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Alumni memories of Scotland

Written by Mike Kendrick, '91
Sunday, 29 August 2010 19:27

Mike Kendrick, Band Company and Citadel Class of 1991, came to campus on 29 August to welcome the Regimental Band and Pipes -- America's Band at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo -- home from Scotland. The night before he wrote us about his trip in 1991 as a member of the band and again in 2010 as a spectator and proud grad attending the Tattoo.

J.P. Gallo, the pipe drum major in 1991, Daniel Selander, a fellow band classmate, and I took our dads to Scotland this week to see The Citadel at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. We had a wonderful time!

109_0225On Tuesday the 24th, we found the cadet lodging at the University of Edinburgh. We met up with Cmdr. Mike Alverson and Capt. Jim Dillahey and got to spend the afternoon with them. It was wonderful and they filled us in on their experience there. The next day we went to the Edinburgh Castle. As we walked on the esplanade, I stood where I stood during the Tattoo in 1991. As I looked up and saw the royal box with the church spire rising behind it, I got chill bumps! It was the same image I saw every night back 19 years ago.

We went to the Tattoo that night and what a fantastic show! There were a few differences from our time. Most notably, nearly every band had their own segment in the show, and the performance of the massed bands was shorter. When we were there, only a few of the bands had their own spot, and the massed bands sequence was much longer. However, this was much better because each group had a chance to showcase their own unique style.

Another difference I noticed is the bands had a fun performance style. The New Zealand Army Band kept the audience laughing with its entertaining show. When The Citadel Band segued to "Hey Baby," the crowd went wild! It was all very entertaining. Of course they played "Auld Lang Syne" and everyone in the audience locked arms, it gave me goose bumps just like it did in 1991. I can't believe it's been 19 years.

Something the Tattoo does now is project images on the face of the castle. They didn't do that in 1991. While the images were impressive, I personally don't think you can improve on the facade of the castle. I remember the drum major of the Royal Scots Guard telling me back in 1991 that we will never perform in front of a more beautiful and impressive backdrop than the castle. Very true then and this year.

What a great trip and fantastic show. The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes made us all proud! They really represented us and our country very well. I know they will carry these memories and this experience for a lifetime as I have. They made me very proud to be a graduate of the band and The Citadel.

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