Monday’s Musical Musings – Northeast Florida Highland Games

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Mostly just pictures because it’s almost midnight, and band practice wiped me out tonight. 🙂 If you’re my friend on Facebook, then you’ve seen a few of these, but I’m going to repost in case you haven’t 🙂  First things first: the morning of the games Daniel wore his special shirt to cheer me on (even though he was spending the day with my mom in Ponte Vedra at her friend’s house where we all crashed for the weekend.)

Oh - did you want to see my shirt?

Oh – did you want to see my shirt?

"Born to Bagpipe"

“Born to Bagpipe”

My dad and I drove down Friday night with Daniel, and we were up nice and early for an on-time departure around 8:45am.  We pulled into the hotel where the band members stayed and picked up our parking pass and admission wristbands, barely squeaking through the gate for “Pipe Band Parking” at 9:57am. (The gates closed at 10am.)  After my dad performed his packhorse duties, we were happily set up for the whole day in a nice covered pavilion where all the bands gathered.  We brought healthy snacks, along with Guinness cupcakes frosted with Bailey’s frosting.  Yum.  Others in the band also brought treats (Grand Marnier rice krispie treats anyone? More Guinness cupcakes – this time with Irish whiskey ganache? Sure!), and a drummer in our Grade V band cooked up enough delicious meatball stroganoff to feed every piper at the games (maybe…300 people?)  Really, though – it was for us as well as for all the pipers from The Citadel, so there wasn’t all that much leftover.

My dad took a few pictures throughout the day that really show things much better than I can describe them, so I’m going to just caption and post them:

close up - I love my iphone. It is the bomb.

close up – I love my iphone. It is the bomb.

The skin our drummer in England wore was much cooler than this one from The Citadel - looked like he was wearing a pillow pet or maybe one of those hats with a scarf that hangs down? Apparently they aren't allowed to wear real animal skin. Or the guy just can't leave home without his security blanket...?

The skin our drummer in England wore was much cooler than this one from The Citadel – looked like he was wearing a pillow pet or maybe one of those hats with a scarf that hangs down? Apparently they aren’t allowed to wear real animal skin. Or the guy just can’t leave home without his security blanket…?

The Citadel P&D marching off after its performance

The Citadel P&D marching off after its performance

Great shot of some guy tuning up one of his pipers.

Great shot of some guy tuning up one of his pipers.

The morning before the Opening Ceremonies was spent on the Individual Piping (and a few of our band members were off doing the Scottish fiddle competition as well) competition - seen here with a random competitor playing for his judge.

The morning before the Opening Ceremonies was spent on the Individual Piping (and a few of our band members were off doing the Scottish fiddle competition as well) competition – seen here with a random competitor playing for his judge.

 

Random people, good picture.

Random people, good picture.

John Weed and Pipe Major Joshua Collins - he's on his practice chanter which is how we spent the day - piping, practicing, sitting (sleeping) and eating.

John Weed and Pipe Major Joshua Collins – he’s on his practice chanter which is how we spent the day – piping, practicing, sitting (sleeping) and eating.

A view from above - these are all people from my band chatting in our area

A view from above – these are all people from my band chatting in our area

Tuning up my drones while trying to light my hair on fire with his cigarette as he simultaneously attempts to hit Biff in the head with his pipes

Tuning up my drones while trying to light my hair on fire with his cigarette as he simultaneously attempts to hit Biff in the head with his pipes

Pipe Major Josh, taking a smoke break while tuning up pipes.

Pipe Major Josh, taking a smoke break while tuning up pipes.

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Jacksonville Fire Department Pipes and Drums

Jacksonville Fire Department Pipes and Drums

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Citadel drummer and piper (the girl is the piper)

Citadel drummer and piper (the girl is the piper)

Some other band's drum.

Some other band’s drum.

Trying to focus so I don't hose it up for everybody else (I made a little squeak at the beginning when we struck in our pipes which was noted down by at least two of the judges on their scoresheets that I saw.  Possibly on the others' too, but their chicken scratch was indecipherable :))

Trying to focus so I don’t hose it up for everybody else (I made a little squeak at the beginning when we struck in our pipes which was noted down by at least two of the judges on their scoresheets that I saw. Possibly on the others’ too, but their chicken scratch was indecipherable :))

During the piping

During the piping

Our head drum guy in the background (Drum Sergeant Biff) and the chef - drummer Dennis - talking to a Drum Major (I think?) from The Citdel

Our head drum guy in the background (Drum Sergeant Biff) and the chef – drummer Dennis – talking to a Drum Major (I think?) from The Citdel

On that note - a cool drumming pic of the tenor drummers from another band doing cool flourishes.

Speaking of drummers – a cool drumming pic of the tenor drummers from another band doing  flourishes.

Our band marching off after we played our March-Strathspey-Reel

Our band marching off after we played our March-Strathspey-Reel

My dad also shot a few videos of the “Massed Bands” which was all of the pipe bands together at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies playing and marching together.  It was such poor piping and was so disorganized that I am not going to post any of them.  During the Closing Ceremonies, drummer Biff stole my hat off my head as I countermarched past him, and my dad’s video shows me in a sea of people with hats on without my hat.  The music is atrocious, though, so really, no evidence will be displayed here.  Without further ado, though, here is MY BAND by itself, playing the first part of our March-Strathspey-Reel set.  It is just our Grade IV Band (we also have a Grade V Band which is made up of the people who are a bit newer to piping.)  You can sort of see me facing the camera in the circle, on the far side from the camera.

In between piping things my dad and I wandered a bit and captured other common – and not so common – occurrences at Highland Games.

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I think this is the only picture I have of my dad from the day!

I think this is the only picture I have of my dad from the day!

Editing to say:  We took 2nd place in the Grade IV competition (the one I played in) and 4th in the Grade V.  Time for bed now.  The beauty of an electronic practice chanter is that even though everyone in the house has been in bed for hours, I can still practice my tunes for this Saturday’s concert and solo competition EVERY TIME I GET THE SPINNY WHEEL OF DEATH on my MacBook instead of just sitting here frustrated like I usually do.  Ironically, it froze up just now for a few seconds when I put on the capslock to comment on said PINWHEEL OF DOOM.  I think it knew what was coming and took offense.  It wants to go to sleep and is trying to kick me off of here.  Point taken — goodnight!

One thought on “Monday’s Musical Musings – Northeast Florida Highland Games

  1. I love hearing about your trip!! (Congrats, by the way, on how well y’all did!) And I loved getting to hear you play…I just let the videos keep playing and playing! Got to see you perform with your cool Celtic Rock band! What a fun group you got to play with before! I think you are my coolest friend.

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