Once upon a time, work days and lesson or band days were all different days. Once.
Then I got a promotion to Crew Support LEAD (acting lead--until Erin S. gets back from maternity leave on or about the end of August) where I have weekends off, but work evenings Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Makes it very hard to go to band practice and lessons.
But, by the skin of my teeth, I was able to get time off this evening's lesson. This involved dashing madly from Work to the Celtic Center, checking that Small Son was on his way from home, and ducking into the group room. There was actually quite a crowd there: Sande, Trevor, Kevin, John and I.
It appears there is an easier version of our jig, Piper's Wedding, that Jason invented just for the band because we weren't getting the strikes in the ending of each part. So we went over that, no problem. Well, OK, some tuning problems with certain people's chanter, but we won't mention any names. It sure sounds better now, though. Then the banter started.
I think that Jason gets a little burnt out, teaching lesson after lesson with no break inbetween. So habitually in our lesson, the last of the day, we spend an amount of time on banter. This can include subjects ranging from piping to wrestling to movies to parents . . . well, anything really.
Tonight's banter began with a discussion of the judges' comments on our performance at Payson Highland Games last weekend. I'm sorry, but I don't remember all the comments word for word, but I do remember that a lot of fun was made about people marching . . . Kevin was the butt of several jokes, due to his inability to step in time to the music. He took it in good stride, though . . . . heheheheh!
Jason recalled a newspaper photo he'd seen of the band from the Fourth of July. We were not in step. It seems that when we botched Green Hills at the Park City Fourth of July Parade, and Jason stopped us mid-tune and restarted us, we restarted the tune as we stepped out on our right foot instead of the left as we should have. Some people skipped to get back in step, and some people did not. Apparently some enterprising photographer took a picture of us at that moment in time. Our Chief Drummer Dude, BJ, must have noticed that we were not all in step, from his vantage point on the last row, because after the tune was finished and we had marched a few steps in (relative) silence, he called out, "Left! Left! Left, right, left!"
Then Jason hatched an hilarious plan (if he remembers). Next band practice, once we get tuned and warmed up and are collected with the drummers, Jason will call out a tune--say Green Hills--and the pipers will strike up and play, by prior agreement, say, Scotland The Brave, while the drummers start drumming Green Hills. A lot of laughing and not a lot of chantering was happening as we imagined BJ's face as he attempts to figure out what is going on.
I would LOVE to see that.
Well, we finally got down to business, and ran through Josh's Monstrosity Part 3. It went well. Some more banter. Then Jason called out Part 4. I was playing Part 4. But everybody else was playing . . . I don't know WHAT they were all playing. We stopped. I verified that we WERE playing Part 4. Right? Yes, Part 4. We started again, and again random parts of the tune were played simultaneously. Again we stopped, laughed about it, and then Jason said, oh my gosh he was playing Part 2! We all laughed and laughed. We must have all been very tired to have laughed so much about such a silly thing.
When pipes were got out, I was . . . nearly in tune already! Yessssssssss! We tried Piper's Wedding again and it went much better. BJ came in with his drum pad. I was so tempted to laugh again, thinking about band practice, but I did not. He wanted to try his drumming accompaniment to the new version of Piper's Wedding. Jason also wanted to try the new harmony to be played at the simplified place to see how it would all sound. Five melody pipers against one harmony piper and one drum pad was not giving BJ a very good idea of the final sound, so I was asked to play melody while Jason played harmony and BJ drummed on his pad. It sounded very cool. Much cooler than I would have expected.
I was proud to have been chosen to play in a trio.
Then I ran back to work, where I still am, until 0400 Friday morning. Still trying to get time off for band practice. Still unsure how exactly that is done.
I'd hate to miss that prank, though.