The band left for Scotland on Wednesday, August 9th. We arrived in Memphis a couple hours early for our departure time of 2:10 PM. I would like to thank the folks at Continental for the first class treatment of all our members from the time we arrived at the airport. It could not have gone any better. The only fly in the ointment was Tristen Dean being listed as Tristen Bean. We had a good laugh at that, as Tristen has several similarities to Mr. Bean on the BBC.
Our arrival in Scotland at 8:30 AM was almost on time, if only slightly late. The airport was a complete zoo due to the Wednesday night implementation of flight restrictions due to terrorist threats. Angus Cameron MacDougal of Fairlanes tour buses was right there, however, to meet us as promised. We have requested Angus again for next years trip. He was full of information and advice for those that had not been to Scotland previously. He dropped us off safe and sound at Stirling University later that morning.
The rooms were not ready yet, so we had a nice sit out on the back of the building with some of the folks going into the Stewart building for a soda or what have you. The rooms were squared away in short order and away we went to set up camp. Several bands from around the world were already there practicing.
My friends from Florida, Black Thistle were on hand as well as a couple New Zealand bands, and Canadian groups. All were busy practicing, and probably wondering why the USA band was sitting around doing nothing. Well, we had been doing two-a-days for the past week and a half in 100 degree weather. I had hoped for some rain and cooler weather in Scotland. We did get beautiful weather. The best in 50 years I heard, but no rain. We had to add a bit of moisture to the dried out bagpipes and retune the drums after taking some tension off for the trip.
All went well, and we found ourselves at The Green (The Saltmarket) in Glasgow on Saturday morning, the 12th. The field was well set up as usual, with activity abounding right from the start. We had a 10:45 start in MAP heat #3. We were in ring #4 I believe. Setting up across the street under the trees, we were ready for the day. The practice paid off, and we garnered second place in our qualifier. Onto the finals at 4 PM. Up until we actually played, we were right on top of our game. Several things did not go as planned in the final, so we went home disappointed. We will return next year just as prepared and ready to win.
Have a viddy of our MAP performance in the morning.
For the band,
The drum corp warming up at the World Pipe Band Championships