New York Tattoo Invokes the Spirit of the Gaels with the Music and Dance of Scotland

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The New York Tattoo presents a cast of over 100 pipers, drummers, soprano and baritone singers, Highland dancers, step dancers and military brass ensembles, in a fast paced display celebrating Scotland.

Scottish music touches everyday life and it touches the heart - the soldier's heart, the lover's heart, the exile's heart and the hearts of plain folk going about their daily business. - Major Alasdair Hutton

If you liked River Dance then the New York Tattoo will knock you kilt socks off. For the first time ever, a cast of over 100 performers will weave together a colorful tartan of Gaelic music and dance. Five pipe bands, two brass ensembles, soprano and baritone singers, championship Highland dancers and step dancers will transport you to Scotland without leaving your seat. This dynamic performance will ignite the souls of all who respond to the call of the pipes and the stirring cadence of the drum.

The New York Tattoo takes place on April 5th at the Mason Hall, Baruch Performing Arts Center, 17 Lexington Avenue and 23rd Street, New York City, 7:30 PM. The show which helps mark National Tartan Day calls all American-Scots.

"With kilts swinging and bagpipes playing, the tattoo format is ideally suited to bring together top flight brass and pipe bands. Added to the mix are leading vocalists, world champion Highland dancers and step dancers - encapsulating the spirit of Scotland. Blending a wide range of talent and skills with individual and massed performances. The New York Tattoo will bring audiences to their feet in a fast paced celebration of all that is dear to Scotland," says Magnus Orr, originator of the New York Tattoo.

Magnus has a habit of amassing things. He created the first major New York Tartan Day Parade in 2002. More than 7,000 pipers and drummers and led by Sir Sean Connery filled the Avenue of The Americas' with the sound of Scotland. Magnus did not stop amassing, his next project, the 2005 Pipefest in Edinburgh reached out to over 8,000 pipers and drummers setting a new world record. He did it again in 2010 and now has set his sights on New York.

The New York Tattoo brings an international cast together for an evening of champions from Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the United States.

National treasure and writer Major Alasdair Hutton OBE, who is known as 'the voice of Scotland' and the announcer for the famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, will enchant the audience as he guides them through the show.

A highlight of the show will be The West Point Hellcats, one of two featured brass ensembles, the Hellcats are celebrating their 220th year of musical tradition at the United States Military Academy. This historic band, is a show in itself. The Patriot Brass Ensemble will also be sounding out as a part of this traditional tattoo. The U.S. Coast Guard Color Guard will present the flags, as a salute to all those who have served or are serving in peril across the seas.

The soaring and beautiful voice of Scottish born, acclaimed soprano, Lesley Craigie will open the program.

Five pipe bands will pick up the tempo as will the drum fanfare. World champion Highland dancers and Irish step dancers will fly across the stage and World champion Drum Major Jason Paquio will defy gravity with the toss of his five foot mace into the air.

Based on the 64 year old Edinburgh Tattoo, the New York Tattoo is an exciting mix of the traditional forms of Scottish music and dance. The word tattoo originated in 17th Century Europe using drummers to call soldiers back from town to the barracks at the end of the day. The process was known in Dutch as "doe den tap toe" which was the signal for inn keepers to turn off their taps. Over time, the performance of the tattoo become more and more elaborate showcasing music and dance.

Tattoos have traditionally featured the "Instruments of War"- the bagpipe and the drum. The Great Highland bagpipe fires the blood when Scots charge into battle the drum is the messenger, beating out a warning from mountain top to mountain top. The cadence acting as a telegraph, can be heard for miles urging the clans to make ready for battle. When massed pipe bands play, the sound is irresistable. The Highland dance, originally performed by Scottish soldiers as a way to keep on their toes with swords slashing, was once performed only by men. It was not until the late 1900's that women outnumbered men in this athletic dance.

The New York Tattoo captures all the emotions of victory and joy. In just 90 minutes the audience will be transported back in time to the land of the Gaels.

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Anne Macpherson
New York Tattoo
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since: 12/2011
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