Last week I got up from behind my desk got in my car and drove to the home festival at Dartington I watched five emerging acts on the Routes South West programme perform. Fantastic, all of them rose to the occasion. I also listened as young musicians from South West Music School enthralled us, as well as Buddhist monks, St Paul’s reggae orchestra, and Charlotte Church amongst others!
Two days later I was rehearsing with my band, learning new material and loving working with such great musicians.
Next day I joined 4000 children and young people in Exeter for The Mix - the end of year music extravaganza for Devon music services involving teachers, music leaders and musicians - dancing bhangra to RSVP at 10.30 in the morning, joining young leaders from Devon collective beat boxing, taiko drumming, folk singing and dancing…and the big sing!
So when it is sensible to stop playing music? – never if you are Patti Smith who certainly delivered at Bath forum on Thursday night! She remains relevant and exciting and cool!
Enough live music for one week? No! There was Orchestra in a Field – Charles Hazlewood bringing us orchestral music between downpours and a double rainbow. The Scrapheap Orchestra playing the 1812 overture on instruments made out of scrap (the clue is in the name) brilliantly funny, a reworking of sections of Pictures at an Exhibition by his All Star Collective who went on to play Tubular Bells which of course I sang along to!
(On the way home managed to catch the last half hour of local rock band Midlife Crisis! Say nothing!)
So, that’s just a taster of the music I will be listening to and playing as the festival season kicks in. come rain or shine. We do what we do because it’s fantastically important to be involved and moved by music in its many forms - all these musicians telling their stories and creating the sound tracks to our lives. As many music leaders and teachers look forward to the summer break having worked with thousands of children and young people and others look forward to summer projects I say thank you for your fantastic work. Keep on Rocking!