Day 3 – Fort Lauderdale

You may think it looks as though we're on a nice holiday and I'll admit it kind of feels that way! But today, we have the first concert of the tour so it's down to business, well this afternoon at least!

One of the unusual things about this tour is the fact that we are based in the same hotel for a few nights, so no living out of a suitcase. It's a bit like staying in Glasgow but doing concerts in Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness.

Fort Lauderdale is about an hour south of West Palm Beach so whilst the orchestra coaches were leaving just in time for the afternoon rehearsal there, a few of us ventured onto the 'Tri-rail' train to get down early and do a bit of exploring.

We are hugely indebted to Fiona McLeod, who works in our external relations department who came out to Florida earlier in the year as the advance party, who has been a mine of information on things to do, places to eat, etc. She told us that a boat trip around Fort Lauderdale was a must as it is known as 'the Venice of Florida'. I have to admit that other than the water, it bears no resemblance to Venice whatsoever!

It is the playground of the rich and famous with the average house price being around $500m and the super yachts costing $1m per foot. The water taxi was great fun with the driver telling us lots of information about who lived where and who owned the boats. Names like Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg, JK Rowling, Johnny Depp and major American businesses like Pilsbury, Wendy's Hamburgers and The Sunglasses Hut to name but a few - it was definitely a case of how the other half live!

A couple of super yachts being towed along the river - they are both around 150ft long so worth a LOT of money!

This is known as 'The White House of the South'.

Daniel Radcliffe lives here!

So onto the Broward Centre for the Performing Arts, a massive hall reminiscent in sound and shape of the Birmingham Symphony Hall.

We have brought two programmes with us for the tour and tonight's offering is Borodin's Prince Igor Overture, Brahms Violin Concerto and Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony.  We are so lucky to have our long-time friend and colleague Nicola Benedetti with us.  Her performance of the Brahms was gutsy yet sensitive and she is genuinely a great person to have around.

Nicky taking her bow to a standing ovation with our Music Director Peter Oundjian.

The orchestra onstage during the concert.

There is obviously a strong Scottish connection here in Florida so it was lovely to spot a few kilts in the audience and they were thrilled with our Eightsome Reel encore!