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Adam McNeill - Darwin

Sergeant Adam McNeill from the Australian Army Band Darwin, was one of 70 selected musicians who embarked on a trip of a life time to play at the Basel International Tattoo in Switzerland.

He is an Army Reservist and been a member of the Darwin Army Band for more than 24 years.

"I first learnt clarinet when I was younger and then switched to the saxophone when I was a teenager because it was cooler," Adam said.

"After going to St John’s College in Darwin and then to technical college there to become a structural draughtsman I joined the newly formed Army Band there nearly 25 years ago."

Adam didn’t think he would be travelling to Switzerland.

"I initially didn’t put my name forward as I didn’t think I would be chosen," he said.

"It was my wife Wanita, who is also in the band in Darwin, went to our boss and nominated me.

"Then over Christmas we were in Perth and I go a phone call from my boss saying I’d got the gig.

"It blew me away, it was unbelievable, you don’t get something like this come along very often and it will be a privilege to do it."

The best aspect of his job in the Army Band for him is performing.

"When we perform and everything goes really well, it feels really good," Adam said.

"Particularly if it was a difficult show and for me it’s about getting it right during the performance."

Adam said the highlight of the trip for him will be marching out for the first performance.

"They say the crowds will be as big as 10,000 people and we won’t have done it the day before," he said.

"It will be great to perform in a band so big, the sound will be phenomenal and we’ll be all spruced up."  

The 70 musicians were selected from all 11 sub-units of the Australian Army Band and will perform more than 20 times, playing public concerts and feature as one of the major acts of the tattoo’s 15 performances.