When a tourist heard a brass band march outside of her window in Vienna, she certainly didn't expect it to be the Marching Spartans.

The Michigan State Band Marched By A Hotel In Vienna

The band was caught by a tourist who was wondering why the Spartans had wandered so far from home.

The band was in the Austrian mountain village of Schladming to participate in their annual Tattoo, or Brass Band Festival. The Mid Europe Tattoo is in its 25th year as a celebration in the middle of Europe (as Austria is) of all things brass bands, which is kind of a big deal there.

The Mid Europe Tattoo Is A Weeklong Celebration Of Brass Music

So why is it called a tattoo?

The term "tattoo" is generally associated with British military tradition and is the equivalent of “taps” in the United States. In other words, it indicates the time when troops are confined to their barracks for the night. This order was signaled by musicians within the garrison. The root of the word itself is the Dutch expression “(doe den) tap toe” which, in English, essentially means “turn off the tap”. This simple military tradition has developed over time into elaborate shows featuring all kinds of marching formations along with performances of music as well as dance.

Here are the Marching Spartans performing in the picturesque village. They were one of two US bands performing this season, along with the Saratoga FL High School Percussion Ensemble.

After The Tattoo, The Band Moved On To Vienna

They then stopped by Vienna on the way back from the Festival and performed in front of the historical St. Stephen's Cathedral. Which included the aforementioned march down the streets of Vienna.

All in all, the Spartans seemed to enjoy their summer trip, and the Austrian audiences also seemed to enjoy the band during their two week stay in the country.

Here's some photos from their stay in Austria, which ends this weekend.

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