Prom on the Prom promises a fun, family-friendly fiddling frenzy
The public musical performance encourages kids to pick up an instrument
Despite the name of their organisation, the founders of Fun Fiddle are well aware that learning a musical instrument doesn’t come easy. ‘We’re called Fun Fiddle, but let’s face it, it’s not always fun,’ says Gica Loening of the Portobello-based group, ‘sometimes it’s really tough.’ For those who manage to stick in, however, the rewards are plentiful – including the opportunity to play your instrument alongside others.
In 2009, Loening and fellow Fun Fiddler Jenny Gardner hit upon the idea of performing in Portobello’s most iconic area – the promenade – to show people what the adults and children in their classes had achieved. It was, says Loening, ‘fantastic’, so this year, as part of the Edinburgh-wide Tradfest, Prom on the Prom is happening again – only this time, you can join in, too.
Written by Gardner, 'Guid Friends' can be downloaded from the Fun Fiddle website, and played on a wide range of instruments. ‘As long as you play it in the right key, you can join in,’ explains Loening. ‘People can either learn the piece by ear or use the music, whichever is best for them.’
Having mastered Gardner’s music, participants of all ages will walk along Portobello Prom playing their instruments, accompanied by street band Kaboodle on trumpets, saxophones and drums. Once they reach the bandstand (or ‘Cake’ as it’s affectionately known) a celebratory ceilidh will take place. Non-playing bystanders along the way are, of course, very welcome.
Choosing the right music for the event was crucial, says Loening: ‘Fun Fiddle’s repertoire is quite adventurous, but for Prom on the Prom we needed an accessible piece that was quite easy to learn. Jenny’s a fantastic composer, and 'Guid Friends' is just a gem, with some very easy rhythms and harmonies underneath the main tune that beginners can play.’
Portobello Prom, Edinburgh, Mon 6 May.