Monday, August 03, 2015

Bridge of Allan Highland Games 2015

This was a bit of an odd one. Once again, I had something on in the evening, so I had to go to the event, play, and then come home, which makes for a weird event - it seems that no sooner do I get there than I'm heading home again. Still, it's a bit closer to home than Dumbarton, so it seemed less wasteful than to drive for an hour each way for the sake of 5 minutes playing.

It was a decent day, and we had a good-sized band for the event: twelve pipers, several snare drummers (depending on the contest), two tenors, and a bass. We played twice, once in the Grade 4 contest, and then again in the Grade 4MSR (4A).

What was odd about this one, though, was that the organisers had elected to start the Grade 4 contest in Ring 2 at 10am (we were scheduled to play 6th) and the Grade 4MSR in Ring 1 at 10:30 (we were scheduled to play 7th). This meant that the timings were always going to be tight, since many of the same bands were playing the two contests and so there wasn't much time between them.

But odder still was to come while we were tuned up and ready to go on for our first performance. One of the organisers came up and asked if we were about ready to go on. We indicated that we were, at which point he indicated that there was a band currently on, the next band had dropped out, and so we would be next... except that he gestured towards Ring 1, the Grade 4MSR, rather than to the ring we were expecting to go on to.

(The reason for this was that the Grade 4 contest was running behind. They'd had some late entries, and the rule is that if you enter on the day then you have to play first. Conversely, the Grade 4MSR was running fast, because they'd had some bands drop out.)

In the event, this meant that we went and played out Grade 4 tunes, then we came off and retuned the drones, and then we immediately went on and played Grade 4MSR. Which had a good side, in that we didn't have any hanging about, but a bad side in that we got no chance to practice the MSR tunes before going on. But it did mean I got finished by 11:10, and got home before 12, which was nice.

I didn't find out the full results until this morning. In the Grade 4 contest we came 17th on a piping preference - if there's a tie between two bands, the one with the better piping score gets the nod. More specifically, we came 15th in piping and 20th in drumming, out of 22 bands. Which wasn't ideal, but wasn't too terrible. In the Grade 4MSR contest we came 4th out of 5 bands, scoring 4th in piping and 5th in drumming. An okay result, and another 'place', but not what might have been hoped.

We now have three competitions remaining in the season: North Berwick next week, the Worlds the week after, and Edinburgh on the 22nd. And then we're done. Huzzah!

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