City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2008 Programme Announced

By edg - Posted on 23 July 2008

Pipes and drums at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Over 1,000 performers from America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the United Kingdom will appear at this year's 59th Edinburgh Tattoo (1-23 August). The programme announced yesterday includes all the traditional ingredients of massed pipes & drums, massed bands, overseas contingents, and the Lone Piper on the floodlit Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle at the end.

Preparing for his second Tattoo at the production helm, Major General Euan Loudon said: "I plan to present the best of Scotland's heritage along with wonderful variety from around the world, which I hope Tattoo visitors will delight in."

The programme schedule and ticket info follows:

Opening Fanfare

Opening the 2008 proceedings is a specially-commissioned fanfare composed by Royal Marine Major Mick Dowrick - entitled Op Corporate - which will be performed at the start of each show during this summer's 25-performance run.

Pipes and Drums

The ever-popular Massed Pipes & Drums take to the stage this year with renditions of rousing Scottish tunes such as ‘Heilan'Laddie' and ‘We're No'Awa'Tae Bide Awa.'

They comprise the Pipes & Drums of 1st Royal Tank Regiment, 1st Battalion Scots Guards, The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, representatives of Scotland's Universities' Officers' Training Corps, and Queen Victoria School, Dunblane. While from overseas, making their sixth appearance at the Tattoo, is Melbourne's Rats of Tobruk from Australia, who will be there with the Singapore Police Gurkha Pipes & Drums returning to Edinburgh after a 17-year absence.

Overseas Contingents

Razzmatazz will be provided in the form of one of the most televised university marching bands in the United States, the 100-strong Golden Eagles Marching Band from South East Missouri, with a fusion of music, marching and percussion.

The Tattoo's own Highland Spring Dance troupe will join forces with 50 dancers from Canada in a dance piece that tells the story of Scottish migration to Canada.

Singapore returns for the third time in the Tattoo's history with a detachment of Gurkha Pipes & Drums together with a 55-strong Police Military Band, an all-woman Police Pipe Band and an act described as "reflecting aspects of Singapore's social and cultural roots."

In another segment in the 90-minute production, the all-girl Lochiel Champion Marching Drill Team from Wellington in New Zealand will perform an intricate display of complex precision drill.

First Indian Military Band at Tattoo

This will be followed by the first Indian military band to perform at the Edinburgh Tattoo for 46-years. Forty musicians from the Indian Army Chief's Military Band, in Delhi. The band is renowned for "its faultless coordination of music and movement."

"I'm thrilled to add the first Indian military band to our line-up for almost half a century," said Major General Loudon.

Fixed Bayonets Routines

The Guard of His Majesty The King of Norway, whose bayonet tipped rifle routines have mesmerised spectators on seven previous occasions, return again this year, along with the marching Band of His Majesty The King of Norway. For the first time the Norwegian contingent will provide the Castle Drawbridge sentries, while performing the prestigious Guard of Honour duty during the finale sequence.

The Bands Play On

Pupils from the Queen Victoria School in Dunblane will then perform a set of piping, drumming and highland dancing. Their appearance marks the military school's centenary this year.

Following on are the Massed Military Bands featuring the combined Bands of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, who take centre stage with a packed musical programme. Together with their renowned precision drummers, the Bands' embrace some 150 musicians from HM Royal Marines Plymouth, Portsmouth and Scotland, and are under the direction of their Commandant and Principal Director of Music and the 2008 Tattoo Director of Music, Lieutenant Colonel C J Davis.

The Bands of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, His Majesty The King of Norway, and the Indian Army Chief, along with the Singapore Police Force, will then join them with songs through the ages.

The Massed Pipes & Drums then gather alongside the Massed Military Bands as 600 musicians amass to create the unique Tattoo sound, playing time-honoured favourites such as ‘Scots Wha Hae' and ‘Sodjur's Return', and will include a rendition of the acclaimed movie soundtrack ‘The Gael', composed by one of Scotland's pre-eminent singer-songwriters, Dougie MacLean.

The Parting Shots

Bringing the show to a poignant close will be the traditional haunting notes of the Lone Piper playing a piece of music named ‘The Centenary Toast', written by Captain Steven Small, Director of Army Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming, to celebrate 100 years of the Territorial Army and also that of Queen Victoria School.

Territorial Army Parade

Also, from August 11-14, members of the Territorial Army will parade to mark TA 100, this year's centenary of the Territorial Army.

TA soldiers from all walks of life will be present on the Esplanade, alongside their regular Army counterparts, "to remind us all just what a valuable contribution they make to the Armed Forces of the UK."


Tickets for the Tattoo sold out early as in previous years, but there are often resale tickets available from the Tattoo Ticket Sales Office.