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Notes on Scotland (cont.)

First day of rehearsals at the Edinburgh Castle (August 3, 2015)

Early morning wake-ups and perfect timing


Alarms could be heard ringing up and down the halls of our dorm around 5:00 this morning as The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes had an early wake-up call before their first rehearsal at the Edinburgh Castle. Prepped and ready to go, the cadets boarded buses at 6 a.m. to head to the castle about 15 minutes away where they would practice on the esplanade for the first time. Upon arrival, America’s Band 2015 was in awe of the historic fortress and the stage that they will perform on over the next several weeks.

Although the sun was shining, the wind was whipping around and everyone seemed to be a wee bit chilly. The band did a vocal run through to kick-off the rehearsals and it is featured here. After their first run through everyone warmed up and removed their jackets as they prepared for their next 3 full rehearsals.

The band is required to fit their performance into an exact seven minute timeframe per the detailed sequence of the show schedule. With the rehearsal audience including the producer of the 2015 Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Brig. Gen. David Allfrey, the band performed with the utmost precision and nailed their seven minute time window to the second – three times in a row and impressing all! Commander Alverson and Major Smith were even seen giving each other a secretive high five. What a tremendous way to begin the week!

After the rehearsal, the band returned to the dorms and the pipes went on to Redford Barracks where they would practice with 13 other pipe groups from around the world. All of the groups will perform together as part of the shows that begin Friday, Aug. 7. Don’t forget to use our hashtag #AmericasBand2015 for any posts, tweets or photos you share on social media!
View more photos from the first day of rehearsal.

The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes heading to Edinburgh for music festival (July 30, 2015)

By Lauren Shirley


Members of The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes were back on campus early this week to prepare for an international military music festival in Scotland.

The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes was invited to represent the U.S. in the world’s largest military music event, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The festival will include music, pageantry and demonstrations by military organizations from around the world. Held at Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, the festival, which runs from Aug. 7 to 29, will be broadcast to 30 countries and approximately 100 million people.

This is the third time since 1991 that The Citadel has been invited to represent the U.S. at the festival. The 86 cadets and 7 staff members have been diligently preparing to take the international stage, including rehearsals that last from sunup to sundown. They depart for Scotland on July 31.

Long days, but high energy as America’s Band 2015 finalizes rehearsals on campus (July 27, 2015)

Regimental Band and Pipes leaves July 31 for The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo


Band Company cadets are stretching, running, planning and “playing” as they complete the final on-campus preparations to represent the United States of America at the world’s most prestigious military music event. On Friday, July 31, members of The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes fly out of Charleston bound for Edinburgh, Scotland. The troupe includes 86 cadets, including 9 fortunate freshmen, accompanied by 7 staff members. Commander Mike Alverson and Major Jim Dillahey have been working for two years to plan and prepare for this world-class event, with the help of Band Company TAC and Citadel historian, Major Steve Smith who is serving as logistics manager.

Since arriving back on campus several days ago, the cadets have practiced sunup to sundown, with physical training starting long before dawn. Today’s PT was followed by four hours of rehearsal on the field, a break for lunch, and then more rehearsing. The cadets have memorized the pieces and are now concentrating on unifying the sections, and timing the flow from one song to the next. The titles of the selections cannot be shared with the public yet, per Tattoo regulations, but they are very American and will cause quite a sensation with the expected 200,000-plus people in the audience at Edinburgh Castle during the run of shows, as well as for the anticipated 400,000,000 around the world who are expected to see the performances. The BBC and two other media outlets will be broadcasting each of the performances from the first on August 7 to the final show August 29.

There are many ways to follow the band’s news from Scotland in addition to this blog. And, please use #AmericasBand2015 for any posts, tweets or photos you share on social media?

Please “like” and “share” in support of our cadets who have worked very hard to earn the great privilege of representing our nation before the world.


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