All the traditional ingredients will be present – massed pipes & drums, massed bands, the Lone Piper along with a number of impressive overseas offerings – but some will be contributing a new look to next year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (7-29 August 2015).
Among new features will be one of the most popular military college marching bands in the United States, the 70-piece Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes, who will travel to Scotland from Charleston in South Carolina for August’s 66th Tattoo, while over 100 musicians and a cultural item from the East is also expected to add an unexpected new dimension to proceedings, as the showpiece military event celebrates ‘East Meets West’.
The Tattoo’s Producer, Brigadier David Allfrey, said: “The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is privileged to be in conversation with around 30 countries at any one moment, with customers drawn from across the world and contingents from over 40 nations having performed with us over the years. Even with this pedigree, the cast for 2015 looks rather special with 5 major international contributors in the mix. The theme of ‘East Meets West’ has allowed us a broad canvas and an excuse to draw in friends from 5 continents as well as the home team!”
For the sixth time in the Tattoo’s history, Switzerland is to provide participants who will also play a part next summer. The Swiss contingent, Top Secret Drum Corps, featuring 30 top percussionists from one of the world’s most sensational marching rhythm groups, will display an unpredictable style and dynamism that has drummed its way into the hearts of Tattoo spectators on four previous occasions.
New features will also include an exciting appearance by the Royal Air Force, which is set to observe the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in 2015. To mark this important occasion, which continues to occupy a special place in the hearts and minds of the British public, RAF Pipes and Drums, the RAF Squadronaires together with the Queen’s Colour Squadron will present a spirited display of piping, drumming, dance band classics and precision drill that is expected to delight audiences throughout the 3-week Castle Esplanade spectacular.
And along with the Massed Pipes and Drums will be some of the foremost services bands in the world, The RAF Massed Bands embracing representatives from The Central Band of the Royal Air Force, The Band of The Royal Air Force College and The Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment in company with The Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, with over 120 musicians drawn from across the UK.
“This year - we are already working as if it were 2015 - we are delighted to be supported by the Royal Air Force under their Principal Director of Music, Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs. The RAF bands have huge quality and depth, their presentation is first rate and, their music is both excellent and broad in its appeal. Of course, in 2015, we will be marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. This offers a splendid opportunity to showcase all the RAF have to offer. We are all thoroughly looking forward to honouring ‘The Few’” commented the Producer.
From the United States will come a Highland Dance contingent who will join forces with the Tattoo’s own Highland dancers to offer a selection of colourful, complex and compelling dance patterns.
The 90-minute production will also feature the return of the Crossed Swords Pipe Band from Berlin. German composer and co-writer of the popular bagpipe melody ‘Highland Cathedral’ – Berlin-based Michael Korb – a band stalwart, may well perform at the event alongside the 25-strong group of pipers and drummers , as the Tattoo’s first German pipe band, ‘The Crossed Swords’, take to Edinburgh’s famous Castle Esplanade for a second time.
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which is set-up and run for charitable purposes, is grateful to official partner, The Royal Bank of Scotland, for its continued support. Rhidian Taylor, Head of Brand at RBS said: "2014 proved to be yet another fantastic year for The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. As Scotland's most prestigious and internationally renowned event, we look forward to welcoming our customers and being part of the team making it happen for 2015".
Tickets for the 2015 Tattoo (7-29 August) will be available online at www.edintattoo.co.uk and over the phone Tel: 0131 225 1188, from 10am on Monday, December 1st 2014. Counter Bookings from the Tattoo Ticket Sales Office at 32-34 Market Street in Edinburgh, will be accepted from Monday, December 8th.