Music school bids farewell to manager

Every orchestra needs a conductor, and Nomad Beat has benefitted from having Dr Ruth Kirby conducting the community music school for five years

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 3:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 3:20 pm
Ruth hands over the baton to Nomad Beat’s new manager Roddy Macfarlane.
Ruth hands over the baton to Nomad Beat’s new manager Roddy Macfarlane.

But last week, Ruth handed over the baton to Roddy Macfarlane, whose first task was helping the school’s tutors, pupils and bands, prepare for their live concert in Peebles last Sunday.

Ruth is leaving to develop a personal project, but her time at Nomad Beat has been very special for her.

She explained: “The job has been amazing as there is so much involved in managing the music school.

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“The tutors are great to work with, and as well as making sure lessons run to schedule, there are all the other areas such as changing light bulbs, maintaining instruments, applying for funding, ordering music and of course developing our specialist courses for all ages and abilities.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with the Rotary Club of Peebles, the Eastgate Theatre, Scottish Borders Council and NHS Borders Health and it’s wonderful to see the benefits music can bring to people experiencing low mood and depression, dementia and physical disabilities.

During the last two years of lockdown, the tutors worked hard with Ruth to develop online lessons. However, on Sunday, they emerged from behind the screen and onto the stage to play for an audience in the Burgh Hall, Peebles.

Ruth has signed her last beat, but her melody lingers on through the tutors, pupils and Nomad’s new manager Roddy. “It’s a very special place, and what I treasure most from my time here is all the personal interactions and friendships I have made along the way,” said Ruth. “ I have learnt so much here, and I am definitely a better person for it.”