Colin O'Riordan Trust

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 5:42 pm on 24th January 2002.

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Photo of Sarah Boyack Sarah Boyack Labour 5:42 pm, 24th January 2002

I am not sure that that was a wise move.

I congratulate Angus MacKay on securing the debate and giving members the chance to come together in the chamber, and I welcome the establishment of the trust in Colin O'Riordan's name. The speeches that we have heard tonight demonstrate why it is appropriate and important that the trust be established. It is appropriate that, in our new Parliament, we acknowledge the contribution that Colin O'Riordan made to music in Edinburgh and the marker that he was for others across Scotland.

As Angus pointed out, I have to declare an interest: I was a student of Colin O'Riordan's. To put that into perspective, I used to sit up at the back of the orchestra. I knew who he was, but he might not have known who I was—although he would have done if we had got the notes wrong. On occasions, that happened.

I was a member of ESSO—the Edinburgh Secondary Schools Orchestra—circa mid-to-late 1970s. It was exciting to be in a proper orchestra. I was in our school orchestra, which was a great personal experience, although there were times when you wished that the violins were in tune. It was exciting to be able to go to an orchestra that drew pupils from all the high schools across the city. It made sense of the endless hours of practice that were required if you were to be any good at your instrument.

One of the exciting things about being in an orchestra was being part of a team and also of a sub-team. I was in the brass section. We sat at the back and we were the slightly bolshie element of the orchestra.