40th Musikschau Der Nationen, Bremen – Germany, and

2004 Edinburgh International Military Tattoo

2004 was a busy year for the Band internationally. We once again participated at the Music Show of the Nations, Bremen, in January, and we became the first military band of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to perform at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.


The Band departed from Cape Town on 15 January, arriving in the early hours of the 16th at Düsseldorf Airport. Our first concert on tour was the next evening in Bünde with our long-standing friends of the Shanty Choir. The 18th saw the Band in action once again with a concert in Düsseldorf. On the third evening of the tour we gave a concert at the Bremenhaven Town Hall, which was kindly hosted by the German Navy. On the 20th we provided an ensemble for the press conference in Bremen promoting the upcoming Music Show of the Nations. That evening the band was again on the concert stage with a performance at the German Maritime Warfare School in Bremenhaven. From 21 to 25 January we were involved with rehearsals and then in the seven performances at the 40th Musikschau der Nationen.

Media release images for the Bremen Tattoo

After successful performances at the show, we bid Bremen good-bye and made our way to Berlin for two further concerts. One of these concerts was at our very own embassy, in the heart of Berlin. After almost two weeks away from home, we finally arrived back in Cape Town on 28 January.

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Media release images for the Bremen Tattoo

Edinburgh International Military Tattoo

An advance group from the Band, comprising nine members, left Cape Town on Sunday 25 July to participate at the Edinburgh Tattoo media briefing on Tuesday 25th. The remainder of the Band finally arrived in Edinburgh on Saturday 31 July. On Monday 2 August we performed for the Lord Provost of Edinburgh at her Mayoral Chambers. This unique performance took the form of singing a few African traditional songs as well as playing the kudu horns. Members of the British media were on hand to capture this historical moment.

Commander Mike Oldham

Rehearsals for the Tattoo commenced later that day and the final dress rehearsal was scheduled for Thursday 5 August. In all we took part in 27 performances at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the final performance being on Saturday 28 August.

Edinburgh Tattoo 2004 cast

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Between the Tattoo performances we were also involved in the following events:

  • Parading through the streets of Edinburgh with the full cast of the Tattoo;
  • Three mini Tattoos held during the day in Edinburgh and Aberfeldy
  • Two concerts during the day as part of the Edinburgh Festival which ran concurrently with the Tattoo;
  • A concert on Saturday 21 August to celebrate South Africa’s 10 years of Democracy during ‘South Africa’-weekend hosted by the City of Edinburgh; and
  • A concert on Sunday 22 August at Motherwell.

The Band at the start of their routine

After almost a month away from home and having performed in front of almost 220,000 people in Scotland, we finally arrived back in Cape Town on Tuesday 30 August.

The Band going through their routine at the Edinburgh Tattoo

Commander Kenny Leibbrandt conducting the mass band playing the SA National Anthem at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Presentation to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh

The Lord Provost and Brigadier Jameson, former CEO of the Edinburgh Tattoo

Vocalists of the band entertaining the Lord Provost

Kudu Horns!

Aberfeldy Tattoo