't available.
Alas, I no longer believe there's any real hope of that. Introspection is not one of the band's strong suits.