It's funny how opportunities work. Just as I was carefully considering my position within the band, a possible vision of the future opens up.
As you know, since August I've been helping out teaching the youngsters in the band, largely due to our inheriting more learner pipers than we really know what to do with. In fact, we have five learners who all started at the same time and who are all now just, or just about, starting on the bagpipes (as opposed to the practice chanter).
So, I had been contemplating the question of just how we were going to fit these extra five pipers into our pipe corps. It struck me that next year, or perhaps the year after, we'd have more pipers than we know what to do with.
However, last night I had a chat with our pipe major, and he mentioned that five pipers, plus an adult pipe major, is the makings of a Novice Juvenile pipe corps. Add two snare drummers and a bass drummer (which, at the moment, we don't have), and you've got a band.
So then, I think my best plan may be as follows:
- See out the rest of this season, while continuing to teach the youngsters.
- Try to recuit some new drummers for the band, specifically learner drummers. (Granted, that's probably not me, but it's a prerequisite for the next step.)
- Revive the "Development Band", this time at the Novice Juvenile grade. In particular, I'll nominate myself for the role of Pipe Major.
- Retire from competition with the 'main' band. The registration can remain active, and I'll stay current on the tunes just in case, but I'll focus on working with the Development Band instead.
I think that sounds like a plan. The reason the Development Band failed last time was that the then Pipe Major moved on to bigger and better things (and rightly so), which I can ensure doesn't happen again. Taking this step allows me to gracefully step out of the stresses associated with competition with the 'main' band, while simultaneously allowing me to focus more of my attention on building the future of the band (which I prefer more anyway).
All in all, it sounds like a plan. Now, if we can just find some drummers...