The 2021 St Andrews Night Tattoo showcased the most impressive musical display from the RGC Pipe Band this term. Held in the beautifully floodlit Quadrangle in front of the Auld Hoose on 6 December, after the original 26 November event had to be postponed due to Storm Arwen. Guests were impressed with the high standards of piping, drumming and Highland dancing performed during the programme of musical entertainment for the tattoo.
The term "tattoo" derives from a 17th-century Dutch phrase doe den tap toe ("turn off the tap") a signal to tavern owners each night, played by a regiment's Corps of Drums, to turn off the taps of their ale kegs so that the soldiers would retire to their billeted lodgings at a reasonable hour. With the establishment of modern barracks and full military bands later in the 18th century, the term "tattoo" was used to describe the last duty call of the day, as well as a ceremonial form of evening entertainment performed by military musicians.
The tattoo marked a significant date in the calendar for our Highland dancers and 100+ pipers and drummers as this event is their first full public performance in almost two years. Almost 200 guests attended this outdoor event, giving Governors, parents and supporters of the RGC Pipe Band the opportunity to experience a full performance after such a lengthy break in appearances. The cold was kept at bay by haggis, neeps and tatties provided by the College catering team, Inspire Catering, and by mincemeat pies and hot drinks supplied by a team of willing and enthusiastic parents and senior pupils. Seeing and hearing these pupils, from P5 to S6, was a highly memorable and emotional experience for all.