Ok, so I’ve been really bad about posting anything lately.  Oops….time just got away from me.  I’ve been extremely busy at work the last month (ish) because of woodwind quintet rehearsals and gigs, wind ensemble rehearsals and a concert last weekend, my two (!) collateral duties, and the biggest thing…the Virginia International Tattoo!  We’ve been having rehearsals basically every day during the week since the beginning of the month to prepare for the show this past weekend.  Instead of me trying to describe it to you, here’s a video of most of our performance (this is from Friday morning’s kids matinee, and its missing the very beginning):

There’s a video on Facebook that shows our whole scene, and you can see me a lot better, which was taken by one of our fellow sailors who is now at the school of music (gotta love his singing along!).  You might not be able to see the video because its on Facebook and there is probably privacy settings on it.  But if we’re friends on FB you should be able to see it because I’m tagged.  So sorry if you aren’t able to!

I haven’t marched this kind of drill since I was in the CSU Marching Band! So…that’s almost 8 years ago…ha I guess I’m getting old! Anyway, I had a blast. It was a lot of work, but the end result ended up being really great.

In addition to our scene, we also participated in the opener, a Marine scene, and the finale. This is where things got really exhausting last week. We had to learn all of that in less than 3 days! Here are those videos (I’m in the band that’s on the floor marching around):

Not included in the last video is the scariest countermarch I have ever done (it happens right after the video ends), one wrong step and you run right into a bagpiper or drummer! Also, I never thought in my life that I would be playing in between two bagpipers! So crazy in an awesome way.

We also played for the Marine scene, because the Marine band from Quantico couldn’t travel here because of sequestration (all military bands are restricted to 50 miles away from their base). Here’s that (we’re up on the stage playing the background circus march):

And here’s the Finale:

There’s more videos of the other bands that were performing, including an Air Force band, a French band, and a Norwegian band. And the pipe bands, of course!  Just search for Virginia International Tattoo 2013 on Youtube.

Overall, it was a very fun experience, but very exhausting. We had 6 performances in all not including the dress rehearsal (with doubles on Friday and Saturday). It was really fun to actually be an active part of a show and not just in the pit. Musicians like me hardly get the chance to actually be on stage in this way!

On Friday, not only did we have two tattoo performances, but we also had to play for a special NATO ceremony. We played snippets of all 28 NATO countries’ anthems! Ugh…so much playing! So much marching!

Marching around the fountain outside the arena.
Marching around the fountain outside the arena.
Lets play some anthems!
Lets play some anthems!
Sun…so bright…
Got a little loopy after awhile!
Got a little loopy after awhile!
Bagpipers: QUIET PLEASE!
Bagpipers: QUIET PLEASE!

All in all, it was a great weekend, but I’m glad its over and I can get my life back in order! I’m so ready to get back to my normal routine. I got absolutely no practicing done last week, and I have some damage control to do after playing so loud and crass the entire week. Unfortunately the music is still haunting me…we’re playing Jupiter (Holst) and Army of the Nile in Virginia Wind Symphony for our concert in May…last night at rehearsal I kept expecting bagpipes to join in on that melody during Jupiter. Ha!

Also, I no longer can stand the sound of bagpipes.  They just love to play ALL THE TIME.  Thank goodness for earplugs!

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