Sunhoney Recorder Prize

Hello everyone!

Sorry we have been a bit quiet on the blog lately but do not worry, preparations are well underway for this year’s festival and our syllabus is now available in printed version (by contacting the festival) and on our website. Remember that your entries need to be in by no later than Mach 22nd.

Those of you who have had time to look through the syllabus may have noticed some new things for the festival this year, one of which is the new “Sunhoney” Prize for Recorder players of age 12 and under. If you don’t already know, Sunhoney is the name of the Haston family publishing firm who, amongst other things, published two key collections which have been used as a source of set pieces in Recorder since 1990.

The collections are called:
* The Scottish Collection for Descant Recorder and Piano RSC 1 – 50 arrangements
* The Scottish Collection for Descant Recorder and Piano RSC 2 – 31 arrangements

The Collections for Descant and Treble Recorder and Piano were edited by Douglas Haston, and his musical colleagues. He was an inspiring teacher, whose contribution to recorder teaching in the North East cannot be underestimated.  As chairman of the Music Festival and the local branch of the Society of Recorder Players, he promoted the recorder as a serious instrument, and his legacy lives on. In 1990 his arrangements of Scottish tunes first appeared as set pieces in the Festival. In 1996, he edited a compilation of arrangements of his own, along with those of his colleagues Elspeth Hardie and James Reith; first referred to in the 1997 syllabus and still used today.

The books are no longer in print, but Douglas’s wife Elspeth has kindly donated the remaining stock to the Festival Association.  We wish Elspeth well in her move south to be closer to her daughters, and thank her and her family for their donation of these accessible arrangements, which have and will hopefully continue to be, a staple diet for young recorder players.

In recognition of the many years of pleasure and encouragement that the two Scottish Collections have given, and continue to give, young recorder players the Festival association has donated the “Sunhoney” prize . We hope that this small prize will serve as a reminder of the time when the recorder was taught widely in the north east, thanks to Douglas and his family, his colleagues Elspeth Hardie and James Reith and his many pupils, in particular, Susan Fuchs.

The recorder is still being taught locally, particularly in the 'Shire, and the Festival is delighted by the large numbers of children who come into town and participate in this section.  Within the city there are still pockets of recorder tuition.  Those wishing to find out more should contact The North East of Scotland School of Music, where weekly lessons are available for beginners.  Ian Wilson, professor at the Guildhall School of Musical in London, is the visiting recorder tutor.