Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunset Ceremony Finale

This is the second and final part of the Sunset Ceremony at Kingston's Royal Military College. It's an event presented by the school in conjunction with the graduation and commissioning ceremonies late last month. You can see Part I over here.

As the sun continued to set, music filled the night air.

The RMC Band was originally a Pipe and Drum band when it was founded in 1953. It has grown to include a Brass and Reed Band, a Choir and a small group of Highland Dancers, and is now the largest volunteer band in the Canadian Armed Forces. They marched in with all of the pomp and circumstance fitting of a military band.

The pipers piped..

... and the drummers drummed to the beat of our proud history.

Highland Dancers did a fling.

The Honour Guard, with their sixty nine Officer Cadets marched onto the parade square carrying our provincial flags. The graduating Colour Party handed off their duties to the incoming Party.

You can see how colourful our flags are.

As the ceremony came to an end, we stood as the flag was lowered and the band played our national anthem.

The evening ended with a bang as an excellent display of fireworks lit the sky.

Bravo and thank you, RMC!


Bossy Betty said...

WoW!!!! Thank you so much for taking us along! Love the firework shots!

Cloudia said...

God Bless Canada!

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

LadyFi said...

What amazing shots of an utterly enchanting day!

Anonymous said...

Pipe bands and highland dancers - my two favourite things :0)

Zuzana said...

I love the pipers in kilts. There is something so very sexy about a man in a kilt.:)
Your firework pictures are spectacular, it is impossible to take a good picture of that light show I feel. But you make it look so easy.
I hope you have a lovely Sunday dear Hilary,

Sueann said...

Fabulous photos Hilary! Thank you so much for sharing this special occasion with me! I enjoyed it very much! Loved the pipers and the ladies doing the highland fling. Beautiful!
And congrats again

Brian Miller said...

this has been a fascinating all the very cool.

Steve Gravano said...

Beautiful series. Between both posts I feel like I was there.

Tabor said...

Those Canadians sure know how to do things up right! What a lovely memory you will always have. Thank your son from those of us who admire his service.

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

You have captured and shared some amazing memories of your son's graduation ceremonies! These will surely become a treasured part of your family legacy.

NJ said...

Thanks for sharing these with us. I especially love the light in the picture of the honour guard.

Unknown said...

You must have been over the top with pride.
The photos are breathtaking, night shots are incredibly difficult to capture.

I have a soft spot for the pipers and dancers. My girls did Highland Dancing for a few years. I cry just thinking about the drums, all of it.

I wish your son the best of everything as he moves to the next part of fulfilling his dream.

ellen abbott said...

It looks wonderful. I love bagpipes and the fireworks pics are great.

CiCi said...

This was a major event in your son's life and consequently in your life too. Do you have some photos that will be in frames so you can recapture the events of those days? Wonderful pictures.

VM Sehy Photography said...

Wow. I bet you're a proud mom now. And I, too, love those fireworks shots.

Dawning Inspiration said...


Grayquill said...

Wow, those folks, CELEBRATE! All that for a graduation? Even fireworks. It must be a considerable bigger deal than a college graduation – Aye? Sorry, that is the only Canadian word I know :) And, I do know the word, abwut, but that is all the Canadian I can speak :)
Have Goot day.

Unknown said...

Hilary, those are some fantastic fireworks shots. Almost like being there (without the noise - not that I mind that too much). Thanks for sharing!

Susie @ A Slice of My Life said...

What a beautiful celebration...I got goosebumps. You must be such a proud mama

Mage said...

Oh WOW....thanks for bringing us this finale....marvelous stuff. Great photography too.

Frank Baron said...

Those fireworks were a spectacular and fitting end to a stirring ceremony. Your pics are terrific and bring the whole evening back to life again. (I can almost smell the gunpowder.) :)

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Hilary: It was an honor to travel with you to the ceremony. Your photos are marvelous. Why is the Scottish girl dancer so serious?

Friko said...

congratulations to a proud and fond mother and Canadian.
What is the Scottish connection?

Linda Bob Grifins Brin Korbetis said...

festive and fun!
thank you for sharing!

Maalie said...

What fantastic pictures! The one of the Highland Fling is truly magnificent :-)

Hilary said...

Lovely photos, as must be busting with pride. I don't blame you.
I am curious how you got those fireworks pics....they are awesome.

BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

Those fireworks pics are spectacular!

messymimi said...

An amazing sight and ceremony.

Andrea said...

Just fantastic shots, Hilary!! I lvoe the one of the highland dancer and all the fireworks ones are so vibrant!! What settings do you put your camera at to get the fireworks to turn out so well??

Cheryl Kohan said...

FAB.U.LOUS!!! I get all teared up when I hear O Canada. And I'm not even Canadian! I think it's beautiful. The fireworks photos are amazing!

Karen said...

Love this post! So proud, and grateful for his service. The fireworks pics are wonderful!

Hilary said...

• Thank you, Betty. I'm so glad you joined me. :)

• Thanks, Cloudia.. my neighbour to the south... and west. :)

• Thanks kindly, Lady Fi. :)

• ED, I'm glad I could oblige you this way. :)

• Zuzana, you and your Scottish and Irish influences. ;) Thanks so much for your kind compliments. Luck was with me for those photos. :)

• Thank you very much, SueAnn. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• Thanks, Brian. I'm so pleased that you think so. :)

• Steve, I'm glad you could join me. :)

• Tabor, we do indeed know how to party! Thank YOU for your very kind words. I'm sure my son will be reading and appreciating all comments. :)

• Bonnie, those few days.. few years really, will be long remembered and treasured. Thanks so much for your kind words. :)

• NJ, thank you kindly. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. :)

• Deb, thanks so much. When it comes to my boys, I'm always over the top with pride.. but yes, this series of events was particularly special. That's so cool that your girls were into Highland dancing. I'll bet you have lots of footage of them. Thank you so very much for your lovely, warm wishes. :)

• Ellen, thank you. Bagpipes get under the skin don't they? Almost always in the good way. ;) Thanks for your kind words. :)

• TechnoBabe, I have the official grad/commissioning photos and I'll be sure to print and frame some of my own. Thanks so much for your always supportive comments. :)

• VM, you'd win that bet. :) Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Thank you, Stacey Dawn. :)

• Grayquill, the celebrations were for graduation and commissioning.. yes, a bigger deal than a standard college grad. I give you "eh" for effort in the Canada-speak but I suspect you've never really heard a Canadian speak. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Linda, thank you kindly. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos without the noise and the smokey smell. ;)

• Susie, you bet I am. Thanks so much for the visit and kind words. :)

• Maggie, thank you very much. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Thank you, Frank. :) I'm glad you think so. It sure was a great event and I'm so glad you were there with us to enjoy it. :)

• Tom, that's a good question.. one to which I haven't an answer. I guess I just caught her during a serious moment. It was hard to tell just what I was getting from across the parade square in the dark. Thank you so much for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the ceremony photos. :)

• Friko, thank you. There's a lot of Scottish heritage in our Canadian military which stems from the British army so you'll almost always see kilts and hear bagpipes in Canadian Forces' ceremonies. Thanks so much for your very kind words. :)

• Jingle, thank you kindly. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Welcome, Maalie and thanks very much for your kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the post and hope you'll return again soon. :)

• Hilary, thank you. You bet I'm busting. By now you've received my email reply which in short, tells you that the fireworks photos were mostly luck. I kept adjusting shutter speeds and ISO as the evening got darker and by the time the fireworks started, I had it just about right - at least for the ones that I posted. Thanks so much for your always kind words. :)

• Kristin, thank you so much. :)

• Thanks kindly, Messmimi. :)

• Andrea, thank you kindly. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. As in my reply to Hilary (three replies before this one) my shutter speeds were about 1/50, aperture from f/4.0 to f.9.0 and the ISO anywhere from 800 to 3200. I kept playing around with them as I went along and got lucky on a few. :)

• Cheryl, thank you kindly. :) I love that our national anthem makes you feel emotional.. you're so sweet. Thank you so much for your always-kind words. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Karen. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

SandyCarlson said...

These are incredible images, Hilary. Thanks for bringing us along. The pride, the patriotism, the beauty--all phenomenal.

Leah J. Utas said...


ds said...

Brava, and thank YOU, Hilary, for sharing these beautiful moments with us!

steviewren said...

My favorite photo is of the flags. It is a beaut! The dancer is a close second. What a wonderful ceremony.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Whoa! That had to be amazing to see in person. I got goosebumps looking at the pics and video!
Very cool.

Pauline said...

This was a splendid post, almost as if we were there with you! I love that patriotic sweep of feeling caused by flags and drums and national anthems. Thanks for sharing.

Cricket said...

A striking and dramatic finish to your son's education.

You have dancers in your drum corps? How Canadian. Somehow, I can't really picture the USMC dancers. Of course, we have the only national anthem I'm aware of that explicitly mentions bombs. Yep. that's us all right.

I don't know whether to chuckle or pack.

The 1812 Overture always goes well with fireworks, I think.

kazia said...

beautiful :)
amazing fireworks

Suldog said...

I think highland dancing is so sexy. I really do. Must be the Scot blood in me.

photowannabe said...

I say BRAVO too. What a thrilling time that must have been.
Fireworks and ones National Anthmn are food for the soul.

Redbush said...

What a colourful ceremony! I'm glad they put so much effort into such an honourable event. You must have gotten an eyeful! It must have made you proud to be a Canadian!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oooh...ahhh...Your photos are simply spectacular...I'm always in awe, but this time you've really outdone yourself...the highland fling, the band, the fireworks? So very, very incredible. And I'm so glad that your new blog design allows us to see the photos in a larger all their glory! Fantastic post, Hilary! You rock! Love, Janine XO

Merisi said...

Congratulations to your son and a big compliment on your fantastic reporting from the Sunset Ceremony!

the Bag Lady said...

Hilary, this was a wonderful post (as was part one!) -- thank you for sharing a bit of the ceremony with us.
You did an excellent job, as always, of capturing some great moments. Love the fireworks shots.

Country Girl said...

Whoa! And thank YOU, Hilary. Amazing fireworks and show.

Anonymous said...

Don't they look sharp!! I love kilts.. hope to have one someday!
:) The Bach

Indrani said...

The firework shots captured so well, I am yet to perfect myself capturing them. Great post.

ethelmaepotter! said...

Oh, I adore Highland dancers, and marching bands in any form. Should I ever visit your neck of the woods, I must remember to come at this time of year, so that I can witness this ceremony myself.

PS - The fireworks shots are incredible!

Sarah Knight said...

Wow, that looks like an astounding and wonderful time!

imbeingheldhostage said...

So cool! Thank you so much for sharing all of this. I'm learning I know very little about Canada.

photowannabe said...

Hilary, you should definitely do a book to that special someone. It cost me $63.00 U.S. for 150 pages. It can be set up to fit more on a page, especially if most is written so it could cost much less.
Google BlogstoPrint
its from SharedBook
Delivery was extremely quick too but that was inside US so I don't know what it would be to Canada.
I am so happy with mine and now I have all the photos and blurbs from the past year. To me it is worth the investment.


Rochelle said...

My goodness, these are the most beautiful fireworks photos I think I've ever seen. It is very hard to catch them and do that well. The photos of all the flags -- even though the light is almost gone, somehow their colors are so bright. And I love the one of the blonde woman with her leg up, poised, caught in a millisecond of time. The photos are so rich, as is the subject matter. I came here to see these a few days ago but couldn't post at the time.

Sandra said...

Wow -- what an impressive display! I feel like I was right there. I picture alot of hearts swelling as the flags were lowered and your national anthem was played.

Unspoken said...

BEAUTIFUL and moving shots, Hilary!

Hilary said...

• Thank you very much, Sandy. It pleases me that you enjoyed it. :)

• Thanks, Leah. :)

• Thank you, DS. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks, Steviewren. I was pleased with the flag shot and I'm glad you liked it too. :)

• Thank you, Joanna. It was so cool to watch. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Pauline, it was indeed very moving. I'm glad you were able to join me. :)

• Cricket, thank you. We Canadians are a weird and wonderful bunch. ;) Yes, that line in your national anthem has always had me perplexed too. I'd rather dance. The 1812 Overture is of course perfect. Thanks always for dropping by. :)

• Thank you, Kazia. Much appreciated. :)

• Suldog, now I regret that I didn't post the image of the one very hot Highland dancer.. muscular legs, higher kicks than the others, nice rear end. He was cute! ;)

• Sue, thank you kindly. It was a thrill to be there for sure. Thank so much for your kind comments. :)

• Redbrush, I'm always proud to be a Canadian but you're right about how wonderful it was to be there. It was quite an event. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Janine, thank you so kindly for your lovely comments. I'm happy to know that you enjoyed the photos. Your kind words made my day. :)

• Merisi, thanks very much from both of us. :)

• Baggie, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for such kind words, my friend. Very much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, Kate. :)

• Bach, I'm glad you like the post. My younger son wants a kilt too. I hope you get one.. nudge Lady Cat before your next birthday. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Indrani, I struggle with fireworks most of the time. I think I just lucked out with the right settings this time around. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• EthelMae, should you ever be in my neck of the woods, you'll have to come visit me too, I hope. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Sarah. It truly was. :)

• IBHH, now you know a little bit more. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Sue, thanks for the information about the book. I will indeed have to look into it. It sounds like a great idea. Thanks for returning to let me know. :)

• Rochelle, thank you so kindly. I was very lucky with the fireworks shots, and the flags were well lit by spotlights so they stood out quite nicely. Thank you so much for such kind words. They're very much appreciated. :)

• Sandra, you pictured that right. It was a very proud moment. Thank so much for your always-kind words. :)

• Thank you kindly, Amy. Very much appreciated. :)

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Incredible photography, Hilary! Thank you so much for letting us share some of your enchanted evening.

Hilary said...

Thanks kindly, KC. I'm glad you could join me. :)