After a first class supper prepared by the Wallace Hall Academy kitchen staff and served by senior pupils, the rest of the evening’s entertainment got off to a fine start with a superb display of highland dancing by Kate Lethardy and Catherine Anderson (S3). Kate and Catherine train at different dance schools but showed real co-operation and elegant symmetry in their dancing.
It was particularly apt that award-winning poet Hugh McMillan should deliver the Immortal Memory as Hugh has a great affinity with the works of Burns and a tremendous knowledge of the life of our Bard. Hugh emphasised the radical nature of the poet which makes Burns very relevant to modern Scotland. Imogen Gordon (S2) then took to the stage, holding the audience spellbound with a sensitive performance with her violin, highlighting why she is much in demand as a performer. It was then time for the Toast to the Lassies and this was delivered by retired Physics teacher Frank Farrell. Frank began his teaching career at Wallace Hall Academy and, over the past few years, has returned to help out on a supply basis, as he aptly said: “coming full circle”. Following Frank the gathering was treated to some nimble footwork from Donald Kennedy (S3) and Fraser Lethardy (S3) as they showed us how the sword dance should be done. The boys were accompanied by piper Willie Prentice and are taught by Sinclair Barbour, leader of the famous Thornhill Scottish Country Dancers. Both Willie and Sinclair are former pupils of Wallace Hall Academy.
After a short break Catherine Anderson demonstrated why she is the current Scottish Senior School Burns Recitation champion, reciting an extract from “Tam O’Shanter” with confidence and conviction. Both Catherine and Mhairi have achieved at the highest level with their performances of Burns’ work and are great ambassadors for our school. The Reply to the Lassies was cleverly constructed in rhyme by Catherine McNay, former Biology teacher at Wallace Hall Academy who was recently promoted to Acting Depute Head Teacher at Lockerbie Academy. Last but not least it was the turn of Duncan Muir on the accordion. Duncan, who plays with the critically acclaimed band KODA, brought the performances to a close with a technically challenging set of Scottish tunes that delighted the audience.
John Docherty closed the evening by thanking all who helped make the evening such a success. Click on the picture above for a taste of the event.