With some momentum from 2020...we hoped for significant changes in 2021. Sadly, the changes didn't quite come to fruition. While we made big plans for gigs and competitions -- some happened, some didn’t. However, it wasn’t all bad. We made some changes to our band kit, learned some new tunes, made new friends, and got some new instruments. We even transitioned our practices from weekly Zoom practices to in person.
The pandemic didn’t go away as we had hoped. Instead we got variants. First it was the Delta and then Omicron. We worked through all the protocols to continue to be vigilant. Many saw the vaccines as a way to prepare for what was to come next.
What came next? We began to work hard and have fun again. We needed to de-emphasized the pandemic and focused on the music, the band, and our mission. Our mission for 2021 was,
“If we stay ready – we don’t have to get ready.”
We continued Zoom practices each week and often had over fifty participants on each call. In the Spring we progressed to social distanced and masked outdoor practices which were a huge success as we could see each other face to face (six feet apart of course).
This led to practicing for the St. Paddy’s Day festivities. Unlike previous years there would be no parades, as we decided to stay local. Band members were filled with excitement as we prepared to take command of the few gigs we had planned.
In June, we entered into a relationship with the Olde Raleigh Distillery that blossomed from a once a month performance -- to a weekly practice session. Yet continuing the momentum of the band even though we were still dealing with or dare I say living beside a global pandemic. We were no longer in “shut down mode”.
As the Summer months transitioned to Fall, we continued to shine by playing gigs on a regular basis. I think the most I did was four in one week. Graduations, memorials, kilt nights, and yes even a fourth of July parade. It is amazing to see how unstoppable we are when we work hard and have fun. We are doing it.
Looking back at our competition season this year will be pretty easy as there were only two pipe band competitions this year. We went to Scotland County and didn’t fall down. I believe I heard Joe say he was so proud of how the band presented itself. We did it.
A big shout must go out to our families who are often right there by our sides. I imagine we all felt a little doom and gloom at times, but we pulled through. We will continue pulling through. Who would have thought some of us would get married or have children during these challenging times. We deal with it. We do not quit.
This year we showed everyone we are here, we were Band Ready. It is not easy to re-adjust, to re-begin, to re-focus, or re-set and yet we continue to do it time and time again. We were and continue to be motivated to the mission of not quitting.
We are Band Ready.