Almost 500 pupils have taken part in this year’s Schools Spring Spectacular Concert, which showcases star performances by talented young musicians from schools across East Ayrshire.
Hosted at Kilmarnock’s Grand Hall, the popular concert opened in rousing style with the schools Pipe Band, getting toes tapping and hands clapping.
The event had a distinctly Russian theme this year, with compositions by Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitry Kabalevsky played during the evening by the String Orchestra.
Between these performances, there was music by Freddie Mercury and ABBA sung by the Choir, Stevie Wonder from the Big Band, Traditional Folk Music performed by the Folk Ensemble and a diverse selection of styles played by the Concert Band – offering something for everyone across all musical tastes.
The highlights of the evening were a moving performance of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus performed by the choir and Orchestra and a fantastic Grand Finale which saw all performers take to the stage in a massed performance of Highland Cathedral.
Councillor Fiona Campbell, Cabinet Member for Skills and Learning said: “The Spring Spectacular is a magical musical evening, where our talented young people come together to perform in a range of musical ensembles.
“It continues to be a wonderful platform to celebrate the talent, commitment and enjoyment of each and every young performer and it fills me with pride to see the incredible and wide ranging abilities our young people have and how much joy they give to others with their incredible talents.
“Music development and performance opportunities for young people in East Ayrshire are vitally important and our staff and, as the Spring Spectacular clearly shows, our pupils consistently hit the high notes.
“Reflecting that commitment to music, I am delighted that for the fourth year running East Ayrshire has been shortlisted for the Music Education Council Major Award, the only Scottish Local Authority in the shortlist alongside Lincolnshire, Bristol and Warrington.
Linda McAulay-Griffiths, East Ayrshire Council’s Head of Education added: “What an amazing show the Spring Spectacular has become, thanks to the dedication and commitment of the young people, parents and staff involved in producing the concert.
“Curriculum for Excellence emphasises the development of the whole child and the provision of rich and varied experiences, including opportunities to develop creativity and participate in the arts.
“Particular value is also placed on the wider personal and educational aspects of music making and such opportunities are key in nurturing young people’s life-skills.
“The success of the concert is a fitting celebration of their achievements and reflects the dedication of their teachers and the ongoing and much-appreciated support and encouragement from parents, family members and carers.
Alan Friel, East Ayrshire Council’s Instrumental Music Service Manager added: “It’s fantastic that we have so many wonderfully talented young musicians in East Ayrshire, all actively engaged in a cultural and leisure activity they so clearly love.
“That passion is clearly evidenced by the enjoyment the pupils give to so many others and is a wonderful example of how teamwork and collaboration combine to make something great become truly fantastic.
“In addition to our incredible pupils, we also have a hard working and dedicated team of Instrumental Instructors, who regularly go above and beyond the call of duty to support, encourage and help our young musicians.
“I am incredibly grateful to everyone for all their hard work in making the 2019 Spring Spectacular one of the best we’ve ever produced.”