1st August 2014: Swiss military music in South America

Bern, Press releases, 21.07.2014

Switzerland will celebrate Swiss National Day 2014 with Swiss nationals living in South America. On the initiative of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the 15-piece Swiss Military Small Band will give six concerts in Argentina, Uruguay, Peru and Brazil.

From 30 July to 6 August 2014, festivities to celebrate Swiss National Day will be supported by the Swiss Military Band in four Swiss embassies in South America and among Swiss nationals living in Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Uruguay. A Swiss military ensemble formed especially for this tour will perform the best of Swiss hymns, songs, folk music and traditional music.

For example, a concert for young members of the local Swiss community will be given at the Plaza de los Fundadores in Nueva Helvecia, Uruguay, as well as one at the Swiss shooting club "Tiro Suizo". The Swiss Army band will also be playing at the municipal theatre in Nova Friburgo, Brazil. It will also put on a performance at the four ambassadors' residences on the occasion of the Swiss National Day celebrations on 1 August.

Outstanding cultural champions
Swiss Army Band orchestras are outstanding champions and representatives of Swiss culture, and are regularly present at important events in Switzerland. The orchestras also perform at international events, and thus make a significant contribution to understanding between peoples. In addition, by performing in South America, the orchestras provide musical support to the FDFA's official diplomatic events.

The Swiss Military Small Band is composed of 13 talented young musicians who completed their basic military training at the Centre of Competence for Military Bands. The delegation is headed by Lt Col Patrick Robatel, and Lt Col Philipp Werlen is the musical director.

The tour's accommodation, food and transport costs will amount to approximately CHF 22,000, of which 40% will be covered from the budgets of the Swiss embassies in Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Uruguay and 60% by Swiss and local sponsors. The musicians' travel costs of approximately CHF 45,000 will be paid by the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS).

More than 35,000 Swiss nationals are currently registered residents of Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Uruguay. The Fifth Switzerland, as Swiss nationals living abroad are collectively known, comprises about 740,000 Swiss citizens.

Further information:

Centre of Competence for Military Bands
Military bands
The Fifth Switzerland

Address for enquiries:

Swiss Armed Forces - HQ
Public Affairs
+41 58 464 77 02

FDFA Information
031 322 31 53


Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports DDPS
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs