Category Archives: Rehearsals

Stage Experience – Footloose

I had an email today from Simon Hanson, Musical Director the Stage Experience. This youth project is to mount a production of Footloose in the Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh in July. In addition to showcasing young dramatic talent this is also an opportunity for young musicians to gain experience in musical theatre. Currently they seek two young electric guitarists – young meaning around 21 or under. Like all musical theatre work this requires reading of musical notation and chord symbols. The music will not be in TAB! If you would be interested finding out more you can contact Simon here.

East Lothian Showcase Play-along Files

New play-along files of our Showcase repertoire have been posted on the Guitar Group Midis page. They are in the same order as they will be on our programme. Begin with the slow ones (low numbers) and build up to the faster ones (highter numbers).

Check the Dates For Your Diary page for rehearsal details.

Tickets (£5) are now on sale from the Queen’s Hall Box Office 0131 668 2019;;

85 – 89 Clerk Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9JG (map).

Youth Music Worker

My colleague in East Lothian, Iain Bruce (East Lothian Strategic Music Partnership Co-ordinator) got in touch with information about a job opportunity – Youth Music Worker. Applicants should be aged between 18 and 25 and have been unemployed for a minimum of 6 months. If you know of anyone who might be suitable and interested, Iain’s advice is for them to get in touch with Job Centre Plus as soon as possible.

Here is the Job Description

Showcase Rehearsal No. 4/6

There’s always a payback. Today’s payback for some guitar pupils came in the form of a tough rehearsal. Having missed out on December’s snow-damned rehearsal for the East Lothian Showcase Concert,* we really had to press on. We rehearsed solidly for 45 minutes, had a 10 minute break before resuming for a further 40 minutes. This left just enough time for us to pack away before 2/3 of the group boarded buses to complete their 24-mile round trip. Being a Friday afternoon, some of the pupils looked pale with weariness and struggled with concentration. However, not one squeak of complaint was heard and the amount of work covered and improvement in evidence extremely impressive.

As if getting the upper hand on 5 x A4 pages of music weren’t enough**, six pupils stayed behind to grapple with a further 3 pages of accompaniments to songs for this year’s NBHS PTA Burns Supper, which will take place on Fri 4 Feb. Next week’s work experience meant that we really had to press on and last week’s Higher Prelims meant that some pupils were really up against it.

I feel that there exists a point in a notional spectrum where pressure turns into stress. The tricky part in this process occurs when distributing the ensemble parts at the start of the session. Seven months will pass between dishing out parts for the first piece and the concert and a great deal can change in that time. I always hope to gauge the right point in the following line when allocating parts:

will learn nothing as the part is so easy that it’s boring//will just manage comfortably//will learn a lot but will need to raise one’s game//will struggle//will despair..

I hope I’ve got it right.

Hats off to all concerned for sterling efforts today!

* East Lothian Showcase Concert – Tue 22 March @ 19:30 in Queens Hall.

** Each pupil has, in fact, 7 pages to master but we decided to leave one piece aside today as the main complications lay in the other two pieces.

NBHS Christmas Concert(s)

Try as it might, the snow did not manage to disrupt this year’s NBHS Christmas Concerts on Mon 13 & Tue 14 Dec. We lost rehearsal time during the week of blanket closures. Even when pupils returned, not all could get in and some of those relying on buses missed another rehearsal. However, thanks to a bit of give and take between schools, some replacement rehearsal time was found and the Guitar Ensemble turned in two of their best performances to date. I was particularly pleased with the sensitive phrasing in the Sicilienne by Paradis – not for the want of my droning on about this topic, I can assure you – still, worth it in the end – I hope you agree.

Sicilienne Merry Christmas Everybody