ORGANISERS of the monthly Serenata concerts are delighted with the number and variety of enthusiastic local musicians who have offered to perform this season.

The bar was set high in November, with a brilliant performance by Kimberley Archibald on flute and Ruari Woodsend on piano, both students of St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh.

The December concert opened with a fascinating survey of French clarinet music played by Sarah Chapman with Caroline Adam on piano. Sarah spoke about the composers and the development of music for clarinet in France – a lovely programme, beautifully played, with the addition of a fascinating insight into the composition of the pieces.

In a more festive mood, Lyndal Bale sang some lovely old carols and then led everyone in a set of well-known Christmas songs.

There are three excellent concerts coming up in the New Year.

In the first, on Sunday, February 2, the focus is on strings.

Liz Head, assistant leader of Peebles Orchestra, will play two pieces by Elgar, accompanied by Caroline Adam.

Serenata has always encouraged the youngest musicians to perform and they are glad to welcome Ellen Allan-Lord, aged 8, to play a set of Scottish tunes on the violin.

The concert finishes with a string quartet playing Mozart’s Quartet no 4 known as ‘The Hunt’ - and they also promise to add a lively finale of South American Tangos. This is not a concert to miss – full of talented musicianship and lovely music.

The concert on March 1 is very much a programme of two halves. First a piano recital by another student from St Mary’s – sure to be brilliant! This is followed by a Jazz Group playing standard jazz, with a bit of gypsy jazz thrown in on violin and improvised solos on trumpet, sax, violin, guitar, clarinet and voice.

On March 29 wind players come to the fore, with solos, quartets and trios for various combinations of wind instruments, interspersed by very lively piano duets. Full details of the programmes will be available next month.

We are privileged that there are so many talented musicians in our community ready to play at these concerts and they are well worth supporting. The music is always so varied, and every concert offers something unexpected to delight the audience. Serenata Concerts are all on Sunday afternoons starting at 2.30 in the Eastgate Studio. Entry is by donation at the door and, of course, delicious refreshments are available at the Eastgate Café. What better way to spend a winter afternoon?