On May 30, the Morgan State University choir departed from the United Kingdom to return home thus concluding our 11-day tour of the United Kingdom which included stops in three different countries (Scotland, Wales, and England). We’d have to save a trip to Northern Ireland for another time.
Following a seven-hour international flight back the U.S., we had to divert arrival to Dulles Airport to Richmond, VA due to extreme weather conditions. Once weather conditions improved, we finally arrived at Dulles at 6 p.m. that evening and didn’t get back to campus until well after 9 p.m.
Politically, this was an interesting time for Morgan’s choir to visit the U.K., in that Theresa May, the Prime Minister resigned while we were in their country. At the same time, our U.S. President, Donald Trump, was going to be visiting the U.K. with his entire family in the days following.
Having not been in the U.K. since 1985 when I backpacked across Europe while in college, many things had changed since I was there last. As one looked around London, construction and scaffolding were everywhere – a sign of progress and prosperity. Many new buildings are being built and have been built including our American Embassy in London, which was just 18 months old. And let’s not forget the currency exchange rate, things were a lot more favorable for U.S. tourist in 1985.
As far as our performances went, all of our concerts were enthusiastically received. I have personally received several emails thanking the University for bringing its choir to the U.K. The rector at Gresham Centre, the site of our last concert, shared that “their 600-year-old church had never heard music quite so spirited and believed that the place will never be the same!”
And the Gresham Centre isn’t the only one to be positively affected by their experience with the choir. Because of this tour, a number of Europeans were exposed to an HBCU for the first time and left that encounter just a tad bit happier after hearing our music. Morgan State University has officially left its mark in the United Kingdom!
For now, we are happy to be back home and will look forward to our next adventure abroad.