I had my last session at Ayrshire festival this morning, and what a way to end my sojourn in south west Scotland ! I almost felt as if this morning's classes were a treat, indeed a prize, at the end of a long, hard working three days ! The programme planners got it just right. My first class of the day was the Nursery School groups.
Oh my, they were adorable, tiny tots of three or so singing action songs with so much gusto, and so much uproarious energy it warmed the cockles of the heart of every listener, whether that heart belonged to a grizzled old adjudicator or besotted parents and granddparents.
We had groups singing erudite wonders called, 'I love my Spotty Socks' which entailed a whole costume brighter by far than Joseph's coat of many colours, and then a darling collection of nano sized policemen, firemen, robins, hobby horse riders, who performed brilliantly in an off the wall kind of way, and a perfectly adorable group of animals from Coos, to Mousies, Goats and Cats, all bedecked and face painted to the nursery school hilt.
It was truly a feast for the eye, and sometimes the ear! They were not quite in tune most of the time, but they were having the most amazing fun, and at the very beginnings of a musical life.
I have never had to adjudicate tots of this age anywhere except Ayrshire festival, and what a gift of a class. This whole festival gives a platform to such a wide range of music making it is like a breath of fresh (and quite brisk) air, which I take away with me, and makes me smile whenever I think of it.
It is indeed the very essence of the Festival movement. A brilliant platform, in a safe environment, where young, and old can perform for the simple love of performing. They can sing what they like, because they love it.
It is a rare gem of a movement, and this festival is proof positive of it's priceless worth in the field of amateur and youth music making.
We lose it at our peril. Thank you Ayrshire, you restore my faith.