Reflections on the Halifax Tattoo

Drum Solo during MCV's Show Our latest "Tattoo Experience" is now over and the majority of our membership is now safely home. MCV was a hit not only with the audience but also the cast of 2,000 that were quartered backstage at the Metro Centre.  We now have new friends from Sweden, Belgium, Wales, Denmark, Germany, France, Canada and Estonia. The photo to the right shows the spotlight on our drummers during their roof raising drum solo.

Fortunately this is an Indoor Tattoo as Halifax was plagued with wet and cool weather for nearly the entire run of the Show. However the Haligonians (residents of Halifax) always were cheerful and were quite pleased to see the USA represented once again in their annual event.

RNSIT finaleEach night's Tattoo proceeded with nary a hitch and concluded with the dramatic Finale, when the entire cast was assembled in the arena one last time. 

   All in all this was another successful Tattoo experience for MCV; stay tuned for details for our next big adventure on the International stage. 

—George March, MCV Fifer/Webmaster

Live, from Halifax


Today marks Day 2 of this year's edition of the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo and MCV's debut appearance at the largest indoor Tattoo in the world.  We have settled in nicely, finished up rehearsals just this past Tuesday and were well received at both the Canada Day Parade on July 1 as well as the Opening Night performance at the Metro Centre.  MCV executed it's show to warm applause and excellent post-show reviews.

Several of our performing members were featured in the Tattoo Finale. 8 fifers leading the cast of 2,000 onto the floor in Ode to Joy, drummers accompanying pipers on MacPherson's LamenDrea-tympani-RNSITt and Andrea Wirth as solo tympanist for the entire finale presentation.  MCV is presenting a small outdoor concert this afternoon then it is back to the Metro Centre for tonght's performance. 

–George March, MCV Fifer/Webmaster

Departure day is upon us – MCV on the road again

Pp2009-casesThe Halifax Camp weekend feels like it was just yesterday even though it was two months ago.  Our final drill rehearsal and "Packing Party" was held on Sunday, 21 June.  The weather may have dampened us but spirits were high on the eve of our next big journey.

MCV HQ has already arrived in Halifax, along with our uniforms and drums.  The rest of our team will be arriving on June 25 in preparation for rehearsals that start early on June 26.  Besides our full-time "local" membership, we have remote members flying or driving in from NYC, New Jersey, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Wisconsin and California! 

All the hard work in preparing The Show musically as well as drill-wise has paid off; we look forward to now presenting our show as part of the 30th edition of the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. In addition to our segment in the show MCV will also be fielding a quartet in the Fanfare segment and the entire ensemble will lead the cast of 2,000 out into the arena for the Grand Finale.

 Next post will be from Halifax; we hope to keep in touch regularly as we move through our rehearsal days into the Tattoo itself.

—George March, Webmaster/Fifer, MCV

Halifax Camp Weekend a Success

The assorted members of MCV gathered from far and wide to a Halifax Camp Weekend in Bedford, Massachusetts, at MITRE Corporation, our home away from home.   It was great to see so many familiar faces return to the wig and delightful to see how many new folks have dared to join us. 

491186924308_0_ALB 208207924308_0_ALB

We kept up a grueling rehearsal schedule, with two hours on Friday night after a long work week, EIGHT hours on Saturday, and another two on Sunday before we donned the wig and gave the premier performance of the Halifax show,

 Gch_6997jk       MCV at Lincoln Salute, April 20, 2009
PLUS a full day of parades on Monday when "normal" people were enjoying a holiday.  We emerged with a better sense of what we don't know, which is a useful thing, but also a great sense of self confidence that this show is actually going to work!  It's come such a long way already and we have plenty of time to polish up the fine points.  Many kudos to our new members who are getting thrown right into the thick of it and are blending right into the Collective, as we like to say!  I am personally amazed at the hard work everyone has put in to make this little folk music band shine! 166786924308_0_ALB Many thanks to our drill sergeant, Bill Phenix, and to our Support Staff for clothing us, feeding us, and taking care of our equipment.  We couldn't do it without you!  I'm really looking forward to everyone experiencing the joy of creating something bigger than the sum of its parts.  Useful discovery learned from this weekend:  Peanut butter cookies and salsa are actually pretty good together!  Too bad we're not having any fun! 
515666924308_0_ALB  – Andrea Wirth, drummer
[photo credits to Michelle Godin and Glenn Harder]

MCV attends Tattoo Production Meeting

Halifax production meeting

Jim & Sarah MacConduibh from MCV HQ were joined by Drum Major Tim Sutphin for a trip in early April to Halifax to attend the Tattoo's production meeting. Representatives from all performing groups were present for three days of meetings to finalize the scope and structure of this years' event.  The photo to the left shows one of the meetings between MCV and the Tattoo Production staff held in the Tattoo Office.


The Tattoo office itself is actually a very small house converted to business use; the photo here shows memorabilia from the past 29 annual Tattoos on the stairway to the second floor.  This year's Tattoo will boast close to 2000 performers; MCV will be performing our 6 minute Show as well as leading the massed bands in the Finale.


Sarah_on_iceOn the last full day in Halifax, Sarah was able to get into the Halifax Metro Centre and march MCV's Show,
albeit on the ice that is currently in place for hockey games!  Stay
tuned for a review of MCV's Halifax "Dress Rehearsal" at the April 19th
Lincoln Salute.