Timaru girl rocks Royal Edinburgh military tattoo

WN-10-0179-001: Private Bunting on top of Edinburgh Castle

Private Abbie Bunting on top of Edinburgh Castle (WN-10-0179-001)

15 September 2010

Billed as ‘one of the world’s most exciting military bands’, the New Zealand Army Band has just returned from the month-long Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland.

Invited back for the third time, the band was billed by the organisers as one of the big “headline acts”, with immense international popularity and crowd drawing ability. 

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the most prestigious of all international tattoos, being viewed by over four billion world-wide each year.

According to Director of Music, Major Leanne Smith, the Band’s performance was very well received and the fact they were asked to perform three times during the show was an acknowledgement of their skill and expertise.

“The whole Tattoo goes for approximately one and a half hours and in that time we performed the Fanfare, our individual performance and then straight into the Massed Bands and Finale,” said Major Smith.

“The organisers chose us because we are well trained and can be relied on to perform at our best every time – despite a rigorous performance schedule.”

The youngest member of the Band, Private Abbie Bunting, has only been with them since June when she  enlisted in the NZ Army. She plays the Sousaphone (or Tuba) the largest instrument the band includes and has had to rapidly learn how to march while playing.

“As soon as I joined in June I was told we may be going to the Edinburgh Tattoo,” said Private Bunting.

“I was pretty excited, but also a bit nervous as there was so much to learn and I had never played with the band before. But the other members have been great and took me under their wing.”

“Being in Scotland and taking part in opening night was nuts. The crowd went wild, especially when we did the haka.”

Abbie has been playing the piano since she was eight and brass instruments from age 12.

“I have always loved music and when I heard about the Army Band and how good they were I thought that would be a great way to both have a music career, but also be part of an organisation that is dedicated to being the best.”

“The NZ Army is full of great people who are always striving to be world class, whatever their task. That inspires me to perform to my best and not let them or the people at home down.”

“All my family are very happy for me and enjoyed seeing all the photos when I got back. I also kept my promise to mum and ate my veges!”

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo goes from the 6th to the 28th of August, totalling 26 shows on the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle.

The Band’s performance includes displays using music from a wide variety of artists such as Michael Bublè, Earth Wind and Fire, and Tchaikovsky. There is also music from Colonel Bogey, Get Smart and even some Scottish Dancing.


For more information on the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo check out their website

For more information on the New Zealand Army’s involvement please contact Kimberley Brady, Communications Manager on  021 243 1411.

This page was last reviewed on 19 January 2011.