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.

 

An American abroad

 

I’m sure that my fellow tattoo first-timers will agree with me when I say that being an American at an international tattoo is life changing. I have never identified as patriotic, or even proud of my country. It is not that I am ashamed of my heritage, I have just never had strong feelings one way or the other. While my identity has always been strongly influenced by my country and its history, I haven’t been excited to share that part of myself with people.Beth and Melena

Ever since we arrived for our first rehearsal here my attitude toward patriotism and national pride has changed. As a member of one of only two American groups performing in the tattoo I have been identified as my country. Acting as a representative of the United States, even in such an unofficial capacity, has reminded me how important kindness and friendship are. I am not a member of MCV to the members of the Kings Guard of Norway or Club Piruett of Estonia. I am one of The Americans. I belong with the red, white, and blue uniform and flag. When they see me backstage it is clear that they do not see me… they see the whole country. That is an incredible responsibility, and we all take it very seriously.

Every tattoo participant clearly feels the same way. We are ambassadors, proud of our roots and eager to reach out across borders to form bonds. Every member of the over twenty performing groups can be seen backstage when they are not rehearsing, talking with members from other countries. We laugh, shout, and wave our arms around to help communicate through the language barriers. We compare uniforms, ask questions about logos (fun fact: the Home Guard Band of Eslöv has three crowns on their shirts because it is a simplified version of the Swedish coat of arms), and talk about flag etiquette in different countries. We are making friends and having fun.

We are all representatives, and proud of it.

 

We’re almost there!

Hey folks, Beth here. I’m part of the fife section (a life-long dream come true) and I am so excited that we are only two days away from our adventure! I have never participated in a tattoo before. My head is reeling just thinking about all the rehearsing we have coming in the next week. I know it is all worth it, though! Preparing for the show these last few months has been so much fun because of how amazing this group of people is to work with. Everyone is supportive, driven, and hilarious… even during long hours, and even in pouring rain.

Today we had our last run through rehearsal before we step foot on Canadian soil. We also had to pack the trailer because our fearless leaders had to begin their trek north today. So, of course, the weather did not cooperate. In fact we had torrential downpours. Luckily we have a slightly protected area to work in, but we still got wet. Everyone was in high spirits though. I, for one, am over the moon that it’s almost show time! Our hard work is really showing during rehearsal. We work well together as a team both in and out of uniform, and that is reflected in our drill.

As Toria mentioned in her post last week, the to-do lists around here are an insane length. With only one full day left before travel day it’s starting to feel like the world is ending after tomorrow, instead of beginning an awesome trip. I am so excited to make new friends, explore Halifax for the first time in ten years, and above all to perform with this amazing group of people. I can’t wait to hit the floor and soak in the crowd! Safe travels everyone, and we will see you up north in just a few days.

Cheers,

Beth Humphreys, Fifer

T minus 6 days

Dear Everyone,

My name is Toria and I am a tattoo virgin. I have no ink on my body… oh wait… I mean I’ve never performed in a tattoo before. RNSIT will be my first time marching in an event of this size, and for so many shows! This will also be my first time in Halifax and my first time out of the country with this fabulous group. Oh goodness, wish me luck.

Freshman year, I played tenor sax in the Boston College Screaming Eagles Marching Band. If you’ve ever been to a marching band’s “band camp” you know that this ain’t no swimming pool summer camp. We had a few MCV camps to prepare for our trip. MCV Camp is just like BC Band Camp, except it’s only for two days at a time, there are snacks (thank you support team), and my instrument is way easier to carry than a tenor saxophone. This instrument can fit through my belt loops. Phew. I love playing the fife.

In the morning, we have music rehearsals inside, then break for lunch, then marching rehearsals outside. We’re marching on the top floor of a parking garage, enjoying spring breezes, swatting at the occasional bug, roasting in the sun, and shivering when clouds float by. After living in the city for most of every week, it’s nice to enjoy the great outdoors of Bedford, but you do want to make sure you remember to wear sunscreen.

We take off for Halifax in a week. In that one week, there’s a lot of stuff I have to do. This Friday will be my last day at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Friday night, I move out of my 4th apartment in Boston. (My dad isn’t too happy about helping me move all my stuff down five flights of stairs after only 2 months.) Saturday I spend time with my friends and family back home in Connecticut, and pack. Pack, pack, pack. Sunday, we have one more rehearsal before we leave the next day! This is coming so fast.

 

In anticipation of the trip, here’s a few of the things I’m looking forward to:

  • playing music
  • playing music in a giant arena
  • looking badass
  • getting just enough sleep to function the next day
  • meeting friends from the other groups and around the world
  • not getting sick
  • eating beaver tails
  • eating seafood
  • eating
  • exploring Halifax and taking cool photos

 

Now let’s see how this goes. I’ll keep you updated on my goals with my future blog posts during the trip! T minus 6 days. I can’t wait.

– Toria Sky, cool kid, fifer, and food enthusiast

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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