Well, Ray and I traveled to Flint to practice with their Grade 5 band.
We worked on their parade 3/4--not sure why we spent lots of time on it, since we aren't going to do parades. I think that their Instructor was just "testing" us to see whether we'd be able to "get it", rather than immediately giving us the competition medley, with the idea that we'd be in the May competition at Alma.
In fact, he asked me to play in the massed bands with them--Ray can't, since he's historian and has been for years and years.
Then they got it together into a circle.
It was a low ceiling, and my ears are still ringing, but Flint's going to be the new Windsor Police. I can see it coming...like a freaking tidal wave.
I wish I'd taken a camera and my DVR. I can't believe that I didn't take my DVR!! Of course, it's in my purse, and I prefer to travel light (read that "no luggage at all"), and have taken to not carrying a purse whenever possible. I just tuck my driver's license in one pocket, my ATM card in another, and I'm off to the races! I can go anywhere this way, and it's become my preferred method of travel! HA!
So no DVR, and no sound bite of what they sound like. Trust me when I say, that they are freaking amazing. And that's just their grade 5 band! These are the ones who didn't make the cut for the Grade 4 band (the "better" sound, more "together", "tight", but not recording artists by a long shot)....so if anybody cares, the Grade 5 band (to my ears anyway) are seriously good enough for Grade 4, and if the Grade 4 personnel is ANY better, then they're seriously good enough to take Grade 3 HANDILY.
It's sort of exciting to be on top of a tidal wave with no surf board.
It's a completely different feel from the Grand Rapids pipe band. The bunch at Flint are having some serious fun. And the sound is...well...loud, but the excitement is palpable.
Ray and I came in early, and ran into the pipe major (don't worry, he didn't get hurt too badly), and we were talking about the location for the practice, which overlooks a fast running creek, due to all the melt we've had lately (don't look now, but there's about 4 inches of snow on the ground from last night's winter storm)...and he said
"I think it will be nice in the summer, we can come outside and play on this rise over here."
To which I replied "Is there a creek down there?" and he said yes. So I of course had to say it "That's cool, because pipes sound really good over water."
Then thought a bit, and not missing a beat "They sound good UNDER water, too". And laughed at my own joke.
I know. Lame. But I get nervous in new situations like this, but the Pipe Major laughed too, so all was not lost.
The Band Manager came in shortly after and took our names etc. I got the impression that they aren't turning ANYBODY (read that "any bodies") away.
So next Thursday, I'll remember to drop my DVR in my pocket, and hopefully they'll give us the medley next time. Of course, hopefully, we can get over there next Thursday, considering how much snow is on the ground right this moment. I'm going no where if the roads are bad.
With that, I think I'll close and go check out the forecast on the weather website.