Friday, May 27, 2011

The Scottish Pipe Band Championships 2011

Last Saturday was the Scottish Pipe Band Championships, held once again in Dumbarton.

Unfortunately, it was a miserable day. The day started very windy, then shortly after we'd played it started to rain. And then it just didn't stop raining. Indeed, so bad was it that they cancelled the march past and prizegiving, and instead just gave out the results to the pipe majors in the hospitality tent at the end.

Tuning up was not a pleasant experience, as we were placed right on the water's edge, and the wind really destroyed the sound. This really wasn't a good idea; it effectively made it impossible to get a good sound.

Still, we went on, and we played. We were third on, so had had an early morning. It worked for the best, though, since we avoided the rain.

At the Championships, we only have to play once, at the Grade 4A level, playing our MSR. This week, we felt the performance was much better, at least from the pipers. The breaks were clean, the tunes were nice and controlled, and the sound was as good as could be hoped. Sadly, the drummers were less pleased with their performance, but we put that down to them having a bad day.

Unfortunately, the results didn't go our way. We were 7th and 15th in piping. Worse, the two judges failed to give consistent feedback; their remarks were directly contradictory literally on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. The drummers came 14th, and the ensemble 12th.

Overall, the band was 13th, out of 23. This was a real shame, since we'd actually dared to hope for a prize, but definitely thought top-10 was reasonable.

Still, it was not to be. Next up is the Bathgate Highland Games, and then we have several weeks off before the British Championships at Annan...

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