The band were out doing a fundraising day on Saturday. I hadn't been looking forward to it, but in the event it turned out to be a really good day. We played four half-hour performances spread across the full day (the first just after 10; the last just before 3), ran a stall for raising funds, and made just over £1,000 from the day. Which is fantastic.
But the real highlight of the day came in the sheer size of the band. This was the first time our many learners had been out at a real event, and as a consequence we fielded 17 pipers and 8 drummers! (What's more, we were missing two of our stronger pipers and two of our key drummers. So if we field a full complement that 25 becomes 29 and should actually be better as a result.)
Before we started the day, I took some of those learners aside. At that point we were missing four of our main pipers (two arrived later). I pointed out to them that because of the numbers involved it wouldn't be possible for the stronger players to cover for them, so I really needed them to bring their 'A' game. It turns out that I needn't have bothered - apparently, they had had no notion of doing anything else, and so for the most part you probably wouldn't have known that we had a band mostly made up of kids on their first outing. I like to think the pipe major was quietly impressed.
And so that was that. For the past several months I've known we've had a lot of youngsters with potential coming through. Saturday was the point when that potential started to pay off for us. And if things continue in the same vein then today's youngsters with potential will, a little ways down the road, be a skilled piper (or drummer). And with five such pipers and a like number of drummers, that's a foundation on which we can build a band that can really go places.
And why not?