The Branch had 40 members, 5 fewer than the previous season (3 new members, 8 non-renewals). We met on 35 Monday evenings from September to June for combined playing. One-to-a-part groups met on alternate evenings.
We were saddened to hear of the death of Barbara Marshall, who had been a member of the branch in the 1950’s.
On Saturday 26 September a small group played at the Early Music Forum of Scotland’s Museum Weekend in the Royal Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street and at the Harvest Festival Supper of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Murrayfield.
At the Annual General Meeting on 5 October, the Committee was delighted to announced the appointment of Henriette Bos as Assistant Conductor.
On 2 November we welcomed Eileen Silcocks as guest conductor at one of our regular Monday evening meetings.
On Sunday 8 November we welcomed the international soloist David Bellugi, in Edinburgh for the annual Musica Italia Festival, to conduct a workshop followed by a recital. We were in turn fascinated by the insights he gave us into the interpretation of the Schmelzer Sonata for Seven Recorders in the workshop and dazzled by his playing in the recital afterwards.
Our Christmas Evening was on 14 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. The collection of £116.60 was divided equally between Shelter and the Rock Trust.
On Saturday 19 December a small group played Christmas carols at Tesco’s, Broughton Street as part of Oxfam’s Christmas Carol Collections.
We welcomed Margaret Hall on 15 February and Sandy Howie on 15 March as guest conductors.
The Branch’s Special Playing Day was on Saturday 20 March when the visiting conductor was Sandra Foxall, Musical Director of the Cleveland Branch. We welcomed many visitors from the other Scottish branches. The money collected during the buffet tea, which came to £38, was sent to the Walter Bergmann Fund.
This year members attended Special Playing Days in Newcastle (17 October), Glasgow (24 October) and Hawick (16 May).
The National Recorder Festival took place on 17 and 18 April at Millthorpe School, York. On 18 April, Eileen Finlayson attended the Society’s Annual Conference as the Edinburgh Branch’s delegate. The meeting was chaired by Andrew Short. Eileen Silcocks was ratified as a Musical Adviser of the Society. Denis Bloodworth (South London Branch) and Petrina Lodge (Cambridge Branch) were elected to serve on the Committee for three years, replacing Angela Dumbreck (Cornwall Branch) and Marion Panzetta (Essex Branch). Paul Clark was elected to serve for three years as Musical Adviser on the Committee (replacing Alyson Lewin). Membership stood at 1636, 9 fewer than the previous year. The Society made a surplus of £3,266 for the year and the Central Fund stood at £17,464.34. There was no increase in the Central Subscription. Walter Bergmann Fund. Conference was asked by the Chairman of the fund on behalf of the Committee to consider raising funds for the WBF by including a donation line on future annual subscription renewal forms. Future Festivals would be as follows: 29/30 April 2000, Felixstowe; 7/8 April 2001, probably Bristol; 2002, probably Guildford; 2003, Manchester; 2004, Wessex.
The Scottish National Recorder Festival was at Alva on Saturday 12 June and was organised by a committee from the Edinburgh Branch with Peter Wraith as chairman and Dennis Gallagher as treasurer. The conductors included Jim Carey, who conducted his latest arrangement, On the Quarterdeck by Kenneth Alford, Liberty Bell by Sousa and Old Comrades by Teike, Margaret Hall, who conducted her composition Arthropodia, and Sandy Howie who conducted La Bolognese by Viadana. The principal guest conductor was Moira Usher, Musical Director of the Suffolk Branch.
Our Summer Evening was on 14 June, when we played in Augustine Church to an audience of family and friends. The collection in aid of the Bethany Christian Trust raised £65.65.
On 12 July the Edinburgh Branch hosted “Thanks Kiwi! With Best Wishes from Henry Purcell”, an illustrated talk by Alec Loretto on Purcell’s Three in One Upon a Ground. The talk was given as a tribute to Brian Bonsor who introduced the proceedings and chaired the discussion afterwards. The musical illustrations and the performance of the complete work were played by Margaret Hall, April Parkins and Alison Tollick (recorders), Peter Fielding (cello), and Linda Waugh (harpsichord). The event attracted a good audience and was organised by Andrew Short and Peter Wraith
As always we must thank our Musical Director James Carey and Assistant Conductor Henriette Bos for making our weekly meetings so enjoyable and successful.