At the Branch Committee meeting on 1 September 1997 the Committee noted with regret the death on 11 July 1997 at the age of 85 of Dr. Carl Dolmetsch, the Vice-President and founder of the Society of Recorder Players. His accompanist, Joseph Saxby, died on 23 June 1997 at the age of 87.
The Branch had 45 members, two fewer than the previous season (5 new members, 7 non-renewals). We met on 35 Monday evenings from September 1996 to June 1997 for combined playing. One-to-a-part groups met on alternate evenings.
On 28 October 1996 we welcomed Margaret Hall as guest conductor at one of our regular Monday evening meetings.
The Branch’s Special Playing Day was on Saturday 2 November 1996 when the visiting conductor was Terry Gill, Musical Director of the Nottinghamshire Branch. We welcomed many visitors from the other Scottish branches. The money collected during the buffet tea, which came to £57, was sent to the Walter Bergmann Memorial Fund.
On 14 December 1996 a group of ten members played Christmas carols at Scotmid, Leith as part of Oxfam’s Christmas Carol Collections.
Our Christmas Evening was on 16 December 1996 when we played to an audience of family and friends in Augustine Church. We were joined by members of the Edinburgh Community Education Evening Class conducted by Margaret Hall and by Sandy Howie who played the drum in James Carey’s arrangement of Three Mediaeval Carols. A collection was made in aid of Camphill Rudolf Steiner Schools, Aberdeen, which raised £85.
On 27 January we welcomed Eileen Silcocks from Glasgow to conduct a Monday Evening meeting.
The Branch celebrated its 40th Anniversary on 10 February 1997 by inviting former Musical Directors back to conduct the Branch during the month of February. 1997. On Saturday 1 February 1997 Peter Robertson, now Musical Director of the Leicester Branch, conducted some of the pieces which the branch played thirty years ago when he was Musical Director. We welcomed many visitors from other branches and former members several of whom joined us afterwards to continue the celebrations at Henderson’s Salad Bar. £64 was raised for the Walter Bergmann Memorial Fund.
On 10 and 24 February former Musical Directors Sandy Howie and Mary Murray conducted Monday evening meetings of the Branch.
We were saddened to learn of the death, on 24 February 1997, of Rosemary McGillivray, Musical Director of the Glasgow Branch. A donation of £29.70 was raised in her memory for the Nursing Education Fund of the Beatson Oncology Centre in Glasgow.
This year members attended Special Playing Days in Glasgow (10 May 1997) and Hawick (17 May 1997).
The National Recorder Festival took place on 24 May 1997 at Marlborough School, St. Albans. On 25 May 1997, E.Finlayson attended the Society’s Annual Conference as the Edinburgh Branch’s delegate.
The Scottish National Recorder Festival was at Alva on Saturday 14 June and was organised by the Aberdeen Branch. The conductors included James Carey and Margaret Hall. The principal guest conductor was Layton Ring who conducted James Carey’s arrangement of nursery rhymes, Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son.
James Carey was visiting conductor at the Hawick and Nottinghamshire Branches.
Our Summer Evening was on 16 June, when we played in Augustine Church to an audience of family and friends. The collection was divided between Shelter and the Rock Trust and raised £64.
As always we must thank our Musical Director James Carey for making our weekly meetings so enjoyable and successful.
E. M. Finlayson