Tag Archives: Music

End of Year Event

Over many years our end of year event has been a very enjoyable occasion and we’ve had good but declining attendance by supporters. The ‘rules’ are being updated so that the evening becomes a more formal event. Band members will be organised into groups and it will then be up to the group to organise practices and to do their own arrangement of the tunes(s). Remember:
* everyone takes part;
* no solo performances;
* items must include pipes (except for one drums only item) and be musical, but can include other instruments;
* there will be a pre-approved programme;
* there will be no additions to the programme on the night ie no walk ups;
* no tune is to be repeated ie played in more than one item;
* there can be only one drums only (drum salute?) item.
Tunes not on the list such as Amazing Grace, Flower of Scotland and Highland Cathedral are reserved for the band to play. This will make the event a better showcase of our talents and the variety of music we can play, and a more enjoyable end of year event.

Better Performances?

In September we staged a concert at St Paul’s church that I thought was one of our better performances – well done everyone.  So how do I rate our playing as “one of our better performances”?

Firstly the overall competence of how we play our instruments.  Can we start well, every time?  Do we play together through the entire tune (or bracket of tunes)?  Do we play without mistakes?  And then do we finish cleanly and together?

These skills come with practice of course, both our individual practice and the preparation we do together as a band which requires commitments of time and energy from us all.  There are different ways in which people’s energy and enthusiasm is re-charged: for some it’s a parade that contributes to the community, for some it’s a performance like a concert, for some it’s individual improvement and achievement, and for some it’s a sense of competition, whether solo or band contesting.

Secondly, the variety of music and the way it is presented is important.  The ultimate test for me is not what people see or hear but what they feel as a result of our musical performance.  If our music can stir the emotions of our audience then we’ve succeeded.  I remember one New Year’s eve up by the Masonic Hotel, we’d been playing for a while and a young lady kept pestering the band to play Amazing Grace.  We’d already played it but in the end we relented and played it again.  As soon as we started this young lady broke down with tears streaming down her face.  What memory we had evoked for her I don’t know but it was how she felt.  How often does our music do that for you?

To achieve a variety of music we must keep adding to our repertoire which again requires a commitment of time and energy to learn the music to a performance standard.

It was Maya Angelou  who said “life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”  I hope our music takes your breath away sometimes.