Joan Ballantyne, now living in
Darlington, England, wrote:
"Do you have any photos of the Secondary
Schools Orchestra playing at the Assembly Rooms?
I was part of the orchestra. in the wind
section. Muirhouse Primary supplied this section. I was there in '75 and
I remember travelling up to Bruntsfield for
the big rehearsals. It seemed a long way for a 10-year-old!
When we were playing at the Assembly Rooms, we
were always put in the same room as the brass section, the furthest away
from the stage!
Darlington, NE England: September 26, 2007
I don't have any photos of the Secondary
School Concerts in the Assembly Rooms. If you know of any, or have
any memories of these concerts,
please e-mail me.
- Peter Stubbs.
Thank you to Tony Ivanov, now
living in Bo'ness, West Lothian, who wrote:
"I remember when I was about eleven years old
in 1957, competing competing in a piano competition at the Assembly Rooms.
I studied classical piano at the music studios
run by the company, Rae McIntosh, who then had their music shop and
studios in George Street.
I started studying piano with them when I was
seven. My music teacher decided to enter me into this competition,
although I really didn't want to enter. The thought of playing in
public terrified me."
"I recall there were about a hundred entrants
and, to make matters worse, when I arrived there on the day I was told I
was first to perform. All of the entrants were seated in the front
of the auditorium.
I was unaware of my name being called out on
account of being absolutely nervous and terrified. All I can remember is
my music teacher, who had apparently marched down the aisle, grabbed hold
of me and saying: 'Don't you realise you are being called? Get a
I approached the grand piano, put up my music
and sat down. The stool required adjusting to suit my height but being
still terrified I ignored this and just played. Much to my surprise I got
through the performance, but couldn't exactly remember how good or how bad
"Much later on, after everyone had performed,
the results were announced. Imagine my surprise when I found out I
had come second!"
"Although I continued studying piano into my
teens, that day left it's mark on me and I never entered another
competition, or indeed played before an audience other than my parents.
After I left school my piano playing fell by
the wayside as I followed my career, but when I took early retirement
eleven years ago I decided to rekindle the experience and now I enjoy
playing again although not to the same level as I used to. I'm still
very self conscious and will only play when I'm in the house by myself."
Tony Ivanov, now living in Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland