Last night saw East Lothian’s Showcase Concert 2010 – featuring String Ensemble, Percussion, Jazz Band, Guitar Ensemble, Wind Ensemble. This is quite a high-pressure time of year for many pupils. In addition to SQA performances, many have their own school concert and the Showcase Concert all in close proximity. In the case of guitarists, this amounts to 4-6 minutes of solo music for Standard Grade or 10 minutes for Higher; one piece for the school’s Spring Concert; three other pieces for the Showcase Concert. Those from NBHS taking part in the performance for the Head Teachers’ Conference had another four songs to keep in shape. This is an impressive amount of plate-spinning at a time when portfolio deadlines loom.
I was delighted with the focus and the performance of the Guitar Ensemble last night. Here are recordings of our three offerings:
(To download the mp3 files, right-click the second link and choose ‘Save target as…’)
(hats off to David & Callum from Knox for their improvised solos in the last two items).
It was touching to see friendships spring up between pupils from different schools and interesting to see how different pupils spend their backstage time, which amounts to most of the evening. Some play cards, some listen to mp3 players, some chat, some flirt but guitarists tend to play their guitars:
sometimes with other instruments:
sometimes with such relentlessness that the guitar is soon whittled away to a shadow of its former self: