Day 8 Reflections:
Today we rose early to depart for Edinburgh, Scotland to perform our final concert at the historic St. Giles’ Cathedral. After an informative guided tour of the church, we gathered under the beautiful architecture and amongst the lustrous and epic stained glass windows to sing our final selections. It was bittersweet for both the seniors and those departing from concert choir after this year as the closing Lutkin benediction’s “May the Lord bless you and keep you” echoed through the great cathedral, bringing our journeys with the group, as well as Scotland, to an end.
Following the church concert, we all went out separate ways to explore the city – some to tourist shops, some to eat at the Elephant House where Harry Potter was first conceived by author JK Rowling. Personally, I went to the University of Edinburgh Anatomy Museum, where I had the lucky opportunity to be allowed access to see the skeleton of my infamous body snatching great great great great great grandfather, William Burke. It was a life-changing experience for me, as I’m sure others have also had on this trip.
Next we had a very dramatic and chilling tour of Edinburgh, led by very charismatic guides dressed in ghoulish black capes and robes. This fun experience tied up our time in Edinburgh for the day, and we headed back to the hotel for another delicious dinner in Stirling. We tied up the night by singing the Lutkin benediction for the friendly kitchen crew.
We began our day driving to Edinburgh to take a tour of St. Giles Cathedral. It was a beautiful drive as we were leaving the city of Stirling, and traveling through the cloudy countryside to Edinburgh. The St. Giles Cathedral was absolutely gorgeous. The stained glass, architecture, and building in its entirety was breathtaking. We were able to take a tour before our performance at 12:15. Today was our last performance and it was extremely emotional and memorable when we were singing as our sound carried throughout the cathedral.
Ashley Abbott was happy to tell me her thoughts on the performance, “It was an amazing experience, truly overwhelming for not only the seniors, but the choir as a whole.” And, Kevin Krapf commented, “Singing with the MC Concert Choir at St. Giles was both an honor and joy that I will remember vividly forever. As a graduating senior, I can feel nothing less than overwhelming gratitude for the chance to sing in such remarkable venues with this passionate and beautiful choir.” For our last performance I can’t think of a better group to sing with than the Maryville College Choir throughout this year and our Scotland Choir tour have become a close family, creating musical moments that will continue to be one of the most memorable experiences in our lives.
After all of the joyful tears following a wonderful performance we were able to take a break; search the town and get some lunch. Then it was time for the ghostly underground tour. Guided by a man who fully captivated our attentions, we were led on a historical/ghostly tour through parts of Edinburgh to the underground that gave us goose bumps. After the tour, we had a very quiet bus ride back; exhaustion had taken over. We have one more day in Scotland!