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2010 Tattoo Travel blog

The Citadel Department of External Affairs is blogging the journey to Edinburgh and back with the Regimental Band and Pipes. Thank you for joining us and for your support!

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.

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.

'Leavin' on a jetplane'

Written by Charlene Gunnells
Saturday, 28 August 2010 20:22

In between packing their equipment and their suitcases, the cadets in the Regimental Band and Pipes are on Facebook talking about their departure, which is just hours away in Scotland. The cadets will be back on campus Sunday afternoon.

Angela Yenca just marched off the esplanade for the last time. What an awesome experience! Thank you to everyone who was a part of it or helped to make it possible. Packing up my bags, saying goodbye to Edinburgh, and getting ready to head to the highlands!

Josh Wright: It has come to an end. It's been a long and stressful month but it's all worth it. The friends I have made cannot begin to describe what an awesome month this has been. Thank you Lord for giving me an awesome opportunity this month, thank you everybody for the prayers and support this past month. Love you all. And to my new friends, Good luck in the future and hope all goes well. Keep in touch and the time will come before we meet again. Thanks for all that you have done.

Danielle Vincent is leaving on a jet plane :(

Donald Paolella III just performed his last show of the 2010 Diamond Jubilee Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Gunna be a long night. Met some great people, and made some awesome friends. Thank you to all who supported the band and made this a possibility for me. This was an EPIC way to end a summer!

Chris Knight: DONE!!! DONE!!! Done, done, done, done, done. Leaving in less than 6 hours!!!!!!

Benny Huerta just finished the last show for this splendiferous event. Now to finish with the small details and get home. This was definitely something worth experiencing...

Kelly Oliver is excited to be heading home in the morning, but I really hate to leave such a great country....Thank you Scotland for the many amazing nights ;)

A.J. Harley is headed back 2 the US in the am. Can't wait 2 b back!

Harrison Stewart has loved Scotland been amazing month had so much fun gonna miss all the friends I have made. One more day then headed home

Ashley Sparks just finished the last show of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. This experience is beyond words! The memories will last a lifetime!!!!

Matthew McGuirk : Come 24 hours from now, I'll be on a plane seeing Scotland go away in the distance, and on the horizon a country where I can REGAIN all the weight I lost. Woot!

Will Moore : Not ready to get back to reality. Don't think Charleston is ready for what has become of me just yet

Eugene Pak: Officially retired from Scotland

Mildred Johns' current theme song: Homeward Bound by Simon and Garfunkel!

Richard Westheimer: I'm leavin on a jet plane...Don't know when I'll be back again.

Campus welcome planned for Band Company

Written by Charlene Gunnells
Friday, 27 August 2010 12:02

The Citadel Cheerleaders will be among those people on hand in front of Padgett-Thomas Barracks Sunday afternoon to welcome home The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes, which has been in Scotland since July 28 taking part in The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

The campus community- faculty, staff, students - is invited to come out and help welcome these cadets home to The Citadel. Local news media will be invited as well.

Throughout August the band and pipes performed for more than 218,000 people at Edinburgh Castle. The band will be seen by millions of people around the world this fall when BBC television airs a show and produces a DVD about the 2010 Tattoo. You can preorder the DVD at the Tattoo website. Check out Band experience in Scotland at

The cadets will return Sunday in two shifts. The first flight arrives at Charleston International at 3:57 PM Sunday. The bus should depart the airport for campus by approximately 4:30 p.m. The second flight arrives at 6:04 PM Sunday and should depart the airport for campus by about 6:40 p.m. Please note times are approximate and flight arrivals are dependent on weather and other flying conditions.

66 hours in Edinburgh

Written by Kelly Atkins-Satterfield
Friday, 27 August 2010 09:22

When we started out on Friday, Aug. 20, we knew this would be a whirlwind trip, but we could not miss this for the world! As an elementary school teacher, my travel opportunities are dictated by our school calendar and board regulations regarding personal leave. The only way that I could get to see my son, Will Lewis, Class of 2013, perform was to leave on a Friday and return on a Tuesday and it had to be after the first two weeks of school. Talk about specific travel arrangements!

I was sure that I had packed everything but what I did not know is that I managed to pack Murphy's Law as well! Suffice it to say that it was a miracle we were able to get to our Tattoo performance on time - in the same clothes that we left Atlanta in! (Sound familiar?).

will_lewisOur family is of Scottish ancestry, so just being there was very emotional for me. But I never would have expected the flood of emotion that I felt when I saw my son standing outside his waiting area looking so handsome in his uniform! That, coupled with the fact that I had not seen him in almost a month, well let's just say that mom was a little teary!

At any rate, the performance was magical. The atmosphere is one that almost defies description. All 8,000 plus audience members were welcoming and supportive of all the bands there. Trent (Will's little brother) and I were seated by a family from England and were just amazed at the questions they asked once they found out we were from the U.S. Imagine my sincere surprise when they became a Citadel cheering section with Trent and me! It was very touching. They wanted me to point out Will and asked all sorts of questions about our band. There was no competition, no superiority, just 8,000 people loving the fact that they were about to witness a great show!

The Regimental Band and Pipes' performance was outstanding. These young men and women are a symbol of what is best about our country despite all the stereotypical ideas of what Americans are (and they have faced several instances of this) they carry themselves with dignity and class. There are quite a few people who have had to readjust their ideas about our citizens thanks to the wonderful ambassadors that they are!

We saw them perform and quite honestly I could not video it because I just wanted to take in every note and step and did not want my attention distracted by an electronic device. I'll buy the professional video for sure though. They were just amazing! They have developed such a sense of professionalism and confidence from being around these adult, professional military musicians. I even think that they are more of a unit now than they were when they left Charleston. I know that everyone will notice it when they return.

Now, 66 hours later we are back home in the land of people who drive on the correct side of the road, but are missing our son/older brother! We are so proud of him and ALL the members of The Citadel that are in Scotland.

In August of 1991, The Citadel performed at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo; that same August just a hop over the "pond" in Frankfurt Germany, Will was born. Ironic isn't it that now HE is performing on his birthday during The Citadel's second trip to the Tattoo. Happy Birthday Will!

Many thanks!
Kelly Atkins-Satterfield

Photo: Cadet Will Lewis, who celebrated his 19th birthday on Aug. 26, poses with members of The Imps, a motorcycle stunt team from London's East Side. The kids in The Imps became fast friends with the Band cadets.

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