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Rare Invitation to Perform in Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

November 09, 2015 at 1:57 PM

The Pipes and Drums of Saint Kentigern has been presented a unique opportunity to perform alongside the world’s best marching bands and cultural groups in the foremost exhibition of Scottish and military culture! Our pipers and drummers will be the youngest performers to play in the prestigious Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo when it comes to Wellington in February next year. The 20 band members and teacher in charge, Mr Andrew Lightfoot, will join a cast of more than 1200 musicians and dancers, performing to 100,000 people across four days at Westpac Stadium.

This is just the fourth time in 65 years that the tattoo has left Scotland to tour overseas. The 2016 show will feature traditional Scottish favourites including the United Kingdom’s best precision drill teams, pipers, fiddlers and highland dancers. Held annually in the grounds of Edinburgh Castle, the event is a sell-out every year, with 220,000 people flocking to its pomp and ceremony, and another 100 million people in 40 countries watching on television.

The invitation for our Pipes and Drums to take part is a fantastic recognition of Saint Kentigern’s Scottish heritage, and will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the students involved. It will make 2016 a year to remember for the band members, with the triennial pilgrimage to Scotland taking place next July.

About the tattoo

  • The word tattoo derives from tap toe, the call from 17th century Dutch innkeepers for last orders. It was soon adopted by the British army, who would march fifes and drums of the local regiment through the streets, their music signaling to soldiers it was time to return to barracks. In the 18th century when modern barracks and military bands were established, the term tattoo was used to describe the last call of duty.
  • The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo was first performed in 1950 as the Army in Scotland’s musical contribution to Edinburgh’s International Festival.
  • At the heart of the Tattoo is the stirring sight and sound of the massed pipes and drums, drawn from Scottish regiments. The other key components are the massed military bands, formed from across the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force, and the grand finale in which the entire cast of 1000 or more joins together for that international song of love and friendship, ‘Auld Lang Syne’. 
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