This year’s East Lothian Showcase Concert took place last night in the Brunton Hall, Musselburgh. The evening showcases, to a packed house, the inter-school String, Wind, Jazz, Percussion & Guitar Ensembles.
I have to confess to loathing the acoustic of the Brunton Hall which constantly threatens to undermine the many, many hours of work put in by guitar pupils, as it’s virtually impossible for them to hear one another. Rhythmic cues necessary for timing are often inaudible as, for example, a cough by one member of the audience reverberates as loudly as the sound of 40 guitars. Our preference is the magnificent acoustic of Musselburgh Grammar School’s hall, where the event has been hosted in years when the Brunton Hall was mercifully unavailable.
That said, tragedy was averted for another year and the pupils turned in a commendable performance. You can hear mp3s of the East Lothian Guitar Ensemble’s contribution to this year’s event on the East Lothian Guitar Ensemble page.
Other ensembles seem to thrive in this acoutic. The magnificent Wind Ensemble nearly took the roof off!
New Pupil Performance mp3s have been posted on the Musselburgh Grammar School page.
New play-along midi files for the Campie Musical Evening (Thu 26 Mar in Musselburgh Grammar School)have been posted on the Guitar Group Midis page. (more to follow)
New mps of music and hilarity have been posted on the Musselburgh Grammar School Pupil Performance page
Pupils! Pdf parts for Hungarian Wedding Dance have been uploaded to the Guitar Group Parts page. Use these in conjunction with the play-along midi files on the Guitar Group Midis page.
Repeated listening and playing along will help you overcome the two things which make this piece sound unusual:
the time signature of 7/8 – the beats are grouped 2 + 2 + 3
the unusual Lydian Dominant scale – 1, 2, 3, #4, 5, 6, b7
Rehearsal this Friday 31 Oct in St Mary’s PS, Haddington 13:30 – 15:30
Showcase Concert – Friday 27th March at 19:30 in Musselburgh Grammar School
Pupils! For your listening and dancing pleasure, midi files of Hungarian Wedding Dance have been uploaded to the Guitar Group Midis page.
This is the first of our East Lothian Guitar Ensemble pieces (next rehearsal – St. Mary’s PS, Haddington, 1:30 – 3:30)
The date for the Showcase Concert is Friday 27th March 2009 – the performance will take place in Musselburgh Grammar School – tickets will go on sale 4 weeks before the concert – in the Brunton Hall Box Office – this ensures equal access regardless of which school you attend.
This Friday sees the retirement of Ann Cruickshank after 33 years of service to Musselburgh Grammar School’s Music Department. As this coincides with the beginning of the October holiday, Ann decided to throw a retirement ceilidh/party last night in Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange. It was a fantastic occasion and Ann was clearly over the moon to be sharing the evening with so many friends and colleagues, past and present.
The ceilidh music was provided by Laurie Crump and friends. Laurie is the husband of MGS’s universally popular, and boundlessly talented Woodwind Instructor, Juliet Aspley. Between ceilidh sets, there were sessions of lovely solo jazz guitar by Robin Robertson.
Lifelong friend and guitar predecessor at MGS, Mike McGeary and I also performed a short, affectionate send-off to Ann. Between us, Mike and I represent 26 years of collegiality with Ann and it’s always nice when a send-off takes the form of the activity that brought us together.
Always one of the first in the building each morning and with barely a day’s absence since 1975, Ann will be a much missed member of staff.
Thanks for everything, Ann, and don’t be a stranger now.
I look forward to my weekly arrival at Musselburgh Grammar School for many reasons, not the least of which is to see what press cuttings Maestro Bob Paterson (PT Music) has left for me. They’re usually about subjects of mutual fascination – chess, science, education and, of course, music. Recently he left me some pages from the Guardian on my favourite pianist – András Schiff. It concerned his performance of all 32 piano sonatas of Beethoven. There was an invitation to download Schiff’s lecture recitals on the sonatas. I’m guilty of over-using the expression treasure trove but, if you are a fan of Schiff, Beethoven or of piano music in general, then that’s exactly what this is! As Robert Jones points out in a post today, “one of the greatest privileges in life is to be taught by someone who is passionate about their subject.” It doesn’t get much better than having such passion mixed with Schiff’s breadth of knowledge and expressive ability.