Assembly Room

   Engraving in 'Modern Athens'  -  Assembly Rooms in George Street

George Street



Assembly Rooms

School Concerts

Joan Ballantyne, now living in Darlington, England, wrote:

"Do you have any photos of the Secondary Schools Orchestra playing at the Assembly Rooms?

I was part of the orchestra. in the wind section. Muirhouse Primary supplied this section. I was there in '75 and '76.

I remember travelling up to Bruntsfield for the big rehearsals.  It seemed a long way for a 10-year-old!

When we were playing at the Assembly Rooms, we were always put in the same room as the brass section, the furthest away from the stage!

Joan Ballantyne, Darlington, NE England:  September 26, 2007

I don't have any photos of the Secondary School Concerts in the Assembly Rooms.  If you know of any, or have any  memories of these concerts, please e-mail me.

Thank you.    -  Peter Stubbs.



Assembly Rooms

Piano Competition

Thank you to Tony Ivanov, now living in Bo'ness, West Lothian, who wrote:


"I remember when I was about eleven years old in 1957, competing competing in a piano competition at the Assembly Rooms.

I studied classical piano at the music studios run by the company, Rae McIntosh, who then had their music shop and studios in George Street.

I started studying piano with them when I was seven.  My music teacher decided to enter me into this competition, although I really didn't want to enter.  The thought of playing in public terrified me."

100 Entrants

"I recall there were about a hundred entrants and, to make matters worse, when I arrived there on the day I was told I was first to perform.  All of the entrants were seated in the front of the auditorium.

I was unaware of my name being called out on account of being absolutely nervous and terrified. All I can remember is my music teacher, who had apparently marched down the aisle,  grabbed hold of me and saying: 'Don't you realise you are being called?  Get a move on.'

I approached the grand piano, put up my music and sat down. The stool required adjusting to suit my height but being still terrified I ignored this and just played. Much to my surprise I got through the performance, but couldn't exactly remember how good or how bad I was."


"Much later on, after everyone had performed, the results were announced.  Imagine my surprise when I found out I had come second!"


"Although I continued studying piano into my teens, that day left it's mark on me and I never entered another competition, or indeed played before an audience other than my parents.

After I left school my piano playing fell by the wayside as I followed my career, but when I took early retirement eleven years ago I decided to rekindle the experience and now I enjoy playing again although not to the same level as I used to.  I'm still very self conscious and will only play when I'm in the house by myself."

Tony Ivanov, now living in Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland



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