View Full Version : My 1st go as a PM
07-23-2002, 02:39 PM
Hello to all:
I had my first go as an acting Pipe Major this past weekend. Through a set of circumstances both the Pipe Major & Sgt. were not available to take the band out on parade & competition so the call went for volunteers, I took the challenge.
Things went very well, we had about a week & a half for the band to get used to my voice giving the commands & setting the tempo for the competition. We are not a graded band and alot of our members are on vacation so we went with what members were available. The parade & comp. went as successfully as I could have hoped.
I was especially pleased to be able to play for one of our drummers who had to jump up to open drumming and help him win 3rd place. He is also learning the Pipes and I encouraged him to enter the solo pipeing comp., he entered the intermediate slow air & march. He finished in the top half of the group and he has never play with the band as a piper yet !! His first real time playing for anyone was in front of a judge, he said if he had time to think about it he would not have done it.
It was very satisfying to pass on my limited knowledge to someone else and help them succeed.
07-23-2002, 05:23 PM
I have to say the band is heavily responsible for making the efforts required to be minimal on the P/M's....They get so used to how things roll....even if you make a Faux Paus they go on autopilot. :hatoff:
07-24-2002, 04:34 AM
Sort of similar situation for me as well. The band was contracted to play a memorial service in Austin, Tx for a well known thespian and both the P/M and P/S were not going to make it. And to top it off, the P/M asked another piper, honorary member, to come help out. I was kinda the unofficial Pipe Corporal, so it fell to me to take over. I had only been piping well for about 1 year and was one of the better pipers of the group. Anyway, everyone shows up, tune up and things roll on fine. The only flub was the Amazing Grace part. We had to sit for about 30-45 minutes after marching in and my bass drone went wonky. Probably didn't help that we had to tune outside and play for a little bit prior to the service in the church. The way we played the tune is, the P/M plays through once, the band comes in for twice through, then the P/M ends with once more through. Anyway, struggled through and did okay, the family didn't know the difference, but boy I sure did. As soon as I struck up, just about everybody in the band gave me a sidelong glance. I just gave them a look of, "Well what do you do, too late now!" Kinda of a scary situation, but not too bad. I am glad I didn't have to take over for a competition like you had too. Great job, sounds like you did it spot-on!! :thumb:
07-31-2002, 02:19 PM
Ardrossan in June. Took the Paisley band on at the march past. First time in the PM's position and felt like a fish out of water!!!!!!!
07-31-2002, 05:42 PM
Sounds like you did well just nerves. But this is a problem in a lot of bands that the pipe major keeps the higher level pipers from getting practice at tunning and calling off tunes to themselves. As a pipe major I have done it too I kept control and let the pipe sargent get stuck taking my place at performance for the first time.
P.G. Police Pipe Bnd
07-31-2002, 07:24 PM
Great Job! I am an "acting" Pipe Corporal as well. I had occasion to lead the band as part of a memorial service out of town. It wasn't planned, and our "home" band was under the auspices of a larger Legion band for the main service. When the service was over, the Legion holding the ceremony asked for some entertainment after their speeches. Our P/M, (we don't have a P/S) or even P/C wasn't around, but we had enough of a band, so I was asked to take them out. I take them out, call a few tunes, (by the way the P/M of the Large Legion Band decides to play with us) :eek: Things are going really really well though!! I can't get eye contact from our bass player to bring things back to tempo when they slowed a bit, but other than that, life is good. I have the eyes of the lead tip on me, so he is helping where he can. Out of the corner of my eye I can see movement. I glance over to see one of our elderly members, a tenor drummer who had chosen not to take part, flayling his arms and stamping his feet, almost trying to conduct us!!!! His eyes are on the drum section, and is trying to speed them up. It was soooo embrassing! :blush: I'm thinking, :idea: "well, if i take my bottom hand off the chanter I can clout him a good one with my elbow, and maybe no one will notice " but thought better of it! This went on for the entire 1/2 hour set. I guess he was trying to help, but looked like an eeediot!! :wow: But I did it! I got through it, and when I grow up, I wanna be a Pipe Major!!
08-01-2002, 02:39 PM
As P/S I often take the band out, so it's not a new experience for me. However, I realize that when you've never led the band, it can be pretty nerve-wracking. Whenever I'm in charge of practice, I let other members call tunes during the band practice. (I'll let others do some of the tuning and reserve the right to fix it if it's not up to par.) I'll go around the circle letting each person call a tune/sets. I have the drummers go along with whatever tempo is called. A lot of mistakes ? You bet! But it's a good learning experience and better in front of your band mates than in front of a crowd.
08-01-2002, 10:50 PM
I recently had my first go as a PM also. It wasn't anything like we went to a competition, only at one of our weekly practices. The normal PM was not available, and me being one of the best in the band that was there, I was to be the PM for that hour. Everything went just fine, just wanted to share my experience :woohoo: