Until recently St Vincent’s restricted itself to church services. They still take priority – we are a growing congregation. But since opening up for wider uses by the community in early 2015 St Vincent’s has rapidly become a highly prized hub for music making.
The combination of its compact size, acoustic, location in the New Town and facilities now ranks St Vincent’s among the best.
Both church area and refectory are in regular use for music practice by individuals and groups. Sometimes we agree a monthly fee to come and go whenever the Refectory is not otherwise in use, sometimes we charge by the session.
Some of our visiting musicians offer lessons. Prospective pupils and indeed music teachers are invited to enquire.
In addition to the distinguished church organ in 2016 we bought a new 7′ Petrof Weinbach grand piano for the church. There’s a mellow Blüthner upright piano in the Refectory. Since May 2018 we also have a Makin Westmorland Sapphire 45 three manual organ, a bequest from the late George Hay FRCO.
Our Director of Music is Les Shankland. He gives organ, piano and basic music lessons.
Our Composer in Residence since March 2016 is Dr Harry Whalley. Harry is now also Course Director in Composition and Technology at the University for the Creative Arts.
REHEARSE, RECORD & PERFORM:
Concerts, both classical and folk, take place regularly in St Vincent’s. There’s seating in the pews for about 125.
The highly regarded The Edinburgh Quartet have made St Vincent’s their year-round rehearsal home. The Dunedin Consort and Hebrides Ensemble have rehearsed in St Vincent’s over several days. The Gildas Quartet with Pete Furniss, clarinet, have performed Harry Whalley’s A Report To History at the first Composer in Residence concert on 22nd October 2016. The Artisan Trio performed Harry Whalley’s Pivot and Loop (2017) and Forever and Shall Be (2014) at the second Composer in Residence concert on 13th May 2017. The brilliant young pianist Svetoslav Todorov gave the first performance of Harry’s Leighton Contrasts on 21st February 2018. The Hans Gál Society rehearsed the opera Song of the Night over two weeks in May and June 2017 for its first UK performance.
Robert Fleming and Adam Kilgour gave their Edinburgh Napier University Honours Degree Piano Recital on 5th May 2017 on our Weinbach Petrof grand piano.
Folk groups rehearse and indeed record in the Refectory.
We were delighted that an EP recorded in the summer of 2015 in the Refectory by Darragh Quinn was launched at a highly successful concert at St Vincent’s in November 2015. This is available from https://lostarchitect.bandcamp.com
In May 2016 we were also delighted to learn of the release of Robbie Greig’s album, largely recorded in St Vincent’s in December 2015. This is available from https://robbiegreigandfriends.bandcamp.com
Lizabett Russo’s album The Burning Mountain was launched with a concert on 10th December 2016. Kate and Raphael’s launch on 17th June 2017.
Since 2015 St Vincent’s is proud to have been Edinburgh Fringe Venue number 197.
In 2018 our own Fringe will include, for the first time, our Sacred Arts Festival. Also our Choral Evensong services – on Saturday afternoons on 4th, 11th and 18th August 2018 – with invited choirs and detailed in the Fringe Book. There is a video recording of two of the 2016 services on this website ‘Videos: Church Services’.
FINE MUSIC VENUE INFORMATION AND BOOKINGS: