MUSICAL acts from across the world are to descend on Edinburgh for the 2008 military tattoo.
The three-week show is boasting a line-up of international marching bands and dancers performing alongside home-grown traditional attractions.
Major General Euan Loudon, chief executive and producer of the Tattoo promised the very best of Scotland’s heritage would be on display.
Major Luodon, who is in his second year in charge of the event, said he had travelled as far as New Zealand and Singapore watching tattoos modelled on the Edinburgh event – now in its 59th year.
He said: “I truly believe imitation is the best form of flattery and in Edinburgh we have set the gold standard for a military tattoo.
“When people come to the tattoo they expect to see the music of Scotland and this year will be no different but visitors are also going to be treated to a wonderful variety of acts from around the world.”
Opening the 2008 proceedings is a specially-commissioned fanfare – entitled Op Corporate – which will be performed at the start of each show during this summer’s 25-performance run.
And the piece, composed by Royal Marine Major Mick Dowrick, will receive its premiere at the event before the very essence of the annual military showpiece fills the arena with the stirring sound of the pipes.
The 90-minute production – being staged at Edinburgh castle’s esplanade from August 1 to 23 – will feature the first Indian military band to perform at the Scottish event for 46 years.
However, all the traditional ingredients will be present with massed pipes & drums, massed bands and the firm favourite – the Lone Piper.
Long-established favourites, the ever-popular Massed Pipes & Drums, take to the stage this year with rousing renditions of Scottish tunes such as ‘Heilan’Laddie’ and ‘We’re No’Awa’Tae Bide Awa.’
And today the Tattoo’s own Highland Spring Dancers treated visitors to the famous castle to a sneak preview of what’s in store for more than 200,000 fans expected at the event.
The Scottish dance troupe will join forces with 50 dancers from Canada for a lively item that tells the story of Scottish migration to Canada.
A presentation of piping, drumming and highland dancing will then be provided by pupils from Queen Victoria School in Dunblane.
The Massed Military Bands will feature the combined bands of the Royal Marines from Plymouth, Portsmouth and Scotland, under the 2008 Tattoo Director of Music, Lieutenant Colonel C J Davis.
The Bands of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, His Majesty The King of Norway, and the Indian Army Chief, along with the Singapore Police Force, will then join them with songs through the ages.
The chief executive confirmed that the Tattoo’s patron – Princess Anne – would be missing from the VIP guest list at the prestigious event due to her presence at the summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing.
The Tattoo – which is expected to be watched by more than 100 million people on international TV – will instead be attended by Prince Michael of Kent.