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Army April 14, 2011
By LCpl Mark Doran
THE band of the Australian Army Band
Corps is to perform in the 2011 Basel
Tattoo in Switzerland from July 16-23
where audiences will experience a few
hundred years of musical history, contem-
porary sounds and exotic scenes.
A band of 70 musicians from the Royal
Military College Band and representatives
from all ARA Army Bands will perform at
one of the most successful open-air tattoos in
Army's Director of Music, Lt-Col Ian
McLean, said that bands were invited from
all around the world and it was a great hon-
our for the band to be invited as the Basel
Tattoo was regarded as the European equiva-
lent of the Edinburgh Tattoo.
"It is also exciting from a historical per-
spective -- the only time an AAB has ever
appeared in Europe was in 1968 during cel-
ebrations marking 50 years since the end of
World War I when the RMC Band marched
through the streets of Paris," Lt-Col McLean
"The producer of the Basel Tattoo vis-
ited with the Top Secret Drum Corps when
it performed at the 2010 Edinburgh Tattoo in
"When he saw the standard of the
Australian Army musicians, he was very
impressed and this led to the invitation for
the band to appear in the 2011 Basel Tattoo.
"It is a chance to take the slouch hat to
Europe -- a rare opportunity for the enhance-
ment of the image of the Australian Army
throughout the world."
The production in Basel will be a histori-
cal and cultural display including music from
the First Fleet and early colonial times to the
tunes of Dame Joan Sutherland and Kylie
The band will pay homage to the host
country during the tattoo performance by
singing a Swiss folk-song in the local Swiss-
Two of the finest bands present for the
tattoo are invited to perform a major concert
in Basel as an addition to the tattoo, and this
year, they will be the AAB and London's
Band of the Coldstream Guards.
Lt-Col McLean said the four singers
elected to participate in the tattoo were cho-
sen as their voices blended so well together.
"The singers are Musn Dave Andrews,
RMC Band, Cpl Deb Cotton, AAB-Melb,
Musn Tanya Christensen, AAB-Syd, and Sgt
James Petterson, AAB-Bris, who are rehears-
ing together already thanks to the benefits of
modern technology," he said.
"We will be doing our best to promote
Australia and the ADF in Switzerland by
distributing Rising Sun pins and toy kanga-
roos as gifts to the audience during the daily
All the musicians will gather in Canberra
for musical activities associated with the
Centenary Celebrations at RMC in June.
There will then be a final 10-day concen-
tration period for the band to rehearse and
memorise the intricate marching display for
the performance in Basel.
Sgt Mick Beeton, 1RAR Band, is the tat-
too display designer and his sister-in-law, Sgt
Rachel Beeton, AAB-Syd, has written all the
musical arrangements which have been dis-
tributed to the 70 musicians.
On song for tattoo
In tune: Cpl Deb Cotton, AAB-Melb, performs at the Twilight
Concert at Simpson Barracks in January this year. She will
perform at the Basel Tattoo in Switzerland in July. Inset:
promotional poster of the Tattoo featuring WO1 Simon Renfrey,
Photo by LCpl Mark Doran
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