Friday, August 19, 2011

European Pipe Band Championships 2011

The band's annual trip to Ireland saw us leaving on the Friday at about 5pm. Following a delay on the ferry and the inevitable bout of being lost in Belfast, we finally reached the hotel around 1 am. Fortunately, we weren't playing until late in the afternoon, so that wasn't a problem.

The hotel itself was fine, and the breakfast was really quite nice. It turns out that the Premier Inn actually is a pretty decent place to stay, in Belfast at least.

The Saturday was hot and sunny, something of a change for this season. It was a fairly enjoyable day all around, until the time came to actually get ready to play. Unfortunately, this was badly rushed, as the Pipe Major was playing with another band just before, and they were a bit delayed. Moreover, there were several problems with pipes that should have been resolved earlier but which needed attention.

Anyway, we did manage to get ready, and went on and played. The first three tunes were excellent; the best we had played them. Unfortunately, the last tune was pretty dire, and cost us badly.

We were one of the last bands to perform, and so the prize giving followed pretty soon thereafter. Sadly, we knew we weren't actually in with a realistic chance at a prize, but hope springs eternal. In the end, we scored 8th and 17th for piping, 15th for drumming, 6th for ensemble, and 11th overall. A poor showing, but actually better than the previous two majors of the year.

The rest of the night was spent resting, and then the journey home the next day was largely uneventuful, barring one bout of travel sickness.

Onward to the Worlds!

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