A new teaching year has started at the college and we’re now into our second week of classes. It’s fantastic to see the new and returning faces of students walking through the front doors.
© Submitted photo
This College of Piping Grade 3 Pipe Band competed at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, last year. Kylie MacHattie (back row, left) will be this year's pipe major for the Summerside college's pipe band.
There is the eagerness of trying a Celtic discipline for the new and the anticipation of a new year with new challenges for the returning.
This week band practices start back up. Last year at this time we were excited because we were about to start a year with three competitive pipe bands which was a college first. This year there will be another college first. We are planning on taking two of our pipe bands to the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland in August 2014. This decision will be cemented this week with meetings at each of the practices with parents and band members.
I have to admit that I’m exhilarated and exhausted just thinking about the planning, practicing and fundraising that we are about to embark on, but I know when it’s over, it will have all been very much worth it.
For instructors and band members, this goal is a huge commitment. As instructors we are actively involved in the fundraising and planning with a committee of dedicated parent volunteers. Band practices become more frequent with monthly weekend practices in addition to our weekly ones.
Fundraising is of paramount importance for an organization such as ours because if we didn’t fundraise, there would be a huge portion of our band members who wouldn’t be able to go. There is a whole lot of hard work that goes into a Scotland trip on and off the competition field.
This Scotland trip will be a different one for me. I will play with both college bands and it will be the first time that I will be the pipe major of a pipe band at the World Pipe Band Championships.
I can tell you that I’m excited but already extremely nervous (I’ve already had a dream where I’ve forgotten to take my bagpipes with me to Scotland).
My parents have already started to preliminary plan their trip to Scotland to watch the college bands compete and I think my grandmother will also make the trek as I am the first granddaughter to lead a pipe band on an international scale. I think she will definitely be the oldest supporter on the field!
And so it begins. Parent and band members’ meetings this week and then the ball starts to roll. It’s a huge commitment but I know that we’ll be able to do it. We’ve got a great group of kids and parents.
Let the team building begin and if you happen to see an older lady in the pictures that follow, that will be a proud grandmother and the college’s pipe bands’ biggest supporter, my grandmother.