‘Twas a long, loooong night of beautiful music: Evening rehearsals in the run-up to the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2012

Exciting update: An article I wrote about the evening rehearsals has been published on the Reserve Force Division website! Here is the PDF document.

All the participants – with the rising moon in the background

Monday, 29 October 2012, had been a very long, hot and windy day of rehearsals at the Castle of Good Hope, with everyone putting in extra effort as Opening Night approached on Wednesday, 31 October.

Two run-throughs had been scheduled for the evening: the first for the bands to practice their entrances and exits, for the audio-visual crew to go through their lighting cues and double-check their microphones and sound equipment, and for the wranglers to figure out the sequence with which chairs, musical instruments, microphones, obstacles, the conductor’s podium and assorted other items needed to be carried onto the arena and removed. Everything had to be coordinated perfectly.

The second was a full run-through of the entire programme from start to finish, for timing purposes. WO1 Roger McCarthy was using a stopwatch to record the length of each act, diligently keeping notes. The second rehearsal only finished at 23h30 – which in my eyes is clearly testimony to the dedication and commitment of everyone involved in staging this event!

Saluting during the playing of the National Anthem

Much to my delight, photographers were allowed on the arena during these rehearsals, as it was the only time we would be able to get close-ups of the performers. It was just a pity that the pipe bands were in civvies and not in their full and glorious regalia.

The challenge, of course, was not to get run over by a marching band! I marvelled at the courage of videographer Andrew Schofield, who stood firmly in their path from time to time, in order to get some brilliant footage of the musicians as they strode straight towards and around him. I can’t wait to see what his final DVD looks like!

And now, without further ado, here are the pics – enjoy! And remember, you can click on any of the pictures to access the photo ‘caroussel’.

6 thoughts on “‘Twas a long, loooong night of beautiful music: Evening rehearsals in the run-up to the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2012

    • Giggle… yes, Richard, he is “wired for sound”, as there is no way you’d hear him above the drums AND the bagpipes! But it does put considerable pressure on him to play every note correctly. 😉

    • No, Rosie, there is no time and often no space to set up a tripod, as I need to be fairly mobile. The legs would get in the way of other people, and in the dark or with glaring lights from the arena in your eyes, it’s potentially hazardous. What I tend to do is to lean against something solid, like a wall, or a pillar, or the edge of the seating stands. Or I kneel down on one knee, with the other up, and then stabilise my camera like that by resting my elbow on my knee. It’s uncomfortable for long periods, but it seems to give me a bit of extra stability. What I am longing for now, though, is that 100-400mm lens that fellow photographer Brent has been using to capture some AWESOME images. Of course, it costs a packet, and it weighs about twice what my current setup already weighs (and I’m already finding that quite heavy), so I’d need to do some serious weight training before I lug that thing around for hours!

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