The Balboa Theatre Presents THE BAND OF THE IRISH GUARDS, March 7

San Diego Theatres' presentations for this season at the historic and nationally acclaimed Balboa Theatre continues with the pomp and pageantry of the Band of the Irish Guards & Royal Regiment of Scotland, appearing together for two performances on March 7.

This combined company of 80 will be a royal celebration of Irish and English pipes, drums, and national anthems. This unique performance of one of the world's most famous and popular bands will fill the Balboa Theatre with an exciting performance not to be missed. Since their formation over 100 years ago by Queen Victoria, this company has set the highest performing standards world-wide for bands and regiments. Just in time to kick off your St. Patrick's Day fun!

Tickets range from $39 - $69, on sale now; and can be purchased by calling (619/858/760) 570-1100; online at; or in person at either the Civic Theatre Ticket Office at Third & B Street (open Monday through Friday, 10AM to 6PM) or the Balboa Theatre Ticket Office at performance times at Fourth & E Street (Call (619/858/760) 570-1100 for hours). Discounts available for Seniors, Students, Active Military and Groups of 10 or for details. Don't miss the Balboa Theatre Season ~ Big Band Broadcast on Saturday, April 10 at 2PM & 8PM; and Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour on Wednesday, April 21 at 7:30PM.

Background & History:
THE BAND OF THE IRISH GUARDS The regiment was formed on 1st April 1900 by order of Queen Victoria in response to the courage shown by the Irish regiments during the Second Boer War of 1899-1902. The Irish Guards' first Colonel was Field Marshal Lord Roberts, known to many of the troops as 'Bobs'. Due to this fact, the regiment gained the nickname 'Bob's Own', but today are affectionately known as 'The Micks'.

King Edward VII presented the regiment's first Colours in May 1902. This ceremony was held on Horse Guards Parade in London during the King's Birthday Parade. Over a century later, in May 2009, the regiment had the honor of receiving new Colours from Her Majesty The Queen at a ceremony in Windsor Castle.

A number of Irish Guardsmen saw action as mounted infantry in the final stages of the Boer War. Otherwise, for the first fourteen years of its existence, the Irish Guards were stationed in the United Kingdom, performing ceremonial duties in London until the beginning of the First World War.

In 2000, the 100th year of the formation of the Irish Guards, Liverpool granted them the freedom of the city. The following year the regiment took part in training exercises in Poland, Canada and Oman.

At the funeral of the Queen Mother in 2002, the coffin bearer-party was made up of Irish Guardsmen. This was a remarkable honor, given the fact that the late Queen Mother had no official connection with the Irish Guards, despite her long-standing identification with the regiment.

Each year on St. Patrick's Day (17th March), a member of the Royal Family presents individuals from the regiment with shamrock. This tradition dates from 1901 when Queen Alexandra sent shamrock to the 1st Battalion. For many years the regiment was honored to receive its shamrock from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. Since her death in 2002, HRH The Princess Royal has continued the custom.

Members of the Irish Guards won six Victoria Crosses in both the First and Second World Wars. The regiment has been stationed in many parts of the world since 1945, including a number of conflict zones. In 2003, it was deployed to Kuwait during the build-up to the Gulf War. The Irish Guards were part of the 7th Armoured Brigade (successor of the famed 7th Armoured Division, 'The Desert Rats'). Upon crossing the Iraq border, the Brigade headed for Basra, gradually taking control of much of the area that surrounded Iraq's second largest city. In 2005, the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards became the first unit to be officially awardEd Battle honors for service in Iraq. These battle honors were proudly displayed on the battalion's Queen's Colour during the Sovereign's Birthday Parade that year. Major P D Shannon MBE, Music Director

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders was formed in 1881 by the amalgamation of two distinguishEd Scottish regiments which had been created during the reign of George III: The 91st Argyllshire Highlanders and the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders.

The 91st Highlanders was formed in 1794, when the Duke of Argyll was requested by George III to raise a regiment of foot soldiers for foreign service. The regiment was billeted at Stirling Castle and sailed almost immediately for South Africa. It was 1802 before the 91st Highlanders came home again. During the century that followed they returned to South Africa three more times. The regiment's colours carry four different scrolls from South Africa, a unique distinction in the British Army.

The next major campaign for the 91st was under Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington), in the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The regiment fought in all the major campaigns and formed part of the rearguard during the retreat to Corunna in 1808. In 1812, it returned to the Peninsula and fought its way back across the Pyrenees into France. From 1819-91 the Regiment served in Jamaica, St. Helena, South Africa and India. During this period there were two major events in particular affecting the 91st. The first was when a large draft of the regiment travelled on the troopship Birkenhead which struck a rock off the African Coast. All the women and children were saved by the gallantry of the troops, who remained at their posts until the women and children had cleared the sinking ship. By this time there was little hope for the troops on deck and all but a handful perished.

In 1871, the second event of an entirely different nature occurred when HRH the Princess Louise (daughter of Queen Victoria) married the Marquis of Lorne (Heir to the Duke of Argyll). After this event the regiment became known as Princess Louise's Argyllshire Highlanders.
The 93rd Highlanders was formed in 1799. Britain was once again at war with France and General Wemyss, a nephew of the Earl of Sutherland, was authorised to raise a regiment of foot soldiers. The regiment was raised from tenants of the Earl of Sutherland and from the tiny hamlets and parishes of the Country of Sutherland.

One of the earliest actions of the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders was the Battle of New Orleans in 1814, where they held their ground when many older regiments faltered. It was in the Crimea, however, that the 93rd first achieved outstanding fame. At the Alma, as part of the Highland Brigade, its soldiers fought with great distinction. Then at Balaklava on 25th October 1854, at the same time as the Charge of the Light Brigade, the Sutherland Highlanders stood alone against the might of the Russian Cavalry. Though heavily outnumbered, the regiment held its position above the town of Balaklava and repulsed the Russian onslaught. The London Times war correspondent who witnessed the scene described the Regiment as a "Thin Red Streak Tipped with a Line of Steel." From this came the expression the 'Thin Red Line'.

In 1967, the 1st Battalion was sent to Aden to cover the British withdrawal from the colony, and almost overnight achieved world headlines in the recapture of the notorious Crater district.
A long fight, including a parliamentary petition, was waged to save the regiment from disbandment. The petition achieved over one million signatures, some of which came from expatriate Scots all over the world, including many from the USA. The tide of this battle eventually turned and instead of being disbanded, a representative company - Balaklava Company was retained, although the battalion was reformed a few years later.
In March 2006, the battalion became part of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, forming the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland. The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders last appeared on a tour to North America with the Black Watch in 1989 and the 1st Battalion The Queen's Regiment in 1993.

Since 2002, the Battalion has served in Iraq, Bosnia, Belize and Kenya. It recently returned from Helmand Province in Afghanistan, where the Pipes and Drums were deployed as part of the Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) platoon, working closely with the United States Marine Corps. They are due to return to Helmand Province Afghanistan in 2010. The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland is now based in Canterbury, Kent.

Ticket Information - Tickets for all San Diego Theatres' engagements are now on sale.

By Phone: (619/858/760) 570-1100
In Person: Civic Theatre Ticketing at Third & B Street
Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm or Balboa Theatre Ticketing on performance days at Fourth & E St. See website for exact schedule or call (619/858/760) 570-1100 for hours.

Convenience charges assessed on phone/internet purchases; a Facility Fee up to $2.50 per ticket is included in purchase of all tickets.

For most San Diego Theatres' presented engagements, special discounts are available for Seniors, Students, Active Military, and Groups. For more information, call (619/760/858) 570 - 1100

Balboa Theatre Parking Information:
NBC Building Garage at 225 Broadway: Enter Broadway Circle from the intersection of 2nd Ave. and Broadway and follow around to the garage entrance down-ramp on the left, directly across from the Levi's Store. This underground facility offers easy access to the Balboa Theatre entrance, and you can avoid the traffic frequently encountered on 4th Avenue. Multiple parking lots and structures are available in the Gaslamp area, and most are within a few blocks walking distance of the Theatre.

For most events, Advance Parking Passes (valid for the NBC Building Garage only), may be purchased at the same time you purchase your Balboa Theatre tickets. For more information, call (619/760/858) 570 - 1100.

Current parking rates for the NBC Building Garage (rates subject to change) are: Monday through Friday Evening Hours (after 5:30pm) - $10.00 per vehicle, flat rate. Saturday & Sunday - $10.00 per vehicle, flat rate.

Patrons parking in the Westfield Horton Plaza garage are subject to validation ticket policies and/or standard hourly fees as set by Westfield Management. Parking ticket validation is not available at the Balboa Theatre. However, at performances, a parking voucher for 6 hours of parking is available for $10 purchase.

San Diego's historic Balboa Theatre, in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, reopened in January 2008 as a premiere site for live performances, after a five year, $26.5 million renovation and restoration by SD's Redevelopment Agency. The 85 year old Balboa Theatre once again hosts a diverse line up of performances to excite, educate and entertain San Diego audiences. For more information and a schedule of upcoming performances:

The Balboa Theatre 2010 Season includes:
Big Band Broadcast: Saturday, April 10, 2PM & 8PM
Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour: Wednesday, April 21, 7:30PM

Additional Upcoming Events at The Balboa Theatre:
Violin virtuoso David Garrett: Sunday, February 28
SD High School's 5th Annual Mariachi Conference Showcase; Friday, March 12
Matchmaker 'Live' w Patti Stanger - Saturday, March 13
Elvis Costello - Sunday, April 11
Cirque Dreams Illumination - Tuesday, April 13 - Sunday, April 18
UCSD SANGAM SD 18th Annual Culture Show - Saturday, April 24
Classics 4 Kids: Musica Mexicana - Sunday, April 25
California Ballet: Chopin Tribute - Saturday, May 1
Straight No Chaser - Sunday, May 23
Menopause the Musical - Wednesday, July 14 - Sunday, July 18

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