The Australian Defence Force showcased its Combined Military Bands, Australia’s Federation Guard and, for the first time, the Pipes and Drums of the Australian Defence Force during multiple performances at the 2016 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Melbourne over the weekend.
Among those to attend the tattoo over the weekend was the Vice Chief of the Defence Force Vice Admiral Ray Griggs who said he was proud to see the ADF perform alongside Commonwealth and international bands as part of the inspiring military spectacle.
“The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is a unique celebration of military heritage and music,” Vice Admiral Griggs said.
“There is nothing quite like it. It brings together military bands, ceremonial and cultural elements from many nations in an event that is a colourful display of music, dance and military precision.
“I am delighted the ADF was again part of this world-class event, performing alongside armed forces from around the world.”
Over five performances from 12 to 14 February, the Combined Military Bands performed music especially crafted for the Tattoo by Leading Seaman Musician Martyn Hancock, in addition to some of Australia’s most iconic melodies.
Director Combined Military Bands of the ADF Lieutenant Commander Steven Stanke said the band enjoyed playing music that had a central place in Australian and ADF memory.
“These melodies have meant so much to our members serving in conflict and on peacekeeping duties during the past century of service,” Lieutenant Commander Stanke said.
“It was an honour to perform them for the internationally renowned Royal Edinburgh Tattoo,” he said.
The Pipes and Drums of the ADF, comprising members from across the three services, was formed especially for the event in a joint venture between the ADF and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has previously toured to Australia, with performances in Sydney in 2005 and 2010.
Vice Admiral Griggs said this year the Tattoo provided a timely reminder of the magnitude of the First World War on Australia and the contributions and sacrifices made by Australians as we commemorate the Centenary of Anzac.
“The massed bands, the military precision of the performances, and the haunting strains of the lone piper, provided a time for attendees to reflect on our a century of military service by Australians who have served in peace and in conflict, and who continue to do so today,” he said.
The Tattoo provides significant funding for benevolent organisations and charities. Some of the proceeds from the Melbourne performances will directly assist our current and former serving defence personnel and their families, with part of the funds raised from ticket sales being dispersed to nominated Australian charities.