Day 8 of our UK trip promised to be a monumental day marking a significant leg in our tour. This is the day the choir would sing in concert at Windsor Castle, the summer home of the royal family. After the concert at Windsor, we were slated to perform outdoor at the Battersea Power Station.
We left Bristol, England for Windsor Castle which was about a three-hour drive. Everyone was especially excited about this concert, because Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel is where Prince Harry and Meghan captivated the entire world – especially those of us from the United States – when they married approximately year ago. It has always been my dream to have the Morgan State University Choir sing for royalty! Naturally our eyes were peeled for any sign of The Royals. When the Queen is in the castle, it is customary to have the royal family’s flag raised. Unfortunately, it was not raised on the day of our planned performance. Despite the absence of a noble audience, we were very pleased and quite honored to sing in the place where the royal couple wed.
Our group arrived early enough to tour the castle prior to the concert. Upon entering, we endured similar screening to airport security ensuring the utmost safety of the castle and its inhabitants. This day was like every day at Windsor Castle, with tens of thousands of people touring the Royal Apartments. We unfortunately discovered that photography of any type was not allowed once inside of the Royal Apartments. Much to our surprise and chagrin, this denial of photography extended to St. George’s Chapel preventing us from documenting our afternoon a cappella concert. This rule was very stringently enforced as castle employees spent significant time asking tourists attempting to take photos to stop. Somehow, a few photos managed to be taken during the tour and our concert.
The choir had to be vetted before singing in Windsor Castle; this included having our program approved by the castle staff ahead of our performance. We were afforded a 40 to 50-minute a cappella program. Prior to the concert, we were sent to a holding room that staffers whimsically referred to as the “dungeon.” Typically, when you think of a dungeon, you think of a cold and damp desolate area. Our space was unexpectedly quite nice, but in the basement just the same.
After our Windsor Castle concert, which we performed for several hundred attendees, we had an hour drive to our next concert at the Battersea Power Station. The original Battersea Power Station was demolished leaving only remnants of the original structure that are still visible today. Supported by an $8 billion investment, the old power plant is being converted to a high-end business park. We gave a 40-minute outdoor concert in a relatively cool 58-degree temperature to a very appreciative audience. Initially, we were concerned about the chilly weather, but once we began singing no one thought twice about the temperature! The presenters gave the entire group a Battersea Power Station keyring as a gift in show of their appreciation.
After a well-received outdoor concert in Battersea, we travelled to our last hotel of the tour, Double Tree Docklands Riverside. Literally a land of docks, the Docklands is a district of London that served as a vital distribution center disbursing supplies all over the United Kingdom during World War II. The Docklands was heavily bombed by the Germans repeatedly during the war and after the war’s end in 1945, everything had to be rebuilt. Once there, we closed out our evening by participating in delicious buffet dinner.
In the end, we had a very full and satisfying day, and to top it all off we were in one of the world’s greatest cities, London, England!
Windsor Castle footage:
Wings over Jordan Spiritual Excerpts from Windsor Castle:
I’ll Stand at Windsor Castle:
Aftermath of Battersea Power Station Concert:
Excerpts from Battersea Power Station Outdoor Concert: