City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Tattoo 2007 Quickest-selling Ever


By Ian MacKenzie - Posted on 27 July 2007

From Moscow’s Red Square to the Falklands, from
the throb of a Caribbean steel band to the desert of Oman, Edinburgh’s
iconic festival military tattoo 2007 is geared up to thrill thousands of spectators
on the castle esplanade over the coming month.

The tattoo, the quickest-selling extravaganza at the Edinburgh International
Festival, in itself the biggest annual event of its kind in the world, brings
together around 1,000 musicians and entertainers from far-flung countries
around the world from August 3 to 25.

Making their debuts this year will be musicians of the Moscow Military Conservatoire
and the Taipei First Girls High School Honour Guard and Drum Corps providing
a dazzling display of music, movement and precision drill.

Major-General Euan Loudon (pictured below), who took over as chief executive and producer earlier
this year, said the tattoo would pay tribute to the diamond wedding anniversary
of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and celebrate the 150th anniversary
of Kneller Hall, the Royal Military School of Music at Twickenham on the London
outskirts.

The tattoo will open with a specially-commissioned fanfare
by Major Bob Meldrum, director of music for the Royal Artillery, followed
by the massed pipes and drums emerging across the castle drawbridge with
time honoured tunes such as The Skye Boat Song and Mhairie’s Wedding.

The musicians are drawn from British units, accompanied by the pipes and
drums of the Royal Gurkha Rifles, the Auckland Police from New Zealand,
the Royal Caledonian Society of South Australia and the Royal Army of
Oman.

Highland dancers come from Scotland and around the Commonwealth, while
the United States will be represented by the Middlesex County Volunteers,
a 50-piece ensenble from Boston, Massachusetts which will perform martial,
dance and folk music from the 17th, 18th and early 19th century.
Adding further colour will be the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force Steel
Orchestra, the only military steel band of its kind in the world, and
the mounted band of the Blues and Royals from the Brigade of Guards.

A special item entitles Music at War, performed by the bands of the Light
Cavalry, the Royal Artillery and the Royal Regiment of Scotland, will
pay tribute to the impact Kneller Hall has had on British military music
over the past 150 years.

Rounding off the performance, the lone piper high on the castle walls
will play the haunting lament Crags of Tumbledown to mark the 25th anniversary
of the end of the Falklands War. This is followed by a spectacular nightly
fireworks display, come rain or moon.

Seats for the three-week tattoo have been sold out since early this year,
but tattoo officials said some resale tickets might come available from the
ticket sales office at 33-34 Market Street in Edinburgh (telephone: 08707-555-118).