Our first night in Scotland wasn’t bad at all. Following a full day and a half of travel, everyone had a good night’s sleep. But today, was a new day and that meant more sightseeing.
One of the main activities for the day was a walking tour of Edinburgh and that included a visit to the city’s main attraction, Edinburgh Castle. Once inside, we walked to the top of the Edinburgh Castle, the highest point in Edinburgh, where we could see the entire capital city in all its splendor. Another standout castle attraction was the Scottish Crown Jewels, which included a scepter and crown. There was even a memorial erected to World War I in the castle, paying tribute to the thousands of fallen Scottish soldiers killed in the Great War.
Following the castle tour, we went next door to have another great meal at a restaurant called the Cannonball Restaurant. True to its name, the restaurant featured actual cannon balls on display. Scotland is such a magnificent place and we learned so much during our time visiting. One of the things that we learned, and many did not realize, is that the author of the world-famous Harry Potter books is from Scotland. Upon discovering this fact, a number of us decided to visit the Elephant Cafe, where J.K. Rowling wrote many of her earlier Harry Potter books. We spent our remaining time before the start of the concert, visiting shops and purchasing Scottish souvenirs.
Our first concert was in the City of Perth, an hour ride from Edinburgh. The concert performance was billed as a part of the Perth Arts Festival and the tickets were sold out. In recognition of the occasion and to pay tribute to the great traditions of Scotland, I made the bold decision to actually conduct the concert wearing an authentic Scottish kilt. When in Scotland…
It was a very interesting experience to say the least, however, I will never wear a kilt again in life. If asked how it was, I will offer this…every man should wear a kilt at least once in his life, if not for anything else, to have a better appreciation for what the women in our lives endure to get dressed up. The Scotsmen and ladies in attendance told me that I wore it well.
The performance went great and the choir sang exceptionally well, widening their dynamic range and with a greater focus. Despite us being in Scotland, an all-American program was requested and the MSU Choir delivered. In the end, everyone felt really good about the concert, strengthening their esprit de corps and providing them with the motivation needed for an extended tour.
Upon return to our hotel, the plan was to get our bags ready to prepare for an early 8:30 a.m. departure. With that in mind, everyone was looking forward to getting another great night’s sleep!
Perth Festival Concert