Nanning Final Chapter
21 January 2018
like that, the Preston Lodge Pipe Band's final two gigs in Nanning
were upon us. The first, on Friday night, was held outside a
supermarket. As the pipers were tuning up, loads of kids came
running through to see what all the noise was about, all jumping up
and down but with their fingers stuck in their ears! They were
fascinated with the pipes, but then one noticed the drums and were
completely drawn to them. A few wee ones had a shot of banging the
big bass drum, rolling on the snare, and flourishing with the tenor
drum sticks! It was a lovely sight to see.
The show itself went really well. All the kids from before were right at the front having a jig, with only a couple still covering their ears! We explained a bit about how the bagpipes work, and what sound the different drums have, but the audience were more curious about the outfits! Why do men in Scotland wear kilts, and what is in the sporran! Everyone burst out laughing when Pipe Major Lee pulled out his phone! I think they were expecting something a little more traditional!
On Saturday the band had their last show, organised and hosted by Edmund of the Eden English Language School. This audience were lucky enough to hear some fabulous solos from pipers Freya, Erin and Lee, and a mesmerising snare solo from head drummer Simon.
The important part of this event was the exchange between seven Eden students and the members of the pipe band. They sat next to each other on the bus, and didn't stop talking for the whole trip! Not only did this prove the English speaking skills of these young Chinese students, but it showed that there were no barriers between the youth of these two countries. It was a really touching moment. Thank you to Ed for setting this exhange up. Ed and I also signed an agreement between Eden and SCEN, solidifying our cooperation and friendship in arranging cultural exchanges between Scotland and China.
And that concludes my time here in Nanning! The band are off on a well deserved holiday to Guilin. I had to say goodbye to them this morning which was difficult. To have voices and music from Scotland surrounding me so far from home as been more than amazing, and I will miss them all dearly! It's not goodbye though, just cheerio the noo!