Sunday, 2 December 2012


An absolutely splendid Christmas Dinner on Saturday in every respect. The MacDonald Hotel, Holyrood did us proud - an excellent meal with many trimmings well served and well presented.

Highlight of the day though without doubt the rendition earlier by the group 'Quern'  (above) of a recital  entitled "The Return of Mary Queen of Scot", being music rendered 'in the Scottish idiom' relating to Mary and her period, from her birth in 1542 to her return to Scotland in 1561 obviously encompassing her early years in Scotland  and her childhood in France and her marriage to the Dauphin.

Fair to say, I think, that this much exceeded our expectations and we really most impressed by the professionalism and enthusiasm of a very talented group ably led by Amy Donaldson. The music moved from being toe-tapping to thought provoking and poignant evoking so vividly images of Mary's early life and combined the gaiety of her life at Court with the difficulties and choices which she had to face even in these early days of her life.

We appreciated though no only the music but also the well researched narration of her story, written by Wallace Lochhart, incorporating her own words, and the words of others in prose and poetry and even enjoying viewing some dance steps of the period.

Our sincerest thanks to all who made this possible including our own Gabrielle Kuhn on fiddle.

The programme of musical items comprised;

  • Overture
  • Gaberlunzie Man
  • Ballade a la Lune
  • O Lusty May
  • The Queen's Maries
  • Pavane de Thoinot Arbeau
  • Reel du Forgeron et Bouree
  • Religious music
  • Ile Estoil une Fillette
  • Il est bel at bon.

  • Songs of the Revolution
  • The Royal Lament
  • L'adieu de Marie Stuart
  • How nature hanged her mantle green
  • The royal Captive
  • L'adieu
 The group was formed in 1984with the twin objectives of promoting the music and culture of Scotland. In this they are certainly succeeding. Others musical journeys include;

  • The life Poetry and Songs of Robert Burns
  • Hogg the Ettrick Shepherd
  • The Life of Robert Service
  • Robert Louis Stevenson - a musical journey
  • Royal Mile
  • Oats and fishing
  • Violet Jacob - a tribute
  • The Linlithgow Story
  • The Auld Alliance.

Keep a weather - eye open - they are thoroughly recommended and given the opportunity I shall certainly make a  point of attending future performances.

Ronald Morrison