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Notes on Nova Scotia (continued)

Shhh.......! (Thursday, June 27, 12:22 p.m.)

Ok, we just couldn't resist. Could you? Just look at those sweet faces! We spotted a little nest of cadets catching some Zzz's during a break in the 14 hour daily rehearsal schedule. While the cold cement floor is no feather mattress, it certainly seemed good enough for these sleepy cadets.

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It's a bird... it's a plane... it's... (Wednesday, June 26, 2:47 p.m.)

When they are not practicing, cadets are waiting in the wings, watching the other acts. We've seen Highland dancers, a German bicycle team and the have watched the Langley Ukulele group perform at least a half dozen times.

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But just this afternoon, a new act rolled into town and really got the attention of the cadets.

If you are having trouble viewing this video, click the YouTube icon on the lower right corner ().

Does this hat make me look Canadian? (Wednesday, June 26, 1:54 p.m.)

The officials gave the performers a long lunch break. Just enough time to head to the mall to grab food and buy some "essentials." Whaddya think? New PT uniform?

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Say Cheese! (Wednesday, June 26, 11:49 a.m.)

To promote the show, the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo invited the media to watch an abridged version of the performance. This video provides a brief explanation of the event as well as an opportunity for cadets to say hello to family back home.

If you are having trouble viewing this video, click the YouTube icon on the lower right corner ().

Minutes before the performance and about two floors above where the cadets were prepping, the program director for the show gave a quick talk to explain to the media the proceedings for the day. After the media watched the show, they were given the opportunity to interview performers. Some of the performers suited up for the camera. They're looking pretty sharp, right?

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Up and at 'em (Wednesday, June 26, 6:19 a.m.)

Hungry? Pull up a chair and join us for the most important meal of the day. With a long day ahead of them, cadets take advantage of the free breakfast buffet located at the base of the dorm tower. Eat up, because the bus leaves at 0730, sharp!

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Saint Mary's University takes its commitment to sustainability very seriously. Composting is mandatory for all diners. Here, a cadet scrapes his plate before placing it in a bin for cleaning.

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Behind the scenes (Tuesday, June 25, 6:54 p.m.)

The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes is just one of 28 groups performing on stage. Even though the cadets can do their drill with their eyes closed, they still have to work with the other performers to synchronize the show. On top of that, the cadets have been tasked with performing along with the mass band. Plus, the officials also asked the drum line to play an extra solo scene later in the show. Mix those requests in with nailing down the lighting and the entry and exit of other groups, and you'll get an idea of what it takes to put on the largest annual indoor show in the world.

Here are some pictures of the underbelly of the arena. This is where the cadets and other performers store their equipment and rest between rehearsals.

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Performances this big require a lot of patience. Some do it better than others (note the kid's feet in the air).

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Those cadets (above) and the upsidedown kid are watching this:

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Getting around town (Tuesday, June 25, 9:41 a.m.)

Halifax is big (well, if you're from South Carolina, you'd probably find it big). So big, in fact, the city has a web of bus lines that can take a person from one point in the city to just about anywhere. Thankfully, these handy lanyards do more than just get us into the dorm; they also get us free passes on the bus. Now, if we could only figure out the transit system...

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Highlights from Halifax (Monday, June 24, 8:45 p.m.)

Here are a few pics to give you a feel of this harbor town. The weather is warm in the day and cools off at night. The people are friendly and the food has been delicious. However, so far, no one has ventured into McDonalds for the McLobster!

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Getting down to business (Monday, June 24, 3:50 p.m.)

Playing in a band can be a lot of fun (and, hey! it can mean the trip of a lifetime to a new country!), but those perks don't come without hard work. Today was the first day the band practiced in the arena. Over... and over... and over again. But despite the repetition and the critiquing (it's gotta be perfect!) the cadets kept a positive attitude and gave it their all.

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During rehearsal, Pipe Band Major Dillahey would race up to the top of the steps to check the sound.

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And even though the cadets practiced the same routine repeatedly, they still went above and beyond to reach for perfection. In this video, two cadets practice their drumming on a "musical chair" during a break.

If you are having trouble viewing this video, click the YouTube icon on the lower right corner ().

Commander Alverson used a little bit of free time to take some cadets on a quick detour. During the short break, he led a small group of students down a hill and around the corner to Scotia Square--a small mall near the Metro Centre.

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But when it's time to be serious, Commander Alverson gets down to business. Here, he gives the band a pep talk on the arena floor in between one of the many rehearsals of the day.

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