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Edinburgh yields interesting singing experience in St. Giles church

Travis McLaughlin '09

Returning to Edinburgh, but with a much different sort of itinerary than my last trip (with Dr. Watson’s playwriting class earlier this month) has been a lot of fun.  This morning we awoke at a relatively late hour and enjoyed a buffet-style breakfast in the refined George Hotel before changing into our uniforms and going to St. Giles’ for our concert.  There was a short noon-time prayer service, followed by our performance.  Our opening number, “Ave Maria” by Jacob Arcadelt, went particularly well today.  The architecture and artwork in the church were fantastic and created another in a long line of extraordinary settings for us to sing in.  The acoustics left a little to be desired, insofar as there was difficulty in hearing myself sing, but the resonance created by this gothic-style building was fabulous.  The stained glass windows and large organ provided an excellent backdrop, and the sixty or so people who stopped in to listen to us sing were quite appreciative.

After the concert, we had a trip to St. Andrew’s, the home of the Old Course and the governmental seat for the rules of golf, though I would wager that, if you had to be told that, you could not truly appreciate the significance of being there. I will say that the history of the site was truly overwhelming, and three of us were even able to get our pictures taken on the Old Bridge.  The parts of the Cathedral which were standing were also a sight to be seen, even though most of it was destroyed in Reformation-era violence.  We ate lunch at the Dunvegan, where the winners of the golf tournament traditionally eat, and which is owned by a third-generation Texan who graduated from Texas A&M some years ago. As such, the food was highly “American” but enjoyable nonetheless.

In the late afternoon, we returned to Edinburgh for a night of leisure on the city.  There are a number of local places which have live music on the weekends, so some of us will likely go out in search of some traditional local music.  After that, we look forward to a relatively early bed time for our travels to Glasgow tomorrow.