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It was twenty years ago today - Martyn Bennett was commissioned to write a special piece of music to commemorate the centenary of his alma mater – Broughton High School.

It was written for the then students at The City of Edinburgh Music School – hence the specific orchestration. Martyn worked with the students to create the piece and would bring in scores – where the ink was literally still drying, in to rehearsals. The parts still bear his hand written notes, and were largely copied down by tonight’s conductor, Susan Emslie. The piece was used for the Opening Ceremony of the New Scottish Parliament in Princes Street Gardens on 1 July 1999, and televised live from the gardens as the Red Arrows flew over. There was great interest in the piece and it was recorded at Cava studios, Glasgow in January 2005 and completed on the day Martyn died - 30 January 2005. It is his final, and many would say, best work.

Tonight we invite back 4 musicians who were involved in the original performance or recording to revisit the piece, with the current crop of specialist musicians from the music school. In the first half they will showcase some new collaborations with the students and there will be solo and ensemble work from the young stars of the future.

Maeve Gilchrist: clarsach; Ben Duncan: pipes; Dave Lloyd: beats and loops; Lissa Robertson: vocals and keys

The City of Edinburgh Music School Chamber Orchestra; Susan Emslie: conductor

Image: The Scotsman with thanks to Oliver Haas.

Supported by Tay Charitable Trust.

Presented by the City of Edinburgh Music School & The Queen’s Hall.

This event has finished, but you can read more about folk music at The Queen's Hall and across Edinburgh here and find out about upcoming folk shows at The Queen’s Hall here.

Animated film projections by Neil Kempsall

An experimental animated film inspired by Martyn Bennett's composition for pipes, clarsach and orchestra. The soundtrack was written by Martyn for the students of the City of Edinburgh Music School in honour of the late Dr. Kenneth A Mackay of Badenoch.


Homecoming 2 - The Return of Mackay's Memoirs