Day 5 Reflections:
After a great night in the fun city of Perth, some of us woke up to breakfast, which is gradually becoming one of my favorite parts of this trip. After breakfast, a couple of us went to St John’s which is where John Knox once preached. Another group went on a walking tour of Perth while some others went shopping.
The rest of the day was spent in St. Andrews. Upon our arrival, we had about two and a half hours to get lunch and explore the area. Meandering along the paved sidewalks filled with shoppers, a lot of dogs and Americans (not just us), we stumbled into a building with a familiar green and yellow sign…You probably guessed right, SUBWAY!!! Unfortunately, we had taken off our American hats and immersed ourselves in the Scottish culture that we walked passed it to Frittos, a fish and chips restaurant where we had the best fried haddock. After lunch, we got to see the ruins of the old St Andrews Church surrounded by tombstones and leading to a beach. It was probably one of the prettiest sights I’ve come across since we embarked on this journey.
The most amazing part of today though wasn’t something pictures could capture or words could express. You just had to be there to, in the moment, as the choir‘s notes filled the entire chapel. Today, it didn’t matter if you were Scottish, American or African. It didn’t matter if you were old, young or in the middle because the music transcended all boundaries. After songs like In Remembrance and MLK, you could notice tears streaming down the cheeks of many in the audience and even choir members such as myself. At the end of the concert, an old lady sought out all the choir members and gave us all a hug and with tears in her eyes she couldn’t stop thanking us for the experience.
Knowing how touched everyone was by the concert, I decided to ask a couple of choir members how they felt after the concert so that you could have more than one or two perspectives from the choir and this is what was said.
Ashley Abbot: It was awesome; I wish I could express tears drops on paper
Chelsea Williamson-Barnwell: There was such a great connection with every piece
Jade Watts: This has been the best concert I’ve had in all my years in concert choir
Hopefully you can all tell how we felt about the musical magic we created today. Personally, I felt more than privileged to be able to sing in a place with so much history and share the gift of music with so many people that irrespective of whom they were or what background they came from they were touched.
Today, we started the day off once again with a traditional English breakfast. Following breakfast, some members of the choir decided to attend a church service at St. John’s Church in Perth, while other members traveled along the streets of Perth to enjoy a historical walking tour. After enjoying the views of the River Tay and learning many facts about the historical significance of Perth, we embarked on our trip to St. Andrews. We all enjoyed the market-like atmosphere that St. Andrews had to offer. Many members enjoyed visiting the Old Course at St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf, while others went shopping on St. Andrews store-front filled streets. After enjoying lunch and shopping, we arrived at the Holy Trinity Church where we gave our second performance of the tour. The interior of the church was beautiful and looked like the Great Hall from the Harry Potter movies. During this performance, we performed most of our choir set list, including “Lux Arumque,” “Ain’t Got Time to Die,” and “Emerald Stream.” The Lads, Lassies, and Off-Kilter also performed songs during the show. This performance was definitely one of the best we have had all year, which was a good thing because we used it to record our tour CD. After the performance, we were greeted by the smiling faces of the alumni, friends, and family on the joint tour, who had been touched by the performance. We had the blessing to meet a lady who walked into our performance and was so touched that she hugged each and every member of the choir. After this, we recorded some of the songs that we did not cover in the performance due to time restrictions. The Lassies, Lads, and Off-Kilter also recorded pieces they were unable to perform. We then boarded the bus and headed back to Perth for dinner, and our last night’s sleep in the Salutation Hotel.
~John Cole Kirksey
Also, check out a video of Off Kilter’s performance tonight here:
http://youtu.be/uM1JRKioago (more videos to be posted soon!)