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Up until June 2003 the Office of Lifelong Learning at the University of Edinburgh ran a guitar ensemble class. The classes were started by Mike McGeary in 1993. These allowed classical guitarists of different abilities and ages to come together and play ensemble music in an informal environment. Concerts were given to friends and family at the end of each term as well as doing the occasional community concert and competition.
In June 2003 the Office of Lifelong Learning decided to discontinue the guitar ensemble class as it no longer fitted within the scope of courses they wanted to run. Members of the group decided that it would be a great loss if the group were to disband and started running the class outside auspices of the University of Edinburgh. The Office of Lifelong Learning centre generously contributed music stands, footstools and existing ensemble music to the group and a new venue was found.
An opportunity for guitarists to play ensemble pieces in a wide selection of repertoire, from the 16th century to the present day. Playing standards within the group vary from about grade 3 to grade 8 and above (using the Royal School of Music grading system). The age range of members in the group varies from early 20s up to over 50. We welcome people of any age (over 18 - unfortunately due to the responsibilities imposed by the Children and Vulnerable Adults legislation, we cannot invite people under the age of 18 to join our group) or standard - you should however be able to read music. We play for fun and aim to try and give at least one local community concert per term.
If you are curious as to what we sound like here are a number of recordings of previous concerts we have given: December 2006, April 2007, December 2007, April 2008. Don't let the quality (or lack of depending on your standard) put you off - the main thing is to enjoy it.
Part of the group recorded some of our repertoire and put it up on YouTube: Palladio, Air on the G String, Telemann Concerto for 4 violins, Farruca and Carnavalito.
We run in terms that roughly follow Edinbugh University's academic semesters. We meet every Monday from 7:30 until 9:30pm. Term dates for this year are as given in the table below.
|2009/10 Term Dates|
|Term One||28 September - 14 December (12 weeks)|
|Term Two||11th January - 29rd March (11 weeks)|
We are non-profit but we need to cover our running costs so, to join, there is a fee currently set at £50 per term (we try to keep our fees as low as possible) or £25 for students/unemployed to be paid in advance. If you join half way through a term we shall charge you pro rata. Money goes towards the hire of the hall where we rehearse, our tutor and procuring ensemble music.
In order to join you must be able to read music - as previously mentioned the standard is not too important as long as you are willing to practise. You will also need your own guitar but you can borrow a music stand and a limited number of footstools for the rehearsal. We will provide you with music parts if you decide to join. The best way to find out if this is the thing for you is to come along for a rehearsal and if you like it then you can consider joining us otherwise you are free to walk away not come back. However, you must join at the next session in order to come back.
If you have any questions, would like to know more or would like us to give a concert (free for local community events) then please either email Mario or phone Ann on 01875 853 182.
If you are looking for guitar teachers based in Edinburgh have a look at this page for a list of teachers for various instruments including guitar. Note that this is not a list that we maintain nor have any involvement in but it will give you a starting point to try and find guitar teachers.