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Fraser Jamieson.

Marcus Swietlicki accompanied by Simon Coverdale on piano

Zoe Galbraith

Ewan Booth
accompanied by Margaret Jaffrey-Smith on piano.

Part of the audience

Fraser Jamieson

The musicians

Classical Youth Concert - 15th October 

Report and photos - Jim Paterson

(LtoR) Zoe Galbraith, Ewan Booth, Fraser Jamieson, Marcus Swietlicki

St. Mungo's played host to the Classical Youth Concert, arranged by the Rotary of Penicuik. Some 100 people swelled the audience to hear Tenor Marcus Swietlicki, Fraser Jamieson on piano, Ewan Booth on Saxophone, and Zoe Galbraith on Clarsach. Members of St. Mungo's congregation supported visitors from across Penicuik and beyond eager to hear these young people entertain them. They were not to be disappointed.

Dave Anderson of Penicuik Rotary acted as master of ceremonies, introducing the young musicians and telling us a bit of their backgrounds. all the performers were pupils of Penicuik High School.

Fraser Jamieson started us off playing 'Reverie' (a dreamy character) by Claude Debussy, followed by Chopin's 'Prelude in D-flat Major Opus 28 No 15' "Raindrop". This is the longest of  24 Chopin preludes, noted for its repeating A-flat, which appears throughout the piece and sounds like raindrops to many listeners. Fraser returned to play a second set later in the evening choosing Bach's Prelude BMV 998, and his own composition 'Melancholy in F Minor'

Fraser is a very versatile musician who was inspired by the rock band Muse at the age of 11. He started playing electric guitar before moving on to piano at 14 when he discovered classical piano music first learning Beethoven’s “Fur Elise”.

With friends, Fraser formed a rock band called “Liquid State” for which he wrote some original material. The band was successful locally including gigs at Edinburgh’s Cabaret Voltaire as well as opening at Pen Fest last year. A name change to “Clockwire” brought about a double single release followed by headlining at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus.

During his time at Penicuik High School Fraser was cast in various productions including performing in the “Queen” musical, and has also played guitar with the Midlothian Rock Band at the Usher Hall. He performed piano in the Rotary Young Musician Competition progressing to the area final. He is now studying popular music at Edinburgh College with guitar as his main instrument hoping to progress to composing for film and TV.

We had to pay particular attention to the final piece of Fraser’s second set which was his own composition.

Following Fraser was our Tenor singer for the evening, Marcus Swietlicki. His first of three sets featured Peter Warlock's 'Captain Fancy', Roger Quilter 'Go, Lovely Rose', and Francesca Paolo Tosti 'La Serenata', sung in Italian.

The second set saw Marcus sing Handel's 'Comfort Ye & Ev'ry Valley', and Schubert 'Der Neugierige', both sung in German

Music from the shows formed his final set , Lerner & Lowe 'On the Street Where You Live', Andrew Lloyd Weber ' Close Every Door', finishing with Boublil & Schonberg 'Bring Him Home', All sung in English..  

Marcus is 17 years old and a student at Penicuik High School. He began singing with the National Boys Choir at 11 years old then had lessons with mezzo soprano Kathleen McKellar Ferguson in 2013. In 2014 he performed a tenor solo in Perth Concert Hall accompanied by the National Boys Choir and that year was also chosen to take part in a masterclass at Scottish Opera Connect with soprano Judith Howard.

In 2016 Marcus gained a place in the tenor section of the National Youth Choir of Scotland and was recently awarded first place at the Glasgow Music Festival Oratorio under 18 Class. He took part in the Rotary Young Musician this year winning the Scottish District and the Regional competitions then attaining third place in the National finals.  

Marcus will be auditioning for music college later in the year hoping to become a professional classical singer.

A change of pace and instrument from Zoe Galbraith on Clarsach.

18 year old Zoe is a student at Penicuik High School. She played
Ailie Robertson 'Sands of Hosta', Deborah Henson-Conant 'Natanliana', and James Scott Skinner 'Diel Among the Tailors'.
on  the Clarsach which she has played since P6.

She also plays the Ukulele which she took up in S2, and started learning piano a year and a half ago. Her ambition is to gain access to the Conservatoire and then to become a music teacher.

We had enjoyed string instruments and singing, now it was the turn of Woodwind in the the shape of Saxophonist Ewan Booth. The saxophone was Invented in 1840 by
Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax, who wanted to create a group of instruments that would be the most powerful and vocal of the woodwinds, and the most adaptive of the brass instruments.

Ewan started playing the saxophone in P7 at Cornbank Primary School and is now in S4 at Penicuik High School where he plays an active role in the school’s music activities, performing in wind and jazz bands. Ewan has recently started taking lessons from Sue MacKenzie, one of Scotland's leading contemporary saxophonists and leader and founder of the Scottish Saxophone Ensemble.

For his presentation Ewan chose
Bach's 'Sinfonia from Cantata No 156, followed by Julius Fucik 'Entry of the Gladiators', finishing with  that all time favourite 'Take 5' made famous in 1959 by Dave Brubeck Quartet, which
became, and still is the biggest-selling jazz single ever.

Music is a very important part of the Booth family’s life with Ewan’s mother a cellist and his brother a keen violinist. Ewan loves music which he is studying at school but his ambition is to study graphic design on leaving school.

By the end of the evening the audience were in awe at the sheer breadth and depth of talent that is on our doorstep in Penicuik. These young people will go far should they progress their musical careers, and those that were there at this concert will be able to say, 'I saw them first in the Rotary Classical Youth Concert at St. Mungo's in Penicuik'

Penicuik: St. Mungo's Parish Church (Church of Scotland). Scottish Charity No SC005838