9th April 2016

Past Festivals: 2009


The festival programme had a variety of events; there were events for children, for those who like folk music, for those who like jazz and for those who like classical music. There were free events involving local talent some performing for the first time and the Currie High School Senior Orchestra.

Six different venues were used to stage these events ; five in Balerno – Balerno Parish Church, Balerno Bowling Club, Balerno Parish Church Hall, the Grey Horse Inn and the new St Joseph’s Centre and Currie high School.

There was a real festival atmosphere over the weekend helped by a well attended Farmer’s Market on the Saturday and good weather.


Family Ceilidh with Sporrandipity


This year we had a Family Ceilidh led by Sporrandipity a local energetic lively ceilidh band. Their aim was to get you dancing and having fun and they certainly succeeded. From grand parents to grand children a good time was had by all.

Folk Concert with Archie Fisher and Sheena WellingtonARCHIEFISHERLsmall

SheenaKen1smallAn evening’s entertainment provided by true pioneers of Scottish folk music – Archie Fisher and Sheena Wellington. A early sell-out was predicted and that’s exactly what happened.


Saturday Morning

In the Balerno Parish Church Hall, the social ‘hub’ for the Festival, where people could meet and enjoy, soup, sandwiches, cakes, coffee, tea, soft drinks etc. or just chat. The Farmer’s Market was in full swing in the Main Street and the Friends of the Pentlands were showing a presentation detailing the work of the Friends of the Pentlands, their current and future projects in the Bowling Club.

A series of short free concerts in the church ran in parallel with the Farmer’s market. First up was The Currie High School Senior Orchestra led my Kirsty Miller and Amanda Booth. This was followed by a series of short piano recitals by local young pianists and rounded off by three short organ recitals.

Lunch time Recital by the Amici Trio


Kirsty Miller(Violin), Amanda Booth(Cello) & Margaret Jaffrey-Smith(Piano) played some beautiful classical music — Beethoven, Mendelssohn & Rowley for example with some Irish tunes as well to whet your taste buds!

Fun Children’s Concert with Mr Boom

In afternoon the ever popular Mr Boom entertained children – and their parents and grandparents – in the Bowling Club. As expected this was one of several sell outs.

Open Folk Music Session

Hosted in The Grey Horse by local musicians and singers with guests was a session of ‘free’ – you were going to buy a pint anyway – folk singing where you could join in or simply listen.

Pre Concert ‘Hot Fork’ Supper

Many enjoyed a pre-booked ‘Hot Fork’ supper provided by MacKenzies (Colinton) with wine or soft drinks, coffee before attending the Gala Concert.

Gala Concert with RSAMD

ZoeChallenorSmallWe were royally entertained by some of the best of tomorrow’s talent in our gala concert. Ani Batikian (violin), Zoe Challenor (soprano), Sarah Forbes (Soprano), Andrew McTaggart (Baritone), Tom Poulson (Trumpet) and Flora Tizanetaki (piano) all Students from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama came together in Balerno to bring us a wonderful evening of popular classics. With opera arias and ensembles, traditional songs, trumpet and chamber music, from Handel and Mozart to Puccini to West Side Story, there was something for everyone! Party conferences aside how often do you get a spontaneous standing ovation at the end of a concert – this was truly special!


A Service of Celebration for the Festival


The Folk club joined with the Parish church to arrange and take the service. The theme for the service was Homecoming and included folk singing, songs by Burns as well as items from the church choir and in keeping with it being a Music Festival peltny of singing for the congregation.


Excelsior Wind EnsembleHWSmall

The Excelsior Wind Ensemble is one of Heriot-Watts’ dynamic music groups. The repertoire of this group is varied and exciting. Beautiful sounds, dynamic playing, music from the heart!

Sunday ‘Hot Fork’ Lunch

Following the excellent concert by the Excelsior Wing Ensemble many, includign the performers, enjoyed a pre-booked ‘Hot Fork’ lunch.

Open Folk Music Session

Another opportunity to enjoy Grey Horse hsopitallity while listenign to a selection of folk artistes and including music with Scottish and Irish influences, country music and blues and much much more.

Children’s Concert with Sticky Kids

Kids, parents and grandparents all had a great time with Molly Muddle and old Macdonald who host a roller coaster ride through Sticky Kids songs which are educational, health-promoting and entirely, utterly, completely enjoyable.


Jazz Party


By popular demand the Roger Cull Jazz group made a welcome return with their repertoire of jazz standards written by the great song writers of the 20th century.

Sporrandipity_-_option_2_adjustedcrop (1)In a major coup for the Balerno Music Festival they will be joined by Colin Steele, the renowned trumpet player who is one of Scotland’s most successful jazz musicians. The Jazz Party again should its popularity by selling out early.