More than 20 schools celebrated the 7th centenary of the death of Blessed John Duns Scotus with a Cantata (text by Fr. Sean Fitzgerald; music by Fr. Gerry Fitzpatrick) on Wednesday 2nd April in St Mary’s, Calton.

Song and dance, pageantry and prayer, humour and piety were the materials out of which the children built their celebration and learned about their very distinguished countryman – famed not only for his wisdom and knowledge, but for the holiness of his life.

In the cantata the children became pilgrims, exploring the journey of TheWise Men, and making their way across Europe in the footsteps of Duns Scotus, from Haddington to North Uist, Oxford, Paris and Cologne.Duns Scotus lived in the 13th century, at the time of Wallace and Bruce.Born in Duns, he was educated at Haddington, then at the Temple at Carinish in North Uist in the OuterHebrides, before going on to Oxford, Paris and Cologne – first as student and then as a scholarrenowned throughout Europe.

The children were prepared in their own schools, and the teachers were assisted by a CD recorded by Carissa Bovil – it all worked very smoothly and the singing whether together, or by smaller school groups, or soloists such as Brother Joseph, Philip the Fair,the Emperor, the page, and Scotus himself, was outstanding.

The beautiful banners,dancers from St Catherine’s,the scenery provided by St Roch’s Secondary helped create a marvellous atmosphere, which was added to by the musical support from a number of adult instrumentalists, together with the violinists from St Joseph’s, Milngavie.