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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Last Day in Basel

The Basel Tattoo for 2012 came to a successful end last evening after a very eventful run. We will have many stories and photos to share once we return home. The one photo with this story was taken this past Monday in Freiburg, Germany…our very own Andrea Wirth is posing with her Tattoo publicity shot on our bus.

George March, Fifer/MCV Webmaster

Last Day in Basel

Four More To Go

Sorry that our Basel blogging has been so quiet….our schedule has been intense! We had another two successful shows today and have just four shows left over next two days, plus the Tattoo parade thru the heart of Basel on Saturday. The photos with this article are the view of the Rhine River from our dressing room and the spectacular Finale. Many more stories to share in the next few days.

George March, Fifer/MCV Webmaster

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Four More To Go

It is Showtime!

Today is opening night of the Basel Tattoo but before arriving at this milestone we were a wee bit busy the past few days. Tuesday was arrival day which featured four hours of rehearsal. Wednesday was our one chance to run our show in the arena, this was followed by about eight hours of drill and music rehearsals in multiple locations. Thursday featured several hours of private rehearsals,one run through of entire show and then a dress rehearsal….in front of a full house! A successful day overall which puts MCV in good shape for one more dress rehearsal followed by a sold out opening night show at 9:30 pm. Stay tuned by posts by our other bloggers this weekend.

George March, Fifer/Webmaster

It is Showtime!

It is Showtime!

It is Showtime!

Departure Day..minus Eis

Basel2012shirt-final-jpgToday is Departure Day, minus Eis (one) for MCV!  We get on a jetplane (OK, more than one) and arrive in Basel on Tuesday, 10 July.  I will be flying over this evening as the advance team and to meet up with our friends in the Stuart Highlanders, who will arrive in Basel tomorrow.   Please bookmark this blog and stay tuned for frequent updates once MCV arrives in Basel.  Our Basel Tattoo Bloggers will be:

  • George March, MCV Fifer/Webmaster
  • Chris Myers, MCV Fifer
  • Tom Vandervort, MCV Bass drummer
  • Andrea Wirth, MCV snare drummer

-George March, MCV Webmaster/Fifer

 

Basel Tattoo Cast of Performers and…a Tattoo-cam!

Before we begin the near-daily blogging from Basel I thought it a good time to list all the Tattoo performance groups (as of press time). 

The performers at the 2012 Basel Tattoo are:

  • Ailsa Craig Highland Dancers, Scotland
    Band of Flutes and Drums and the Drill Team of the Royal Life Guards, Denmark
    Basel Tattoo Choir, Switzerland
    Basel Tattoo Garde, Switzerland
    Central Band of the Ministry of Defence, Russia
    Conscript Band, Switzerland
    Conscript Band of the Finnish Defence Forces, Finland
    Drill Team of the Presidential Regiment, Russia
    Lochiel Marching Drill Team, New Zealand
    Meiden High School Band, Japan
    Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes and Drums, U.S.A.
    New Zealand Army Band, New Zealand
    Presidential Band, Russia
    Swiss Army Strings and Rhythm Section, Switzerland
    Top Secret Drum Corps, Switzerland
  • Massed Pipes and Drums:
    102 REME Pipes & Drums, England
    Auckland Police Pipe Band, New Zealand
    Christchurch City Pipes and Drums, New Zealand
    Drums and Pipes of the Aberdeen Universities’ Officers Training Corps, Scotland
    Pipes & Drums of the Royal Air Force, Scotland
    Pipes & Drums of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, Scotland
    Stuart Highland Pipe Band, U.S.A.
    Swiss Highlanders, Switzerland
    Transvaal Scottish Pipes & Drums, South Africa

Wetter-Basel-1251_1341508505And what you have all been waiting for…a live webcam from the Basel Tattoo!

Well, at the moment the web-cam takes a photo once every 10 minutes, but hopefully it will actually be a video feed starting next week.

-George March, Fifer/MCV Webmaster