Merlin Academy of Music staged their first concert in Sir Walter Scott’s library last Saturday night providing an atmospheric, festive musical extravaganza enjoyed by all 80 guests.
Such was the popularity of this event it suggests this collaboration of music and history is a recipe for success in the future.
The performance was a sell-out and the students and audience were bowled over by being steeped in the aura of Scott at Abbotsford.
The concert was a showcase from some of the young and adult students of the Merlin Academy playing both festive and traditional music in Abbotsford’s library. The library houses over 7,500 of Scott’s book collection, with a further 2,500 in the study where the players were waiting to come on stage.
The audience was enthralled from start to finish with many anxious parents being moved by the performance of the very able musicians under the expert guidance of their tutors – budding musicians in the audience must surely have been inspired to get lessons from the Academy for themselves!
Scott loved music and would have been pleased by the engagement of the musicians in their art and proud that his library was used as the venue as this was the room in which he would have held many such concerts when he was alive.
Julie Watkinson, visitor services manager at Abbotsford commented: “The concert on Saturday was the first in the collaboration between Merlin and Abbotsford, it was a huge success, a sell-out and it paves the way for more of the same into 2017. More concerts and maybe tuition schools are planned but a key date for your diary should be their musical accompaniment of our Burns Supper event on Saturday, January 28, with guest speaker Alasdair Hutton – the voice of the Edinburgh Tattoo.”
Bridget Gray, director of Merlin Academy of Music added: “We are absolutely delighted with our students’ performance. The audience were also a pleasure to perform to and we very much look forward to our next event with the Abbotsford House on January 28 for a very wonderful Burns Night set in the Ochiltree’s Restaurant.”