Yesterday was the second day of the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, and the final Championship of the 2016 season. As always, it was an early start, as the organisers require all the buses to be in the park by 8am, which meant a 7am pick-up to be sure.
The journey to the event was fine, the tune-up was fine, everything was fine up until the actual performance. And then the performance just went to pieces. I guess nerves got the better of some of our younger members or something, but apparently the start was just bad (I didn't hear that), the play was wavering (a common issue we've faced all year), then at one point the pipers and drummers moved out of sync (I heard that)... and then, at the end, one of our pipers simply forgot to stop.
So that was fairly depressing. There then followed several hours of waiting for confirmation that we hadn't qualified, followed by more hours of waiting for the march-past. That actually wasn't too bad, since Glasgow has a fairly decent town centre, so LC and I went for lunch followed by some shopping, but probably wouldn't have been my preferred way to spend the afternoon.
The end of the day was rather a hassle though - there was some doubt over whether we'd do the march past at all (we did), followed by a lot of waiting around, followed by more waiting for everyone to get back to the bus, followed by an unconfortable journey home. Still, at least we didn't have a major falling out, which I had feared.
In the qualifier we came 12th out of 22 (six qualified), being 8th and 16th for piping, 11th for drumming, and 13th for ensemble. All in all, a disappointing result. (Our drum major also competed, but didn't do terribly well.)
The upshot of this is that next year we'll be in Grade 4B again. Still, this does have the advantage that our younger members now have a year more experience, which should stand them in good stead for next year. Maybe.
We now have, in theory, three contests to go: Crieff on the 27th, Peebles on the 3rd, and Innerleithen on the 10th. However, there's some doubt about that - there has been talk of cancelling Crieff, while we seem to have been missed from the draw for Innerleithen entirely. So it's possible we may have as few as one more competition to go. To be honest, I wouldn't mind that at all, as I tend to view the last Championship as the 'real' end of the season, and the point at which I'd prefer just to put it in the past and move on.