Many in Charleston have heard The Citadel's Regimental Band and Pipes play "Scotland the Brave" at the school's weekly parade.
This summer, the 70-member group of bagpipe players and other musicians will take its sound across the Atlantic as the only American band at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The month-long festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, features music, pageantry and demonstrations by military organizations from around the world. It draws an international audience and is broadcast worldwide.
The Citadel will be the only military college represented at the event, said Cmdr. Mike Alverson, the school's director of bands. And its band will be the only one there from the United States.
"We will be America's band in 2010," Alverson said.
The school also participated in the festival in 1991.
Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, a 1964 Citadel graduate, said the prestigious invitation represents "a prideful event for our community, The Citadel and the state of South Carolina."
"What this invitation reminds us is that this is a world-class outfit," Riley said.
Bagpipe player Charles Long, a junior who also plays the violin, viola, piano and guitar, said he had heard when he was a freshman that the band might be invited. Receiving the invitation is "the most exciting thing that has happened here," he said.
The Citadel is trying to raise money for airfare for band members and chaperones. The Tattoo provides accommodations, meals and transportation in and around Scotland.