Monday, August 01, 2016

The Scottish Pipe Band Championships 2016

Saturday saw the band attend our penultimate Major Championship of the year, this time in Dumbarton for the Scottish Championships. We went in high hopes of building on what we'd managed at Forres, and even of coming away with a prize.

The journey to the competition was fine, and the tune-up went well. Indeed, it went so well that the pipes were all ready in really good time and we were able to take a few minutes break. We therefore went on nice and relaxed and prepared. And we played well, giving our best performance of the year, and were well confident that we must surely have qualified - after all, we did so at Forres and we'd just played better than then, so...

Yeah, you know what's coming next.

We came eighth out of fifteen in our qualifying heat (six went through), being 7th and 7th for piping, 5th for drumming, and 7th for ensemble. The critique sheets gave no real indication of where the problems lay - it seemed that the judges liked out performance; they just liked some others more.

That made for a very long day, as we had to wait around in solidarity with our drum major, who didn't find out her result until later. (Unsurprisingly, she didn't win a prize - I say 'unsurprisingly' because she's up against kids who are considerably older and who have been doing this for years.)

And then home, and to bed.

It was actually a pretty good day, all things considered. But the result was, once again, just depressing. I really felt we'd done enough to at least qualify.

We'll have to see how things go at the World Championships. Unfortunately, that one has three qualifying heats of twenty bands each, with four going forward to the final, so it's a tough ask at the best of times. Alas, I don't fancy our chances, based on sheer probabilities if nothing else. And if we don't qualify, that makes for a really disappointing season - so much work, basically for nothing.

#40: "Doctor Who: Engines of War", by George Mann

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