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Okanagan Military Tattoo

133d Army Band of the Washington National Guard

The 133d Army Band of the Washington National Guard in the Washington State Capitol building in Olympia. Photo provided by the 133D Army Band of the Washington National Guard

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The 133d Army Band of the Washington Army National Guard is scheduled to perform at the Okanagan Military Tattoo in Vernon, British Columbia, July 27-28. The event is a demonstration of military drumming, piping and musical skills. The 2018 event features over 500 performers from all over North America. This year will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of the World War I (WWI) armistice. The two-hour event is a choreographed action-packed show with pipers, drummers, musicians, military bands and marching troops as well as multicultural dancers and singers of all ages. 

According to Chief Warrant Officer 3 Scott Pierson, commander, 133d Army Band, "This is our first time performing at the event. It is a tremendous honor to be invited. We have the privilege of serving as the ambassadors of the Washington Army National Guard and it is always a privilege to work with our colleagues from British Columbia to share music and foster international relationships. We have a long standing relationship with the two Canadian military bands that participate each year: The Band of the 15th Field Regiment; Royal Canadian Artillery; and the Naden Band, Royal Canadian Navy."

The band will be in Canada for six days, and the performance includes an opening and closing that incorporates all Tattoo performers. There will also be a joint performance with the Canadian military bands honoring the partnership between the two nations. The General's 7 and the 133d's Dixieland Jazz Band will perform a feature to highlight the 100th anniversary of the WWI armistice, and a half-hour concert will be held in downtown Vernon, B.C., the night prior.

There is quite a lot of preparation involved. "We are rehearsing musical selections, marching maneuvers, compiling paperwork for Title 10 orders, and coordinating with points of contact in Canada for specifics on logistics, lodging (and) transportation. We are taking 26 members of our unit," said Sgt. 1st Class Heather Collett, Readiness NCO, 133d Army Band. Once they arrive in Vernon, the days are jam-packed. "We will conduct two-hour marching rehearsals in the morning each day that we are there, in addition to the rehearsals in the afternoon at the performance venue," she added.

 "This will be the first time that the 133d Army Band of the Washington National Guard has traveled to Canada. Traveling to different countries gives you a different perspective on the world, and I am honored to represent my country as a musical ambassador," said Collett.

The event is a great experience for the members of the 133d. "Music provides an exceptional way of bringing people together. It allows the band the opportunity to travel together and build closer bonds among soldiers. It allows us to work together with military musicians from other countries, strengthening our relationships with our neighbors to the north," said Pierson, who will lead the band on the field in tandem with the Drum Major.

Vernon, B.C., is about a seven-hour drive from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. For more information about the Okanagan Military Tattoo, visit: If you plan to visit Vernon, check out the official tourism site at

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