Update: An article I wrote about this event was published on the Reserve Force Division website. Here is the PDF document.
This evening, the Military Sunset Concert 2011 was held at the Castle of Good Hope in central Cape Town, under a cloudless blue summer sky. When the big imposing gates of the Castle opened at 17h30, a steady stream of visitors began to arrive with their picnic blankets, folding chairs, baskets and cooler boxes. They spread out on the green lawns, and made themselves comfortable. It was a very relaxed atmosphere. In the meantime, the VIPs were ushered to their special function in the Dukes Mess by neatly attired young lads from Chrysalis Academy.
The sense of anticipation was mounting!
At 19h00, a familiar voice was heard over the loudspeakers: it was Captain John Manning, the well-known and popular announcer of the Cape Town Military Tattoo. He welcomed the visitors to the Castle, and introduced each of the acts.
First up was the SA Army Band Cape Town in their dashing red tunics, who immediately set a high standard for the evening with a passionate performance. Next up was a group of drummers from Wynberg Boys High School, playing most unusual sets of drums! After them, it was the turn of the Drums and Pipes of the Cape Town Highlanders, recently returned from an overseas trip to Berlin. They were followed by the Pipes and Drums of the Cape Field Artillery.
The drill squad of the WPSMDEA wowed the spectators with their polished marching drill routine, before the beautifully dressed and decorated dancers of the Likhwezi Arts Project took to the stage. The SA Army Band Cape Town got us all into a festive mood with some Christmas carols, and then it was the turn of the fife and bugle band of the St Joseph Worker Church Lads and Girls Brigade to demonstrate their skills.
The CFA Pipes and Drums joined the Army Band for the final two pieces, Auld Lang Syne and Amazing Grace, as each of the acts marched into the arena one final time to say their goodbyes to loud, appreciative applause.
It was clear from the happy, smiling faces of all the spectators, as they reluctantly packed up their things and cast one final look back at the Castle, that everyone had had a really enjoyable time.
Tickets are still available for tomorrow night, either at Computicket or at the Castle gates on the evening.
Next year, we can all look forward to the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2012!