by Megan Canning | Oct 4, 2013
With the Worlds approaching, the change in format to create a new two day event was an unknown quantity. The new two day set-up would require a qualifier on the Saturday the 17th of August where each band would perform both an MSR and Medley, and then a 12 band final on Sunday the 18th where the top bands to make it through would play again with a second MSR and Medley. Grade 1 was split into two qualifying heats, and the winner was determined from the Sunday final.
For Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia, the goal was to get through the Saturday qualifying round, but also to preserve the instruments for the possibility of four performances. The weather would be the biggest variable and remained the biggest worry. As Saturday morning approached, the forecast of heavy rain looked foreboding. Shotts was drawn in the first heat, and would play the MSR in the morning with the Medley in the afternoon. Conditions were terrible all morning, with several bands having to both play and prepare in the pouring rain. Shotts initially enjoyed a brief dry spell in which to tune up, but was soon plagued by rain again in final tuning which persisted through the whole of the band’s qualifying MSR performance. After drying out instruments and uniforms, the band returned again to play its Medley in the afternoon. Unlike the morning, the band tuned up and competed in dry and sunny conditions, and was very pleased with its afternoon performance. You can listen to the band’s qualifying medley performance here below:
After the soaking in the MSR performance, the band had a lot of work to do to turn around quickly for the Medley. The afternoon tune-up was essentially starting from scratch, with changeable conditions which continued to test the band under pressure. As the band presented its medley in its final performance of the weekend, direct sunshine emerged towards the end of the performance which presented an opposite but equally difficult challenge for the pipes. All in all, like every band on the park that weekend, Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia had done what it could to brave the conditions, perform its best under difficult circumstances, and carry on. The band finished 8th overall, and felt proud of its overall presentation across a difficult weekend. You can watch the BBC’s official coverage of the band’s final Medley here: