Fancy a little tinkle at festival?

Pupils at Beeslack High School with music teacher Graham Mcdonald. Standing: finn selhorn, teacher graham mcdonald and paul reid. sitting: adam smith, sophie mcdonald and adam pow.
Pupils at Beeslack High School with music teacher Graham Mcdonald. Standing: finn selhorn, teacher graham mcdonald and paul reid. sitting: adam smith, sophie mcdonald and adam pow.

The first ever Pentland Piano Festival takes place this Saturday, encouraging piano players of all ages and ability to take centre stage.

The festival offers free tuition and support to piano players, with classes all day at Penicuik South Kirk church followed by a concert in the evening. So far more than 50 people, aged six to 60, from East Lothian, Edinburgh and the Borders as well as Midlothian, have signed up.

Left to right -  Mr McDonald, Adam Pow, Finn Selhorn and Adam Smith.

Left to right - Mr McDonald, Adam Pow, Finn Selhorn and Adam Smith.

Beeslack High music teacher Graham McDonald(39) is chairman of the festival, which has been organised by a team of volunteers and supported by Midlothian Council.

He said: “The thing about piano playing for a lot of people it’s very solitary. So I thought it would be fantastic to have an event that will hopefully grow into an annual event that can act as a platform for piano players of all levels and all ages to come and play and get some positive feedback.

“We are going to divide the day into a variety of workshops where people can come along and play in front of one another and Peter Antonelli from East Lothian Music, who will give tips and suggestions.

“Then in the evening they can perform in front of an audience. It’s a beautiful building the South Kirk, with great acoustics. And it’s got a really lovely homely feeling about it.

“There is always something fantastic about putting performers in front of an audience. It’s amazing just to see people grow playing in front of people and get thunderous applause for their efforts.”

Graham believes this kind of festival is needed.

He said:“There has been a real upsurge in piano playing in recent years.

“I just want this event to inspire the players. I think there is a need for something like this. I’m very excited about it,it’s going to be great fun.

“Fingers crossed, not when playing the piano, that it all comes together and everyone has a great time.”

For more information go to www.pentlandpianofestival.co.uk/