Re: Trying Encounters for the first time
That sounds good. Bard is one of my favorite classes in general.
If you're considering getting a Heroes of... book I recommend the Feywild one, it adds a ton of low-level magic and "mundane" items, a lot of which don't give mechanical benefits but are great for roleplay, some useful themes, and new Barbarian, Bard, Wizard, and Druid subclasses (Summon Nature's Ally!).
The Skald is sort of a wizard/bard controller/leader. You get a spellbook like a wizard does, and most of your spells/powers are activated immediately when you melee-attack and hit an enemy.