By Revd Pamela Strachan

Eddleston Junior Choir

AN exploding ‘Treble Clef’ culminated an evening of joyous music from the Eddleston Parish Church Junior Choir last Friday evening, as Musical Director, Lorraine Mulholland, cut the spectacular Piñata cake.

Baked by one of the Junior Choir mothers, Teresa Bedford, the fabulous cake was a fitting tribute to 25 years of this little choir bringing its vitality and exuberance to worship in the church.

As well as giving regular concerts over the years, the young singers have raised money for charity, made their own CD and brought joy to the elderly in residential homes in Peebles.

The choir has also been the starting point for many talented young musicians who have gone on to become accomplished young soloists, as we heard on Friday evening.

The programme began with a touching performance of ‘Humility & Appreciation’ from The Little Triangle (by Claire Fitchie & James Wright) and was followed by solo pieces from past choir members.

After learning the piano for merely a year, young Izzy Steele gave a confident performance of two solo pieces, along with a duet of Bobby Shafto.

Izzy already plays with great expression as the audience heard Bobby cheerfully setting sail but then becoming queasy with seasickness only for his spirits to lift as he heads for home once again.

Very competent performances followed by both Jennifer Brown (violin) and Shona Sinclair (piano) as they demonstrated how participation in the Junior Choir has fostered their talent and love of music.

Jennifer played ‘Russian’ by Martrei Blanter, Blue Day (The Thai King No.9) and Allegro Assai 3rd Movement from Concertino in D Major by Ferdinand Kuchler.

These pieces would have been a challenge for older players, but this young violinist played with great panache.

Shona Sinclair gave a similarly spirited performance on the piano with Branle de la Torche by Michael Praetorius, Shadows by Walter Carrol and the lively Scott Joplin number, The Entertainer.

Rowan Steele, older sister of Izzy, delighted the audience with her performance on fiddle, with Farewell to the Glen (J.Scott Skinner) and A Set of Shetland Reels.

Rowan and Jennifer then performed together on violin and fiddle with The Love of the Isles (Willie Hunter) and Stomach Steinway Man, written by Ian Lowthian who was born in the Scottish Borders where he still works as a music teacher and educator.

The ten young singers who currently make up the Eddleston Junior Choir produce a ‘big sound’ and sing with such obvious pleasure and enthusiasm.

The Lemonade Kid by Peter Fardell (edited by Alison Hedger) gave them all scope for their exuberance, as did their repeat performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Kane and Kane.

We were treated to this at the summer concert last year and such was the choir’s obvious delight in performing this number, we were told they requested to sing it again.

That seems to be the secret of this young choir’s success; all the young members thoroughly enjoy the singing and performing, the rhythm and the sheer pleasure of making music.

Delighted parents in the audience confirmed how much their children enjoy belonging to the choir as Lorraine Mulholland was presented with bouquets and warmly thanked by the Reverend Calum Macdougall for her 25 years of dedication and commitment to so many young singers in Eddleston and Peebles.

The Church, parents and the Eddleston community all owe a huge debt to this inspirational Musical Director and music teacher.