Very much like the Queen herself, we had two 40th birthdays this year. Our official celebration was on 6 July, the anniversary of our opening in 1979, with a wonderful concert by Steven Osborne and Alban Gerhardt.
We had a more informal party on Wed 2 Oct attended by those who have had a connection to QH over the last 40 years. An open mic session was filled with the fantastic vocals (and lovely words about The Queen's Hall) from the following artists:
- Phil Alexander, piano, and Greg Lawson, fiddle (Moishe's Bagel)
- Mhairi Hamilton, piano and vocal (The City of Edinburgh Music School student)
- Chiara Lordi, piano and vocal (The City of Edinburgh Music School student)
- Toby Shippey, guitar and vocal (Grupo Magnetico)
- Phil Cunningham, accordion, John McCusker, fiddle and Heidi Talbot, guitar and vocal
- Horse, a cappella vocal
- Peter Cannell, a cappella vocal (QH Board member)
- The Jellyman's Daughter, guitar, cello, vocal
- Brian Kellock, piano
- Steven Osborne, piano
- Leonard Harper Gow, piano
- Stephen Deazley (Love Music) and friends, scratch choir with Mike Nolan on piano
- Elinor Evans, clarsach (Committee member, Edinburgh branch of the Clarsach Society)
A bill that we think anyone would pay good money for! Guests enjoyed drinks and canapes, plus celebratory cupcakes and were able to look through a whole wealth of memorabilia collected over the last forty years. As well as artists and promoters, there were also many of the staff present who had been instrumental in setting up The Queen's Hall in the beginning and worked here over the years.
An additional highlight was the talented pupils at The City of Edinburgh Music School performing a flash mob of Chic's 'Good Times'. Posing as QH staff handing out canapes, they then surprised those party-goers who'd arrived early enough, with a pitch perfect rendition of the song. You can watch the video below.
With talent like this, we know the Scottish music scene is in safe hands for another forty years and beyond.