Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Experience the pomp and pageantry of Great Britain

The Band of the Irish Guards and the Royal Regiment of Scotland have teamed up for a U.S. tour, which will be stopping at Sangamon Auditorium on Thursday, February 11, at 7:30 p.m. The concert is titled “Hands Across the Sea,” named after a John Philip Sousa march they will be performing. (Hear the song being performed by the U.S. Coast Guard Band here on YouTube.) The groups will perform traditional marches as well as arrangements of Celtic folk songs and dance tunes from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.

The 49 member Band of the Irish Guards is one of the official groups that plays at Buckingham Palace and at state ceremonies – you’ll recognize their distinctive red coats and tall black furry hats. The group was formed in 1900 by Queen Victoria to commemorate the bravery of Irish Regiments. The band’s responsibility was to inspire an esprit de corps among the troops, and it traveled extensively during both World Wars to give morale-boosting performances for those in active service. In addition to their musical activities, members are trained to give support to Army medical services and have assisted in the first Gulf War and Kosovo.

The group from the Royal Regiment of Scotland includes bagpipes, drums, and dancers. The Royal Regiment of Scotland actually includes 7 Battalions, each of which has its own Pipes and Drums. The group coming here is “The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion.” The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders was formed in 1881 as the union of two distinguished Scottish regiments. These two regiments participated in numerous major campaigns, including the Battle of Waterloo during the Napoleonic Wars, the Battle of New Orleans, and the Battle of Balaklava during the Crimean War, which earned them the moniker “The Thin Red Line.”


  1. The Royal Regiment of Scotland was formed on 28 March 2006.

    Google it

  2. Thanks for alerting me to the mistake. I corrected the post so it now reads that the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders was formed in 1881. This information comes from the company managing the tour.

    BW - Let me know if you have other sources of information.