End of the Journey for On the Road to Malmö


20110522-Malmo-0961Hard to believe that we arrived home from Sweden just one week ago today. MCV is already back in the regular summer season swing -two parades this weekend for Memorial Day and many more performances over the next several weeks in the Boston area.  So, it is with some sadness that we must close this latest MCV journey and our "On the Road to Malmö" blog.  


Thanks again to our gracious hosts the Royal Fire Brigade of Malmö and the City of Malmö for the invite.  A toast to all of our new found friends in the HMKG of Norway and other performing groups at the first Sweden International Tattoo. 



But as one door closes another is about to open.  Stay tuned for a new blog later this year that will chronicle our preparations for our next great journey overseas.  Until then, we wish all of our new and old friends a healthy and happy 2011.

George March, MCV Webmaster/Fifer


Breakfast in Sweden, Lunch in Denmark, Dinner in London, and Crashing in Boston!

WHAT A WEEK! From playing drums in Malmö Sweden, to dancing in Denmark, to avoiding volcanoes in Iceland; this week it seems I have seen it all!


Last Monday, May 16th, I set out on my first ever Tattoo performance with the Boston-based fife and drum group the Middlesex County Volunteers. I’ve referred to this group in earlier posts. For those of you who are not familiar with a Tattoo (neither was I before heading out on this one) it is a 3 hour, arena performance showcasing the talents of MILITARY based music from a variety of countries. These performances can include just music, music with an accompanied marching show, or sometimes dancers and stunt shows involving motorcycles and vehicles. It seems all of these elements came together in Malmö, Sweden this past week!



The trip started with some firsts, as this was the first ever time I flew through the country of Iceland. WOW. The area around the Reykjavik airport seems to be lifted from the moon landing videos. Crazy boulder fields surrounded by the most beautiful mountains. This is an amazing and exotic place I definitely MUST get back to. From Iceland, I departed to Malmö, Sweden. Malmö is Sweden’s second largest city and an amazing place to visit. I am absolutely in love with the feel, style, attitude, and overall lifestyle of Europe! The people and architecture combine for a truly romantic feeling.


Because of only being here for a week, rehearsals started almost immediately! Middlesex is one of the most professional groups when it comes to rehearsing and “getting it right”, so we spent a great deal of time running marching and moves. I never realized how sought after the group actually was until seeing the reactions from people from all over the world including Norway, Sweden, Scotland, and Germany.



The rehearsals culminated in three performances:  a parade and two shows showcasing our music and marching routines. It was such a thrill to get to march down the small road of Malmö performing for the local crowd. People totally dug our drum solo! The two Tattoo performances went equally well, even though I had a stick drop in front of 8,000 people. Good thing for those quick hands! You can check out the show from the live performance here.  I’m the snare drummer to the left of center in the video.




When not performing, I had the awesome opportunity to check out the sites in both Copenhagen and Malmö. I am TOTALLY in love with the seaport town of Copenhagen, which has a unique mix of old and new within the city. From the many shopping and party districts, to Tivoli (a huge amusement park in the middle of the city) Copenhagen really does “have it all” for everyone.

Malmö, while not quite as big a city, has its own hidden jewels. After doing a little online research I came across a club called Babel located in a renovated church. GREAT CHOICE! The place had great DJ’s and an attached concert hall showcasing some of Sweden’s best bands. Their tap beers also made my list.


After great times and performances, Iceland decided that it didn’t really want us to leave yet. The explosion of another Icelandic volcano almost extended our trip (which I don’t think would have been that bad =) Thanks to the great employees of SAS airlines, this wasn’t a problem as we was redirected through Heathrow.


To conclude, I feel absolutely honored to have been asked to perform and accompany the Middlesex County Volunteers on this trip. This is truly an extraordinary group composed of talented musicians who do it for THE LOVE OF THE MUSIC. All of them have “regular” jobs and choose to spend their free time making wonderful music with each other and, more importantly, sharing the music with the world.



Small thoughts, such as remembering my missed graduation from the New England Conservatory, all combine to show the true integrity or the group. Thanks again for the good times and memories and stay posted for next year, since I will be accompanying the group in Basel, Switzerland in 2012!



Rich Chwastiak, drummer




Seven Days in Malmö


MCV's first tour of Scandinavia was truly a whirlwind. We arrived on Tuesday, May 17th (after flying overnight from Boston) and started rehearsals early on May 18th. After morning rehearsal we had an excellent afternoon tour of Copenhagen and then an evening in Tivoli Gardens.  Rehearsals resumed first thing on Thursday and went all day until our first chance to march the actual Malmö Arena. Friday featured a Tattoo cast parade through downtown, afternoon rehearsals and then the first Tattoo Finale rehearsal.  Saturday was an all day affair (two rehearsal run-throughs of the entire 3.5 hour show) and then opening night! MCV played to a sold out house of 8,000 and we had a blast.  Sunday featured our second and last show and then it was to the airport on Monday to begin our long journey home.

MCV-HMKG-drum We made many new friends with the international cast members that hailed from throughout Europe and the UK. I wanted to give a special shout-out to our new friends in His Majesty the King’s Guard of Norway. Members of MCV and HMKG formed a great bond during our tour and we hope to see our Norwegian friends again in the not too distant future.

-George March, Fifer/MCV Webmaster

MCV Live from Malmö!

MCV in concert in Malmö

MCV has successfully completed another tour and have returned from Malmö, Sweden safe and sound (despite a very big detour due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland!).  We had hoped to have frequent live blog postings from Malmö but due to the unique compressed tour time of this trip (6 nights on the ground) that was not possible. However, we will have blog postings from four different perspectives this week: from two MCV veterans (Andrea Wirth and George March) and by new members (Chris Myers and Rich Chwastiak).  Stay tuned for frequent updates this week.  Video coming this afternoon!


T minus 4 days and counting

  640x480_Malmo Arena, Sweden The MCV in Malmö team assembled State-side one last time the weekend of May 7 & 8 for an intenstive drill & music rehearsal in Bedford, MA.  We are ready to go (except for personal packing) and depart on Monday, May 16th.  Our performance home will be in the brand new Malmö Arena (see photo).  Stay tuned for many more postings once we arrive in Sweden!

For a quick online tour of our host city please visit their official website: Guide to Malmo

-George March, MCV Webmaster/Fifer

The Countdown to Sweden Has Begun

MalmoDrill-block MCV held an intense two-day music & drill rehearsal for our Sweden Show the weekend of April 16-17 in Bedford, MA.  Our full-time local members were joined by our remote performers from across the country (California, Wisconsin and Virginia), allowing the entire Tattoo cast to run the show as it will ultimately be presented in Malmo.
We finished the weekend off with Patriots Day parades in Concord and Lexington, MA.

Next up is our "Packing Party" on May 1st: the day that all of our uniforms, gear and drums are MalmoDrill-drumsalute
packed for freight shipment to Sweden. Then we will focus on our second and final Drill rehearsal weekend, to be held May 7-8.  Stay tuned for further updates after our May rehearsal weekend.

George March, Fifer/MCV Webmaster

Introducing the Performers in the Sweden International Tattoo


As we await the first signs of Spring and our big April Sweden Tattoo Drill Rehearsal weekend, here is a run-down of the other performing groups joining MCV at this year's Sweden International Tattoo:




  •  Royal Fire Brigade Band, Malmo, Sweden
  • Bands of the Royal Swedish Navy and Army
  • The King's Guards Band and Drill Team of Norway
  • Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland
  • Malmöflickorna, Sweden
  • Central Band of the Polish Army
  • Polizei Motorcykelshow, Germany
  • The Tenors (vocals), Denmark/Sweden
  • Brenna Conrad (vocals), Canada
  • Helsingborgs Koncert Hall Choir, Sweden
  • and many more local groups

Stay tuned for further updates as they become available.

A New Year Dawns with a New Tattoo Drill


Rothaus, Malmo, Sweden

The start of 2011 was a busy time for MCV.  Sweden International Tattoo held a Production Meeting in Malmo on 3 & 4 January that was attended by the directors of each musical group that were invited; our Headquarters Staff represented MCV in snowy Malmö.  On 16 January we assembled the MCV Malmö team at Marlboro High School field house and walked through the Drill for our Show; it will be spectacular come the Spring!


Malmo Center 

 The final Malmö team has been chosen and the rest of the Winter will be spent fine-tuning the musical selections; our next Drill rehearsal will be 16 & 17 April.  We hope to have some nice photos of the drill after that session!  Stay tuned for further Blog entries as we gear up for Sweden!


George March, MCV Webmaster/Fifer

On the Road to Malmö: The Journey Begins

MCV's next journey will take us On the Road to…Malmö, Sweden.  We will appear in the Sweden International Tattoo in May 2011. This Blog will chronicle our preparations for the trip and also provide regular updates while in Malmö. 

Our Show music has already been selected and rehearsed; drill rehearsal begins in earnest on 16th January. Our Headquarters staff will be flying over to Malmö for a Tattoo Production Meeting just after New Year's Day. This meeting is meant to bring together representatives from the entire Tattoo cast and the Tattoo Production team to work out the actual flow of the show as well as basic event logistics.  Look for our next posting in mid January as we shift into high gear for our next International adventure.


In the meantime, please visit the Sweden International Tatto's website for further info and a list of performers. We do hope that some of our European based friends can attend the Tattoo!