MCV On the Road to Colonial Williamsburg for Drummers Call and Concert

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MCV On the Road to Colonial Williamsburg for Drummers Call and Concert

MCV is honored to have been invited to perform in the Successful Campaign concert at  Kimball Theatre in Williamsburg, Virginia  on Friday, May 20th. We thank Colonial Williamsburg Fifes & Drums for the chance to play again at the lovely Kimball Theatre.

MCV will also participate in Drummers Call at Colonial Williamsburg on Saturday, May 21st.  Several other fife and drum corps from throughout the Eastern U.S. and Canada will be performing during this day long event, featuring a  parade, a fife and drum muster and a torch-lit parade throughout the Revolutionary City in the evening.

 

A Humbling Experience

After the first full day of rehearsals yesterday, I am, and I’m sure many of my fellow MCVers are as well, completely humbled to be here in Halifax. I am humbled to be able to play and march with some very skilled musicians who put in countless hours to achieve perfection.

I am humbled by all the other groups that are also actively working to achieve perfection. The talent and determination that the cast has is remarkable.

I am humbled by the arena. Having never been able to play in a location as big as the ScotiaBank Centre, I am so excited to be able to play for an audience as large as the Tattoo’s.

I am humbled by this opportunity. Not very many people get to spend 2 weeks with 52 of their closest friends playing for 60,000 people. We are lucky enough to have that opportunity.

Above all, I am humbled to be able to represent the United States. Blogs from other tours have noted the ambassadorship that comes with performing abroad. We are not only representing our country, but its history, Boston’s relationship with Halifax, and the whole fife and drum community.

I look forward to seeing more of the other hard working performance  groups over the next couple rehearsal days as we ramp up to opening night on June 30th.

-Nick Johnson, snare drummer

Teamwork

MCV has always functioned strongly within its traditional fife sections and drum sections, but through preparations for the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, we have had the opportunity to work closely in smaller groups and develop some fun team identities.

Our drill program has been designed to use a system of teams who work together to make our pretty pictures. I think it helps to have a consistent working group to solidify those gates and make those straight lines – and to have some fun, too. The “A Team” took full advantage of their name and worked together to make custom t-shirts with an appropriate character’s name on their backs.

A-Team
The A-Team!
Complete with character names!
Complete with character names!

They also extended an hand to our Canadian guest, Nathan, who was granted his own shirt, the “Eh Team.” A little brotherly humor! Such clever fifers!

The "Eh Team!"
The “Eh Team!”

We’ve been reviewing old photos and videos of the last time we were at RNSIT and are REALLY getting excited to return to the warm crowds, meet old friends and make a lot of new ones.  It’s hard to think about anything else except preparing for that spotlight.6a00d8344e670a53ef01543290153a970c

-Andrea Wirth, snare drummer

Countdown to RNSIT

Hello everyone!

I am Nick Johnson, one of the bloggers for the 2015 tour to Halifax. I joined MCV in January 2014, after six years in a local junior fife and drum corps. This will be my third time traveling with the corps. Previously, I tagged along with my mother, a member of the support staff, on the 2009 trip to Nova Scotia, and went on a small group tour to Puerto Rico this past December. I look forward to the thrill of my first show as part of the Tattoo cast, as well as meeting all the other performers from around the world.

 

As of this post, we are two weeks out from our arrival in Nova Scotia. We have been working on the show music for about six months, and the drill for about two; though, our section leaders have been working for far longer to ensure MCV presents a show that meets our high standards. Dozens of rehearsals, and countless music revisions later, we are antsy to perform for an international audience. We have two parades this weekend, Warwick, Rhode Island and Charlestown, Massachusetts, where we will present our show music for a local audience for the final time before the corps hits the road.

 

Nick Johnson, drummer

Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo Media Launch

The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo had their Media Launch day on May 27th and posted this video of introductions from most of the performing groups attending this year’s Tattoo.  MCV’s spot is near the end of the video.

Enjoy the video!

George March, Fifer/MCV Webmaster

Gearing up for Halifax

MCV is gearing up for our second two-day rehearsal camp and we are looking forward to refining the music and marching routine for our 5 1/2 minute performance in Halifax.

I would like to introduce the blogging team for this year’s journey:

  • Beth Humphreys
  • Nick Johnson
  • George March
  • Christopher Myers
  • Toria Sky
  • Andrea Wirth

Chris, Andrea and myself are seasoned Tattoo veterans; this will be the first Tattoo experience for Toria, Nick and Beth.  Stay tuned for reports from the team over the next few weeks.

 

-George March, Fifer/MCV Webmaster

MCV am mym Rhy

Fifers warming up next to Rhine RiverIt is hard to believe that our farewell party in Basel was just two weeks ago.  MCV’s experience in the Basel Tattoo was phenomenal and we all miss our friends and the city of Basel itself. There were many experiences during our two week stay that I could write a book about, but this post will try to list just a few of my favorite moments.

 

 

MCV’s daily warm-up routine:  tuning up in the Kaserne was too noisy (tho we did do so during some of the rainy nights) so MCV headed down to the Rhine River, which was literally steps away from the venue.  The fifers took up residence on the pedestrian path with the drummers a bit further down under some shade trees.  We often ended up surrounded by dozens of passers by that stopped to see what the heck was going on! This was a knowledgeble audience and it was reassuring to receive such positive feedback from the locals.
MCV drummers warming up There is a famous song “z’Basel am mym Rhy”, which loosely translates to Basel on my Rhine (River).  MCV were fortunate to have this experience first-hand.

 

 

 

 

MCV in the Basel Tattoo Cast BarBasel Tattoo Cast Bar: this was our first Tattoo that had a dedicated Cast Bar. It was just a dusty concrete room when we arrived but by opening night the space had been transformed into a sparkling Party Central for the 1,000+ performers.  Each night a different band would take the Cast Bar stage and show off some of their hidden talents not seen during the Tattoo.  Props to all the groups for entertaining the assembled masses.  MCV braved the stage one night and were received with open arms.

 

Making Friends: I’m sure this point was assisted by our ability to mingle with other groups at the Cast Bar, but this is the main pay-off for performing at Tattoos.  Where else would you get the opportunity to connect with musicians from Denmark, Finland, Russia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, Scotland, South Africa and the USA in one place?  And for the more adventurous souls, there were impromptu runs down to the Rhine to go swimming between shows.  MCV and DenmarkMCV and the Band of Flutes and Drums & Drill Team of the Royal Life Guards, Denmark, made a lasting bond, and a photo of our group photo on the last night of the Tattoo is posted here.  We hope to see our new friends again in the not too distant future.

The Roar of the Crowd: despite two shows per night, it was always a thrill to go through the gates of the Kaserne and out into the arena to perform for a sold-out house.  Our 7 minute set seemed to go by in seconds and was always well received by the 8,000 in attendance, whether the show was in the sun (early shows), the glow of the spotlights or in the rain (the show must go on…).  Always an honor.

Stuart Highlanders: our friends in the Stuart Highlanders Pipe Band did a terrific job for their first ever Tattoo and were well reviewed not only by the audience but also the production staff.  I am sure we will see the band back for other such events in the future.

That is it for me; it has been a great honor to participate in MCV’s latest overseas adventure.

-George March, Fifer/MCV Webmaster

 

 

Stuart Highlanders in Basel Tattoo

Stuart Highlanders in Massed Pipes & Drums

 

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MCV marching out of the Kaserne

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MCV Drum Feature

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MCV exiting the arena

Basel Tattoo Finale - Full Cast

The Cast of the 2012 Basel Tattoo

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Lone Piper at Basel Tattoo

 

Video from our last show at Basel Tattoo

 

Below is a video of MCV's show on Saturday, July 21, 2012. Stay tuned for wrap-up stories by our other bloggers this week.  The photos below were taken by John Whittaker, Stuart Highlanders and Leif Harder of MCV.  A beautiful double rainbow over the Tattoo grandstands and a view of the Rhine River that we had every day during our stay in Basel. 

George March, Fifer/MCV Webmaster

 

 

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