The Branch had 45 members, the same number as the previous season (7 new members, 7 non-renewals). We met on 34 Monday evenings from September to June for combined playing. One-to-a-part groups met on alternate evenings. The music we played ranged in period from Palestrina to Gershwin.
On 20 October we welcomed Eileen Silcocks as guest conductor at one of our regular Monday evening meetings.
The Branch’s Special Playing Day was on Saturday 1 November when the visiting conductor was Andrew Challinger, Musical Director of the East Berkshire Branch. We welcomed many visitors from the other Scottish branches. The money collected during the buffet tea, which came to £42.20, was sent to the Walter Bergmann Memorial Fund.
On 6 December a small group played Christmas carols at Scotmid, Leith as part of Oxfam’s Christmas Carol Collections.
Our Christmas Evening was on 8 December 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 baroque violin in a performance of a Quanz trio sonata. The collection in aid of National Children’s Homes and Edinburgh University Settlement raised £95.
On 15 February eight players from the branch contributed musical interludes to the evening service at St. George’s West Church in Edinburgh.
On 16 February we welcomed Margaret Hall as guest conductor at a Monday evening meeting.
On 22 February Dorothee Oberlinger, the winner of the 1997 Moeck/SRP Solo Recorder Competition, with Elisabeth Wand on cello and organ, gave a recital of early, baroque and modern music at Augustine Church. The concert was organised by Andrew Short and attracted an audience of nearly 80 people which enabled the concert to break even financially.
On 16 March we welcomed Sandy Howie as guest conductor at a Monday evening meeting of the Branch.
This year members attended Special Playing Days in Hawick (30 May) and Durham (6 June).
The National Recorder Festival took place on 18 and 19 April at School, Truro. On 19 April, Eileen Finlayson attended the Society’s Annual Conference as the Edinburgh Branch’s delegate. The meeting was chaired by Andrew Short. The deaths were reported of Carl Dolmetsch on 11 July 1997, Sir Michael Tippett on 9 January 1998 and. Herbert Hersom on 14 April 1998. Sir Peter Maxwell Davies was ratified as President of the Society. Jeanne Dolmetsch was ratified as new Vice-President. The appointment of Mrs Emma Moore (replacing Diana Reddaway) as Country and Overseas Secretary was also ratified. Sandra Foxall (Cleveland) and Moira Usher (Suffolk) replace Graham Danbury (Mid-Herts) and Mary Tyers (Durham) on the Committee. There was a deficit of £1,112 (less than the predicted deficit of £3,687). A surplus of £1,124 and reserves of £15,321 were predicted in 1998-9. As a result no increase in the Central Subscription was announced. The 1999 National Festival will take place in York on 17 and 18 April. The 2000 National Festival will be organised by the Suffolk Branch and will take place in Felixstowe.
The Scottish National Recorder Festival was at Alva on Saturday 20 June and was organised by the Roxburgh Branch. The conductors included Jim Carey, with his latest composition Pets on Parade, and Margaret Hall, who conducted her Diverse Dances. The principal guest conductor was Sandra Foxall, Musical Director of the Cleveland Branch.
Jim Carey was visiting conductor at the Hillfoots Branch on 4 October.
Our Summer Evening was on 15 June, when we played in Augustine Church to an audience of family and friends. The in aid of the Drake Music Project raised £75.
As always we must thank our Musical Director James Carey for making our weekly meetings so enjoyable and successful. Jim as recently had his composition Raise Your Hats published and has kindly donated complimentary copies to the branch. We must also thank Henriette Bos, Andrew Short and Peter Wraith who have conducted meetings during the season.