The Festival overcame all expectations of a most tempted audience. Impeccable performances of military bands and units of the honored guard of the heads of state, dance shows, video installations and magnificent fireworks were greeted with a burst of applause of 7,000 spectators.
Virtuoso performances of the Squadron of the Special Guard of the President's Regiment, of the Honored Cavalry Escort and of the Band of Suvorov's Military Music College were some of the greatest highlights of the Festival's program.
The Honored Guards and the band of the Republican Guard of Kazakhstan dazzled the audience with the precise quality of the marches and supreme skillfulness of the most sophisticated elements, impressive accompaniment on the national instruments and an expressive interpretation of the National Anthem of Kazakhstan and of 'Moscow, the bells are ringing...'
Philosophy of spiritual and corporal harmony was presented by the Shoaling School disciples whose exotic peformance included extremely complex Wu-Shu elements accompanied with drumming.
Unique sound of a bagpipe chorus marked the successful performance of the Corps of Royal Mechanical Engineers of the Armed Forces of Great Britain.
Army Chiefs' Band of India showed the peculiarities of national marching in a series of bright march compositions with a significant influence of the British music traditions: India used to be a colony of the British Empire for centuries
Musicians of the Band of the Defense Army of Israel received a burst of applause for colorful playing of the famous cheerful Israeli melodies Khava Nagila and Shalom Aleykhem.
Singers from Finland added national songs performed with ethnic instruments to the music of the Joint Band of Northern Finland Military Province.
Band of the Air Forces of Italy showed the unique cultural traditions of Italy, adding the classic Italian composers to the performance.
The Band and Squadron of the Honored Guard of the Republican Army of France, created by Napoleon, charmed the spectators with their high professionalism.
The Children's Choreographic Ensemble of Ziya Bazhaev introduced hot and intensive rhythm in the program of the performances.
Preparation for the performance of a joint band with 1,000 participants took a few stages when the participants started rehearsing in their home countries just a few months before coming to the Red Square in full. It is remarkable that a band from Great Britain that had to learn some of the complicated Russian national melodies was helped by the Moscow and District Pipe Band whereas the British band helped its Russian colleagues to learn the rearranged works of the Beatles.
The climax of the program was the performance of the unforgettable French diva Mireille Mathieu. She sang three songs including the a capello version of Ochi Chernie in Russian.
The final part of the opening ceremony of the International Military Music Festival Spasskaya Tower was the Russian march Slavyanka's Farewell, a magnificent fireworks, canon shoots at the Kremlin wall and, of course, ringing of the chimes on Spasskaya tower.
The ceremony was attended by the Mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, the federal and Moscow Government officials, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) faction of the State Duma, cinema and music stars.
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