From 8 Wing Pipes and Drums
The Virginia International Tattoo, the largest military tattoo in North America, celebrated its 20th season with eight performances from April 19 to 24, 2016. The music, the lights, the sheer spectacle of it all dazzled the more than 45,000 people who watched as 2,000-plus NATO and NATO-friendly sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen, marines and civilians came together in music and might at Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia.
While many in the audience were dazzled, some were touched more deeply. “Every time I watch the tattoo,” a woman attending said, “I get emotional because my husband was in the Navy, and passed away three years ago. I feel him alongside me when I go to the show.”
RCAF leads the way
Two members of the RCAF were given the honour of leading the massed pipes, drums and dancers. Captain Fraser Clark, from Director General Defence Security based in Ottawa, Ontario, and Warrant Officer Joe Kiah, from 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, were the only Canadians selected to be on the American-led production team Captain Clark was the tattoo’s pipe major and Warrant Officer Kiah was the lead drummer.
“It’s so rewarding to see your musical visions come to life,” said Warrant Officer Kiah, “and to watch such a broad group of people who speak different languages work together to produce an excellent show in such a short span of time. It’s one of the many rewards.”
This year’s massed pipes and drums were under the direction of Captain Clark while…