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Banging the drum for percussion

I am writing in response to your recent article in ScotlandPlus (June 1) about Evelyn Glennie. Having enjoyed Ms Glennie's music for many years, it is with regret that I find myself having to respond in disappointed terms. In the article Ms Glennie stated that after Ron Forbes (her former teacher) retired, no one took over the post.

I myself was a pupil of Ron Forbes for nine years, both at school and through part of my teaching degree, and now work as a percussion teacher in Aberdeen. This is a post, which I have had since graduating in 1997. After Grampian Region was split up into smaller educational areas there was a restructuring of posts and I now teach in part of what was once the territory of Mr Forbes.

I would like to make it clear to your readers that there are five percussion teachers split between AberdeenCity and Aberdeenshire, all of whom have large pupil numbers and ever expanding timetables. The Grampian Schools Percussion Ensemble is now Aberdeen City Percussion Ensemble and I have directed it for the past three years. Although we are using much of the same instruments from the time when Ms Glennie was a member, I can assure her and your readers that percussion in the north east is alive and kicking. We even have pupils who go on to study at a professional level.

I openly invite Ms Glennie to come back to her roots more often and hope that in future years she will portray a more positive image of music in the north east. I would like to thank my pupils for their continued hard work and give them the recognition they deserve.

Amanda Smith Percussion instructor Cults Academy Hillview Drive, Aberdeen

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