Last night we had a particularly intense practice, in prep for the 8 March concert.
We went through all the combined band pieces (some several times) and thankfully nobody's chanter came in early (i.e. mine) and all cut-offs were good. So PM Jason (and also PM Sean, although he didn't say much) was happy.
So after about a hour and a half of piping, the Grade IV (not-so-hot pipers) got to take a break while the Grade III (hot pipers) went over their sets for the concert. I went over the new ending for the reel in our MSR on PC. Then we moved down to the auditorium and Grade IV went to the music room to go over OUR (Gr. IV) sets. My legs were beginning to tremble and my arms were aching from playing so long. After playing our MSR a few times over, Jack reminded me that we were going to challenge Sean in his decision not to have us play the Battle set and the 6/8s, so we spoke to Sean. Then Jack, Dave and I went through 2 more sets, together with Sean. Dave dropped out, not knowing both battle tunes. And I was rushing the tunes, probably due to how tired I was. Just wanted to get them over with. But Jack and I were asked to play again after practice for Jason so both PMs could make the final decision together.
We went back with the Grade III in the auditorium and went over our intro tunes to both halves of the concert. At this point, after 2 hours of piping, I'm starting to turn blue. When the band was dismissed, Sean yelled "Don't go anywhere!" and went to corner Jason. I was wondering if I was even going to make it down to my pipe case 20 feet away, much less home. So Sean and Jason, along with Jack and I, went back to the music room. I told Sean I didn't think I could play Blue Bonnets again as I had gotten up at 0200 and was very tired. He said some encouraging words and looked helpful (?), and he called out the Blue Bonnets set first. Grrrrrr . . . Jason listened while Jack and I and Sean played 100 Pipers and Blue Bonnets (6/8's). I did fine, trying very hard to keep the bag inflated and not to rush ahead. I must have succeeded for I got the go-ahead to play that set in the concert. Yay, me!
Then Jack left.
Sean called out the Battle set, which is 2 much shorter tunes, and easier, due to fewer grace notes. Now I had to pay attention and not lock my knees to stay upright, as well as not rushing and keeping the bag inflated and my arm squeezing and my fingers playing the right notes and timing.
I know you're all wondering how it went.
So I'll tell you.
My strike-in and my cut off were terrible, two things I forgot to think about. So I was gently cautioned to get that right. And both PM's smilingly told me I had played the set fine! Jason said it sounded like I had been working hard on those tunes. If everybody practiced that hard, we'd be an amazing band. Well, I had been working on them, but I think I only ran through them 4 times total. What would I play like if I practiced half an hour every day? Waah! The mind boggles in contemplation.
I should have iced my lip last night, as today it is sore and swollen. And my arms and legs are wobbly and my stomach is queasy and my head hurts. I think I over-did it.
But I am happy because I succeeded in my challenge.Yay, me!