Albanian performers at Virginia International Tattoo

Members of the Albanian Armed Forces Band perform during a dress rehearsal/special audience performance of the Virginia International Tattoo on Wednesday evening. With more than 900 performers, it is the largest tattoo to date. The tattoo – a hallmark event of the Virginia Arts Festival, held in Norfolk, USA, for 16 years – is an exhibition of marching bands, massed pipes and drums, drill teams, gymnasts, Scottish dancers, choirs and more.

Formed in 1944 on the day that its country celebrates its independence, the Albanian Armed Forces Band has been a group of unique importance. Aside from being the only performers that conduct official ceremonies deemed the “Protocol of the State,” it is the only artistic organization to earn the distinction of “Great Master of Work,” a title given to those who execute “distinguished action and performances in official ceremonies of State Protocol, for the Albanian Armed Forces units, joint exercises with NATO, and for the Albanian public.”