Monday, September 12, 2016

Competition Season 2016 Wash-up

Despite my rather downbeat last post, I have mostly enjoyed this competition season. For the most part, the days involved have been fairly enjoyable, with only the first and the last being really problematic.

In terms of results, things have been very mixed but overall quite disappointing: on the one hand, we had our best performance at a Championship for years, coming 7th at Forres. On the other hand, failing to qualify at the British Championships, the Worlds and, especially, at the Scottish Championships was hard to take.

The minors have also been a mixed bag, with a number of prizes won in the middle of the season, but with a poor start and a poor finish.

More than anything, I've felt that this season has just been too long. Normally, we've attended the World Championships and then one more event, and then we're done. (Indeed, in previous years, we've simply stopped after the last Championship.) This year, we've carried on for a full month after the Worlds, attending two competitions (and would have done a third, had it not been cancelled). But the motivation basically disappeared after the Worlds; I would much rather have simply stopped.

What has been more unfortunate, though, is the number of people we've lost over the course of the year: following the first competition we lost one of our more experienced pipers (a shame, but he had to go), then later due to a falling out we lost another piper, and then one of our best drummers. And now two more drummers are leaving. And I think it's likely that more will follow. That kind of slow bleed of talent makes it incredibly hard to actually get anywhere, but I don't really see how we can stop it.

On the other hand, this may well be best filed under "not my problem". Because if we ever get moved, there will be a decision to make about whether to carry on with the band or not, and right now that's looking like a no-brainer. And in either case, I'm very strongly considering opting out of the buses for any competitions next year... in which case, I have to question why I'm paying all that money for buses I don't feel I can use - maybe I should then just opt out of the competitions altogether?


The band has its AGM on Thursday, after which we're taking a full month off. After which I might feel differently, one way or the other.

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