Our Twenty Third Year - A Season of Giving.
Monday, August 14, 2006 - written by Jeff Bossert
We were blessed with outstanding weather the entire trip, but it was really rewarding for the sun to be out for our final day of performances. It certainly didn't feel like the next to last day, but then again, nothing seemed final until the morning we lifted off from Glasgow.
It was nice having a short trip to both concerts Monday. We could all sleep in a bit, casually pop in the residence hall cafeteria for breakfast, and head to downtown Edinburgh. I think the weather helped us put the evening before behind us; we knew were capable of something better than Sunday night's performance in Dunkeld.
St. Giles Cathedral, like all other venues, produced its share of 'oohs' and 'aahs' with regard to the architecture, and was particularly good for acoustics. We faced a bit of a challenge, singing in two long rows to accommodate the center of the Cathedral. Opening with more solemn pieces like May Thy Holy Spirit (which seemed appropriate), it didn't seem as if applause was warranted, particularly in this venue - but we didn't need it to know the first couple of pieces went well. But then we got the applause for the next few pieces. There's something about a midday concert in a venue where the crowd can come and go, during an event like the Fringe Festival. You come to really appreciate those who sit for the entire performance.
We split up for lunch the next hour, and met up soon afterward for a tour of the downtown area. Our guide, Sue, did a wonderful job of pointing out little gems in Edinburgh's history, from the statue of the dog roosted outside Greyfriar's Bobby's Bar to the sculptured lion resting comfortably near the Parliament building. And there isn't a wide-angle lens out there that will appropriately show off the view of downtown Edinburgh from atop the Castle; you just have to come and see for yourself.
The crowd at Cannongate Kirk showed up plenty early - nothing like making us sweat out the last performance a little more. We maintained the edge we found earlier in the day, and gave a concert worthy of the crowd, and the ovation we received. Jean found her voice enough to make it through a few songs, including the duet with Julie - it's as if some of us willing our voices to her finally paid off.