It’s difficult to decide on the absolute happiest moment of my life. In the twenty-seven years of my existence, how can I possibly choose the moment that made me the most happy? There was an event that happened two years ago that made me really happy, but I don’t think I can classify it as the absolute happiest moment of my life. But I’ll give it a try anyway.

I was a member of the Hamilton Police Pipe Band, and the band was at the Glengarry Highland Games in Maxville, Ontario. And this was no ordinary games – it’s the North American Championships, the most prestigious pipe band event in North America, and probably second in the world only to the Worlds in Scotland. There are both band competitions as well as solo events. That summer, I chose to do Professional Bass solos, and I only signed up to compete at the Championships, instead of all the other games throughout the season. When I checked the order of play a week before the event (and when entries closed), I saw that I was competing against one of the best players in the world. I knew right away I didn’t stand a chance against this guy, but I couldn’t exactly back out, either. I’d paid to compete and to back out would just be cowardly and stupid. So, being the only girl amongst guys, and guys who had years of playing bass, compared to me who only had about two with no real training, I went out and played. Of course, I always get performance anxiety and I was panicking for days leading up to this event. The actual day was even worse. I knew I was probably going to get spanked (figuratively) by all these better, more experienced players. When I finished playing, I thought it went well, and I was hoping to maybe get third or, if I was really lucky, second.

And then I went to get the results.

When I saw my score sheet, I just about fainted on the spot. I even asked the person at the tent if the results were right, and she said they most definitely were.

I’d won.

I was torn between “WTF” moments, and “How the hell did that happen?!?”

No one could believe it, and even to this day, I can’t either.

That moment was definitely one of the happiest for me, not because I’d beaten one of the the best bass drummers in the world, and a handful of others who were way better than me, but because I’d actually gone with it. I’d stuck it out. I didn’t back down. I went and played the best I’ve probably ever played in the eight years I’ve been in pipe bands.

It was a wonderful moment for me, and I’m not going to forget it in a hurry.


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