After a lazy Sunday morning (25th November) most of the Band met at the club ready for the coach to leave at 2pm (the members coming from Wales chose to make their own way). Spirits were subdued on the way up a rain-soaked M5 towards Leicestershire. The rehearsal / warm-up / final run-through was scheduled for 5.30pm and the coach made good time, dropping us off early: plenty of time for a drink and a biscuit, accompanied by a band rehearsing Between the Moon and Mexico.
After weeks of rehearsals, the time had come to put our hard work on stage. Our eminent leader had chosen a piece to push us to our limits, with Bruce Broughton's California Legend, written in 1986 and used in the Area Finals that year.
At 11am on Sunday, 18th the Band met for the morning warm up and final run-through. The draw, at 12 noon, gave us the number three slot (out of 8 bands) and, after a slight delay and a confusion over uniform, our contest was under way.