I joined St. Andrew's Pipe Band of Tampa Bay in 2004 as a snare drummer. This band has always had a special place in my heart as I imagine all do for the band they "cut their teeth" with. After being a member for several years, I left due to some creative differences. Fast forward and now in 2018, I have rejoined St. Andrew's as a bagpiper! There is something special about piping with a band and there isn't another band in the area I would join that is strictly a show band.
So what is a show band? its a band that does not compete and strictly does parades, events, kirkings, etc. Basically any event other than a competition, they doe exhibits at highland games, and the perk to this kind of band to me is the less stress of the situation. Every member goes and does their best, and they only compete against themselves and how they played previously. I left the competition circuit a while ago and doubt I will return but who knows. I look forward to learning some new tunes, gleaming some knowledge from pipers with decades of experience, and jus being apart of a band again.
For those out there looking to play but not compete come on out and give a try. Snowbirds or yearlong residents, there is always a welcome play for you! Visit the band's website and be sure to check the calendar for practice dates (they actually update the calendar)! For those who remember how St. Andrew's use to sound, they have grown tremendously and I wouldn't waste my time if I didn't see the great progress this group has made and is working on making. Some fun and challenging tunes and of course the old classics!