Touring Scotland - Edinburgh

Natural hides and reserves

As the seasons change, the wildlife in Scotland stays as lively and colourful as the last. Nature reserves are some of the best places to absorb yourself in the natural world and become closer to some of Scotland's most incredible endangered species.

See birds of prey

From the quiet of a hide, make use of binoculars to see majestic birds of prey such as a nesting pair of ospreys with their young in the Highland retreat. In some cases, you will be so close that you will need just your eyes to absorb the awesome sight of red deer or the more elusive otters.

Each reserve is different to the previous one, some bathed in peace whilst others are buzzing with activity. The seabird colonies of Orkney and Shetland, for example, are alive with noise and movement from puffins, fulmars, guillemots, Arctic skuas. More breed in cliff faces and feed their young. Wetlands over the country draw in all kinds of wildfowl and waders, such as migrating pink-footed geese who come in the autumn.

Scottish landscapes

It's Scotland's broad landscapes that brings in this variety of wildlife with habitats amongst rugged mountains and wild moorland, old pine forests and coastline. Browse our choices to plan a visit to the many nature reserves and hides around the country.

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Touring Scotland - Edinburgh

Edinburgh

Making Music in Edinburgh

The Scottish Amateur Music Association (SAMA), one of Edinburgh’s longest established music organizations, is to cease operation after 55 years. SAMA was founded to fill a major gap in musical provision in Scotland and over the years has offered high quality tuition across a huge range of musical activities. Through its annual music courses, SAMThe Scottish Amateur Music Association (SAMA), one of Edinburgh’s longest established music organizations, is to cease operation after 55 years. SAMA was founded to fill a major gap in musical provision in Scotland and over the years has offered high quality tuition across a huge range of musical activities. Through its annual music courses, SAMA has offered the amateur musician both of school age and adult years, tuition and experience of string orchestras and wind and brass bands. Chamber music and recorder ensemble playing were catered for on weekend courses, while indigenous Scottish Music was encouraged and promoted by the Traditional Scots Fiddle School. In addition, courses were offered for church organists and a Scots Song Competition took place over several years.

Following a recent SAMA Executive Committee meeting, it was decided that this provision would cease, as SAMA Chairman Ian Mills explained: “SAMA was established at a time when there were very few opportunities for amateur musicians from across the country to meet together. A group of local authority music advisers at the time took the initiative to establish a range of national amateur music ensembles and in many cases these have now been subsumed by new organisations such as the National Youth Orchestra of Edinburgh. However, in recent years it has become more difficult to ensure financial sustainability and also the pool of volunteers available to support SAMA activities has diminished.”

SAMA is hopeful that many of the successful groups it has operated will continue to function under different auspices. One of it's highest profile ensembles, the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland (NYBBS), among whose alumni is the current Principal of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, John Wallace, will now be affiliated to the Scottish Brass Band Association (SBBA).

Neil Cross, NYBBS administrator since 1984, remains upbeat about the future of Edinburgh's amateur music groups, as he commented: “Whilst there is a hint of sadness about the demise of SAMA, the legacy of the organisation has created a more positive climate for amateur music making in Scotland. I am delighted that the NYBBS, founded by SAMA in 1958, will now come under the stewardship of SBBA undertaking concerts and playing at weddings and large events across Edinburgh.

Ian Mills added, “This decision has not been taken lightly. SAMA committee members and course staff past and present can take immense pride and satisfaction in the number of musical events they have organised and which will hold happy memories for amateur musicians young and old.”

He has offered the amateur musician both of school age and adult years, tuition and experience of string orchestras and wind and brass bands. Chamber music and recorder ensemble playing were catered for on weekend courses, while indigenous Scottish Music was encouraged and promoted by the Traditional Scots Fiddle School. In addition, courses were offered for church organists and a Scots Song Competition took place over several years.

Following a recent SAMA Executive Committee meeting, it was decided that this provision would cease, as SAMA Chairman Ian Mills explained: “SAMA was established at a time when there were very few opportunities for amateur musicians from across the country to meet together. A group of local authority music advisers at the time took the initiative to establish a range of national amateur music ensembles and in many cases these have now been subsumed by new organisations such as the National Youth Orchestra of Edinburgh. However, in recent years it has become more difficult to ensure financial sustainability and also the pool of volunteers available to support SAMA activities has diminished.”

SAMA is hopeful that many of the successful groups it has operated will continue to function under different auspices. One of it's highest profile ensembles, the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland (NYBBS), among whose alumni is the current Principal of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, John Wallace, will now be affiliated to the Scottish Brass Band Association (SBBA).

Neil Cross, NYBBS administrator since 1984, remains upbeat about the future of Edinburgh's amateur music groups, as he commented: “Whilst there is a hint of sadness about the demise of SAMA, the legacy of the organisation has created a more positive climate for amateur music making in Scotland. I am delighted that the NYBBS, founded by SAMA in 1958, will now come under the stewardship of SBBA.

Ian Mills added, “This decision has not been taken lightly. SAMA committee members and course staff past and present can take immense pride and satisfaction in the number of musical events they have organised and which will hold happy memories for amateur musicians young and old be they playing contemporary pop musics, or playing at family weddings or birthday parties..”

SAMA thanks you for your loyalty and support in the past and hopes that your music making will be able to continue and lists aside other Edinburgh performers and creatives photographers and artists.

Contact Information

Margaret W. Simpson
Hon Secretary
Scottish Amateur Music Association
18 Craigton Crescent
Alva
FK12 5DS
Scotland
T: 01259 760249
secretary@sama.org.uk
http://www.sama.org.uk

Ian Mills
Chairman
Scottish Amateur Music Association
18 Craigton Crescent
Alva
FK12 5DS
Scotland
T: 01259 760249
secretary@sama.org.uk
http://www.sama.org.uk

 


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