Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The End of an Era

Twelve years ago, when my elder daughter took her first violin lesson, we began our long and fruitful relationship with the Bristol Arts & Music Service.  After mastering the basics she joined Starter Strings where two devoted conductors coached tunes from her scratchy notes.  How proud I was of her at her first concert.

There followed the String Group, the Junior String orchestra, the Concert Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra and finally the Philharmonia, with her younger sister, on the viola, close behind.  There were no more Saturday morning lie ins during term time, with three hour rehearsals beginning at 9:30 am. To begin with, this involved a bus journey across the city, but later their teacher kindly offered a lift - and her friendship.

There were concerts twice a year, at Christmas and in the summer term, in various churches, the Victoria Rooms, the Colston Hall and finally this evening at St George's.  I repaid their teacher's kindness by selling programmes, mastering the knack of folding music stands and lugging piles of music out to the car.

But tonight it all came to an end with my younger daughter's last concert.  It was a good one - Elgar, Schumann, Holst and the premiere of a piece composed specially for them by Raymond Warren.

I'm indebted to the staff who give their time and energy to offer Bristol's children the opportunity to make music together.

Thank you BAMS - and goodbye.


  1. Well done all of you - it takes lots of motivation to keep going. Both our girls gave up their music lessons before they reached their teens & Sal has gone on to regret it.

    What a great start & what lucky daughters you have!

    Kay :)

  2. Thanks Kay. I had piano lessons when I was in school and remember begging my parents to let me stop. But they persuaded me to carry on telling me that one day I would thank them for it. And I do! Fortunately our girls have (mostly) been happy to continue as I'm not sure I could have forced them to.

  3. Hello Gareth

    Good stuff. You should forward your post to BAMS. They would appreciate the testimonial.

    Bests d