The Branch learnt with deep sorrow of the death, on 27 December 2006, of
John Higgitt who had been a member of the Edinburgh Branch for over
The Branch had 33 members, 4 more than the previous season (7 new members, 1
returned member and 4 non-renewals). We met on 36 Monday evenings from September
to June for combined playing. One-to-a-part groups met in each other’s houses.
We were delighted to welcome Fabian Setznagel, a music student at Edinburgh
University, as our new conductor.
On Saturday 4 November we welcomed Adam Dopadlik, from Cambridge, as our
visiting conductor. We were joined by visitors from other Scottish branches and
from the Evening Class. Adam Dodpadlik arranged a Mozart string quartet
especially for the occasion and later presented a copy to the branch.
Our Christmas Evening was on Monday 11 December, when we played to an
audience of family and friends in Augustine United Church. The conductors from
the Branch were Fabian Setznagel, Peter Wraith and Andrew Short and we were
joined by members of the Edinburgh Community Education Evening Class conducted
by Margaret Hall. Fabian brought along his choir to perform Austrian and
medieval Christmas songs. The collection made a profit of £259.30 which was sent
to Marie Curie Cancer Care.
On 29 January we hosted a joint meeting of the Branch and the Edinburgh
Community Education Evening Class conducted by Margaret Hall.
The National Recorder Festival took place on 31 March and 1 April at Mount
School, York. On 1 April, Eileen Finlayson attended the Society’s Annual
Conference as the Edinburgh Branch’s delegate. The meeting was chaired by Andrew
Short. The full minutes, reports and accounts of the Conference can be found here. A
summary of the minutes follows. All officers were prepared to stand for
re-election with the exception of the Chairman, Andrew Short. Alistair Read said
that he would be standing down as Secretary at the 2008 Conference. Dick Pyper
(Committee & Guildford) was elected Chairman nem. con by Conference for a
term of one year. Caroline Jones (Birmingham) and Jane Sellek (West Riding) were
elected to serve on the Committee for three years replacing Sandra Foxall
(Cleveland) and Dick Pyper (Guildford). Eileen Silcocks succeeded Helen Hooker
as Musical Adviser on the Committee. Dick Pyper reported that, as the result of
an initial claim for Gift Aid tax refund, the Society had received just over
£700 for Central Funds and a further £1,800 was anticipated. He thanked members
for completing the Gift Aid forms. The central subscription rates were set at
£17.50 for full members, £28.00 for household members and £13.00 for student
members. Subscriptions are due by 30 November. Conference was pleased to ratify
the new Wales Branch which had opened with 16 members. Conference ratified the
dissolution of Plymouth and Milton Keynes Branches.
2008 Kent/Weald of Kent (19–20 April at The Weald of Kent School, Tonbridge)
2009 Cleveland (confirmed) (18–19 April)
2010 Suffolk (confirmed)
2011 Somerset/Devon (provisional)
Honorary life membership was bestowed on Andrew Short. Taking the chair
briefly, the Secretary told Conference that Andrew Short, who had been in post
11 years, had given selflessly to the post of chairman and in particular through
his guidance, energy and enthusiasm had seen NYRO come into being.
Several members attended Special Playing Days in Glasgow on 17 February and
Newcastle on 21 July.
On Friday 1 June, a one-to-part consort from the branch played at a wedding
on the island of Inchcolm.
On Saturday 2 June, the Edinburgh Branch hosted the Scottish Recorder
Festival at Mayfield-Salisbury Church in Edinburgh. The Festival Committee
consisted of Mabel Cooney (Secretary), Rosemary Byde (Treasurer), Eileen
Finlayson (Chairperson) and Peter Wraith. The guest conductor was Moira Usher,
who directed sessions of massed playing at the beginning and end of the festival
and also offered a conducting session. For the rest of the day there was a
choice of music, graded easy to difficult, conducted by Ethel Allan, Stuart
Forrester, Sandra Foxall, Ed Friday, Marg Hall, Fabian Setznagel and Eileen
Silcocks. Shops displaying instruments and music were open throughout the
festival. There were performances by Flauti Animati Scotica and the Scottish
Recorder Orchestra, and visitors to the festival were welcomed by a Scottish
folk band playing in the foyer. The event was a great success with over 70
bookings taken, and we are very grateful to all those who helped both beforehand
and on the day.
On Sunday 17 June, two groups from the Branch played at the Early Music Forum
of Scotland’s Performance Day at the National Museum of Scotland. A large group
played two short fugues by Pachelbel in the Hawthornden Court conducted by
Fabian Setznagel, and a smaller one-to-a-part group played a sonata by
On Monday 18 June, the Edinburgh Branch held its 50th anniversary concert at
Augustine United Church. Former members and friends of the Branch gathered to
listen to a varied programme of music, much of which was associated with the
last 50 years. The conductors were Fabian Setznagel, Andrew Short, Peter Wraith
and Margaret Hall, who directed members of her recorder evening class in Ein
Frölich Wesen by Paul Rebhun and Three Czech Dances arranged by Walter Bergmann.
The centre piece of the concert was a performance, conducted by Fabian Setznagel,
of Intrata giocosa for recorders and strings written in 1958 by Hans Gál. Hans
Gál was President of the Edinburgh Branch from its foundation until his death in
1987 and Intrata giocosa was last played by the Branch at its 25th Anniversary
Concert in 1982 when the composer himself was in the audience. On this occasion
we were delighted to welcome Hans Gál’s daughter, Eva Fox Gál, her husband Tony
Fox and Hans Gál’s granddaughter, Tanya Fox. Another piece by Hans Gál, his
Divertimento for two treble recorders and guitar, also featured in the
programme. As well as the music, there were reminiscences from Mina Brown, a
founder member of the Branch, who brought to life the minutes of the first
meeting with her memories of those who took part. Mina also cut the celebration
cake during the interval. Peter Wraith brought the concert to a lively
conclusion by conducting a performance of Mock Baroque: A Suite of 20th Century
Dances by James Carey, former conductor and Musical Director the Edinburgh
Branch, who was also in the audience. The collection made a profit of £110.91
which was sent to Quarriers.
We must warmly thank our conductors Fabian Setznagel, Andrew Short and Peter
Wraith for giving us such an enjoyable year of music making and we look forward
in anticipation to the coming season.
E. Finlayson September 2007