George still calls the tune
On 8 August in the Cardinal Pavilion, the photo of rowing hero David Boykett was temporarily replaced with that of equally revered Director of Music George Logie-Smith in full flight at a Foundation Day Concert.
It was a fitting beginning to a thoroughly memorable Soirée, by George!
An enthusiastic ensemble of 100 Old Boys, parents and friends gathered to salute and celebrate the enormous - and enormously valued - contributions made - both individually and collectively - by four masters of music and drama: George Logie-Smith, Dick Shirrefs, Alec Lyne and Ian Harrison. Together they represent no fewer than 112 years of service to Scotch.
There were eloquent apologies and warmest wishes from Graham Cox ('70) now conducting leading choirs in Berlin) and Captains of Music and Music Scholars Warwick Stengards ('79) making his name as an orchestral conductor in Vienna) and James Brawn ('87) a concert pianist in London). It is worth quoting an extract from James's e-mail: 'I would like to express the huge debt that I owe to the Scotch Music School for my formative years.
My life totally revolved around music and I remember every rehearsal, concert, musical, music camp and the tours to Canberra, Sydney and China with absolute joy.
Any endowment fund that would enable a pupil to experience the wonders of music at a school like Scotch has to be fully supported. It is as a former Music Scholar that I speak, knowing how privileged I was to have had that opportunity of studying music to the full.'
In his progress report on the campaign for The James Forbes Academy, MC Campbell McComas revealed that facilities already named by a crescendo of generous donors included two auditoriums, two foyers, one studio, four drama rooms, 17 music rooms and 340 seats. Those at the Soirée were in the box-seat to witness the premiere of another phase of the campaign: the Logie-Smith Endowment. This special fund reflects the vital fact that the Academy will be not just about bricks and mortar but also about people and programmes. While the tangible elements require investment, the intangibles demand endowment. The massive complex - larger even than the quadrangle - will need outstanding individuals to direct its activities, operate its facilities and realise its dreams - people to open windows of opportunity for boys from first thing in the morning and to shut the door of the props room last thing at night.
Thanks to the wonderful benevolence of three Scotch families - the Myers, the Gillespies and the Logie-Smiths - and a coincidental but very welcome bequest, on opening night the Logie-Smith Endowment already stood at just under $300,000 - a magnificent tribute to George's enduring influence, and an inspiration to others to give towards an initial target of $500,000. That may sound ambitious, but every oak begins with an acorn. A good example is the Ken Field Endowment Fund for the Arts, which began as an idea a dozen years ago and is now itself worth nearly $500,000.
Heartfelt applause greeted the announcement that for eminent service to the Scotch Family, three rooms in the Academy will be named after Ian, Dick and Alec.
As was to be expected, the music was notable: the Amati Piano Trio (a group of Year 10 boys who showed the brilliance which had taken them to an arts festival in Zimbabwe earlier in the year), the Scotch College Octet (who also toured Zimbabwe), the rising stars of schoolboy barbershop quintet, The Cardinals; and the rare and rivetting sight of Bursar Neil Roberts and Director of Music John Ferguson hamming it up with the 'Gendarmes' Duet'. A lusty singalong around the piano completed a momentous evening for the past and future of music and drama at Scotch.
For further information about the Logie-Smith Endowment, please act soon and sing out to Peter Crook and Margaret Long, the dynamic duo of the Development Office.