Musical Medics (not quite world) tour: Adventures in rainy Aberdeenshire….

…by Charis / from England / studying Medicine / 4th Year (UG)

Despite the slightly misleading name, Edinburgh University Musical Medics is not just a society for medical students! It is in fact an orchestra and choir open to students of all degree subjects who together raise money for medical charities through music. As a non-auditioning orchestra, we’re a friendly and welcoming bunch who love spending time with each other – and there is no better opportunity to do this than on our annual tour! This year, we visited Banchory: a lovely, picturesque town in Aberdeenshire where even Queen Elizabeth goes on holiday.

On Friday evening, excitement levels started high and were getting higher as we left Edinburgh in small groups for the long car ride up North. All was well until inevitably, as with every year, we got lost. Luckily, our volunteer drivers were extremely resilient and managed to turn a rather confusing situation into an entertaining one. Our road trip snacks and cheesy playlists kept us all on a sugary high until we finally reached our destination. Once we arrived at the accommodation we wolfed down the warm soup and bread that was prepared for us and tucked up into our sleeping bags for the night.

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We made it to the top of the hill!

We woke on Saturday ready for a jam-packed day of activity! First on the agenda was a range of outdoor activities. Of these, I chose to go on the hill walk – a yearly reminder of how I need do more exercise. Having struggled to the top, I sat down to enjoy the beautiful view of Aberdeenshire and explored the ruins of an old tower there. Although my legs ached and I was very short of breath, the time spent climbing with my friends as an annual tradition was completely worth it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get much time to catch my breath as we then headed straight to first concert venue, a small church just around the corner from our accommodation. After a brief rehearsal, we were good to go and had a great time performing pieces including a Lion King medley and the Titanic theme to a warm and receptive audience!

Our busy day had made everyone – especially me – extremely hungry. It was just as well that we’d booked space at a nearby restaurant and went there for some amazingly tasty burgers. When we headed back to the house, it was time for another Musical Medics annual tradition – games night! In the cozy basement, we all grouped together for a night of Mafia, Charades and uncontrollable laughter. It was so fun I didn’t want to sleep even though I was fighting to keep my eyes open!

The next morning, we (somehow) woke up bright and early for a trip to the nearby castle. This was topped off with lunch at the local fish and chip shop, washed down with some of the best ice cream in Banchory. However time was short as we had to rush off to our next concert venue. Knowing that this was the last event of tour, we played/sang our hearts out and were thanked more than enough by the audience who had prepared tea and biscuits for us.

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Two of our members really enjoying their ice cream

Having grown so close to the rest of the society in a matter of days, it was quite strange to see everyone get into their separate cars for the journey back to Edinburgh. Tour is one of the best parts of being in Musical Medics and through it many lasting friendships and long-term jokes are formed. Not only did we enjoy it a lot but we also raised a healthy amount for charity. I had an amazing time and can’t wait to find out where we’re headed next year!

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