From Edinburgh Military Tattoo to Maclean Highland Gathering
FOR most pipers, the chance to play at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, to march across the drawbridge into the famous Edinburgh castle and pipe down the Royal Mile are dreams come true.
In August last year, Maclean Pipe Band piper Scott Rhodes managed to tick all three items off his bucket list when he was a member of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo house band, the Pipers' Trail Pipes and Drums.
It was on Easter Saturday last year, after spending the day piping at the Maclean Highland Gathering, that MrRhodes found out his application to join the prestigious band was successful.
"The band is open to anybody around the world to apply and it was my old boss from the army that put me onto it, so I sent in my resume and a 10-minute audition video," he said.
"It was on Easter Saturday last year after competing all day that I found out I made it in the band, which topped off a really good weekend.
"It was a bit of a shock. I'm my own worst critic so I wasn't sure if I was going to make it in."
Mr Rhodes said the experience of playing at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, one of the most iconic events in the world, was amazing.
"It's one of those things you watch as a kid growing up and when I started playing the pipes I'd watch the Military Tattoo every year, but I never thought I'd be able to actually be a part of it," he said.
"After our first dress rehearsal when we marched across the drawbridge to the castle and at the end down the Royal Mile, I said to one of the band leaders, an ex-pipe major in the British Army, I could go home, I've ticked these two massive things off my bucket list, and he laughed and said 'suck it up, you've got three weeks of it to go'.
"It was a very memorable experience and great to be a part of. I met some very good pipers and made some great friends from all over the world."
While the experience at Edinburgh was something that happens once in a lifetime, Mr Rhodes said he was just as excited to again be involved in this weekend's Highland Gathering.
"There's nothing like getting home and playing. I'll have family and friends there and the Maclean Highland Gathering is one of the main gatherings of the year in Australia, so it's a great event," he said.