We had our first full band practice since March, due to our decrease of drummers, of which there appeared to be no lack last night. We had 14 pipers, and 3 or 4 didn't show up for one reason or another. We also had 3 or 4 snares, depending on if you counted Teagan who threw a skateboard at his nose and had a killer headache as a result and was there, in the car, but couldn't make himself play til second half; 3 tenors; and a bass or two, depending on if you counted Dennis who didn't actually play, but directed Matt's playing. We made a Big Noise. Hopefully the motorcycle cop, who was hiding 'round the corner west, toward the park, and pulling people over every 10 minutes, appreciated pipe music, and especially the Mill Set ad nauseatum.
We had a little trouble making the Big Noise concurrently, and some people messed up due to nerves or squeaking. I mastered my squeak about halfway through, so that when Jason asked me with a look had I squoken? I was able to shake my head. (Yessssss!) Lots of other people appeared to have squeaking issues, including Dave, Ryan, Karen and . . . Tyler (hah!) (no, that was mean of me; besides, his squeak appeared to be a mecahnical issue rather than operator error (of course!)).
The fun part came when we tried to get that full band to march into the circle. Our first geometrical attempts were more amoebas than circles, and it was finally decided that the drummers should be a growth on the piper's circle, rather than a part of said circle. I thought it looked rather odd, but who am I?
As we were standing there in our circle waiting for other changes to be decided, I quoted a line from Garrison Keillor, "Let's all go out and form the letter 'M'." There were small chuckles, but the M was questioned. "OK, how 'bout 'S'?" Ryan suggested the pipers could form the letter 'S' and the drummers could do the 'L', as there were fewer of them. I then remarked that we would be making s'es of ourselves, which got a laugh.
We finally got the circle worked out to Jason's satisfaction, voted in Dan and Karen, listened to Ian drone on about Memorial Day weekend, signed up for some more solo slots for said Memorial Day and went home with much laughter floating up from the parking lot.
One uniform note: since we will all be playing together, it has been decided we should all have the same type of sporran; specifically, the fox fur one that the Grade 3 have, Dennis having determined that we have enough for everybody to have one. I'm not particularly keen on the fur part, but as long as it doesn't have eyes and teeth, I can live with it. Besides, the fox fur sporrans are bigger and easier to access. Anybody with a leather sporran is supposed to trade theirs in. I'm sending mine in with Small Son tonight.