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Tattoo Attachments are Strong

Written by Craig Lindsay
Monday, 06 September 2010 10:39

During the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo each performing group is assigned a liaison officer, someone who answers questions, keeps the performers on schedule and assists them with whatever tasks are needed while in Scotland. The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes had Craig Lindsay, a 2009 graduate of the University of Edinburgh who has worked with the Tattoo each summer for several years. Working side by side each day for a month, the cadets and Lindsay became fast friends.

August was among the most enjoyable and intriguing times of my life. This is mostly due to one group of people - the Regimental Band and Pipes at The Citadel. At the beginning of the month we began our journey as two separate entities - a liaison officer and a group of overseas performers. We ended, I think, united as a team and fulfilled with unforgettable memories.

Never have I met such a large group of diverse, intelligent, interesting, and fun people. We had much in common and our chats have left me with new-found knowledge, and the new-found hobby of photography. After much debate between those who preferred Canon and the Nikonians, the Nikon came out on top. You all know it is the best. I enjoyed hearing about our respective countries, and offering advice about our way of life across here; whether it be about food, drink, shops, cars, or people.

craig_gets_hatCmdr Mike Alverson, band director, presents Craig Lindsay with a Citadel shako and coasters for his work at the Tattoo liaison officer to the Regimental Band and Pipes during the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Edinburgh, Scotland.

I am a keen runner and enjoyed partaking in the physical training sessions. Early on in the month I suggested a group run around Arthur's Seat, the biggest inactive volcano in Edinburgh. My suggestion was greeted with many a jovial bribe and I could have done well out of cancelling it. But I beat temptation and the run took place. We were joined by a group of New Zealand Highland Dancers, strengthening our number up to around 100 people. The sight of 100 people nearly all dressed alike and walking down Holyrood Road in ranks of two is not a common one. I was further impressed with the way Cadet Jesse Johnson rounded up the troops, split everyone into ability groups and led us on our way.

The bus journeys to and from Edinburgh Castle on performance nights were like no other. Every night ended on a high with the "bugle call" (Once started by me), along with many a song being sung. My favorite was "Build Me Up Buttercup." We even had some Opera one night. That reminds me...I have some video clips to upload! On the note of media, I was very impressed to see the coverage of the Tattoo on The Citadel web site. This is the first time I have seen such comprehensive coverage and updates by any group performing at Tattoo The video diaries, interviews, blog, and pictures were all a great way to get more people involved, and keep them updated. I could see how much it meant for you all to be there and how much you were all enjoying being there. I think the website was a good way to share that.

It was a pleasure to have had the chance to interact, help, support and build friendships with you all. In my opinion, you were one of the most professional, disciplined, and talented musicians out on the Esplanade. I constantly heard about people's surprise and wonder at learning the band and pipes consisted of people who were not majoring in music. I'm delighted that I now have in excess of 40 new Facebook friends from The Citadel.

I'd like to extend a special thanks to Cmdr. Mike Alverson), Maj. Jeff Price and Capt. Jim Dillahey. I'll never forget the presentation of the shako and the amazing Citadel coasters. They now have a place of pride at home. And I will never forget the cadets in The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes. It's just not the same without you here. I wish each and every one of you the very best for the future, I hope to see you all again soon.

Photo: Cmdr Mike Alverson, director of bands, presents Craig with a set of Citadel coasters and a shako for his help and work on behalf of the Regimental Band and Pipes during the Tattoo.

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