page 20

page 21

 Melrose Weekend

George Greig previews the next annual teaching weekend in the Borders, 9-11 March

FOR THE last 10 years or more, the Society has held a teaching weekend in the George and Abbotsford Hotel in Melrose. These events have provided the opportunity for members, at all levels of proficiency, to play together, learn some new tunes and have a very enjoyable time - could it be that the informal (playing) sessions in the bar in the evenings have some- thing to do with it? The fact that many members return year after year suggests that they enjoy it and find it worthwhile.

For the next few years, we plan to give the weekends a specific focus. The new tunes and the social aspects will be there as before; but we want to structure the weekends around a specific theme so that we learn a bit more about the music itself.

What we have in mind should become obvious when I say that the theme for the next Melrose weekend will be “Rhythm and Dance’”. And, yes, they danced in the Borders too! So, when we learn to play new tunes or return to some of our old favourites, we will also be learning why playing a tune in a particular way will make the music come more alive.

We have always been lucky in having good teachers for these weekends, and this time, I think it’s fair to say that we can boast an absolutely stellar line-up. The tutors will be Carol- Anne Mackay (of Dochas), Angus Mackenzie (of Daimh) and Hamish Moore. It is also possible that Fin Moore may be able to join us too. I would be hard pressed to think of a more exciting line-up and I am looking forward to what promises to be a great weekend.


Dochas, with Carol-Anne Mackay third from left


At Melrose we will be catering for players of all levels of experience, so beginners and less experienced players should not be deterred by the prospect of dazzling finger-work being required (we can always dream) - our tutors still remember what it was like when they played at a more normal level.

Booking well in advance is advised - and it does help with the organisation. Booking forms will be sent out with the December news letter; alternatively, places may be booked on-line via the web-site.