All the acts are winners at the Arran Music Festival

Kilmory Primary perform the charming and humorous Spring Chicken

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Words and photographs by Colin Smeeton

Musicians and singers and dancers of all ages performed to appreciative audiences at the Isle of Arran music festival last week.

The festival, now in its 89th year, returned to its original home in Whiting Bay Hall, where over three days the participants, who were mainly schoolchildren,  competed and performed in over 42 categories.

From competitive to non competitive categories and from early years classes to open categories, participants enjoyed verse speaking, poetry recitals, choric speaking and the incredibly popular Scottish country dancing. The musical sections included solos, ensembles and choirs and in the instrumental performance categories, visitors enjoyed brass, piano, piping, chanter and a generous helping of traditional fiddle.

Adjudicators this year included Arran’s Heather Gough, for speech and drama,Lesley Wilson for vocal and instrumental and Eric Findlay for the Scottish country dancing. Lorna Buchanan-Hollingworth was the official accompanist.

The final day on Friday continued into the evening in a concert format where the audience were treated to a wide variety of musicians and singers who held a three hour performance spectacular – which was as varied in scope as the events preceding it.

The concert started with a piano and a flute performance before Samantha Payn, in the verse speaking open category, performed a reading of Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll, in both English and then Russian.

Following a poignant solo by John Cruickshank in the non competitive section, it was the chance of the bands and choirs which included all of the big names and well known ensemble performers on Arran.

The audience were spellbound by the uplifting voices of Vivace, Ancadasa Quartet, Ain’t Misbehaving and the unique sounds of the Squeezers Three, a concertina band who had the audience rapt with attention during their performance.

Indulging the audience with a few classical numbers were ARCO, Alice and Co and Juliette Walsh on Violin, before the Busking Sharks livened up the proceedings with an energetic performance of gypsy and folk music that had the audience tapping their feet and swaying to the rhythm.

The absolute crescendo of the evening came at the conclusion of the night of musical excellence, when the five members of Druma Daiko – a band of Taiko drummers – stunned the audience with an energetic and exuberant demonstration of the sheer volume and majesty of these percussion instruments.

Whiting Bay Primary P1 to P3 pupils take part in the Scottish country dancing. 01_B13music01

Shiskine Primary pupils in formation during their Scottish country dancing. 01_B13music02

Shiskine Primary and adjudicator Eric Findlay with the Corrie Scottish Country Dancing Cup. 01_B13music03

Shiskine P3 to P5 pupils receive the Associations Shield. 01_B13music04

Brodick Primary pupils were the proud recipients of the Jean Marriott Trophy in the Scottish country dancing category. 01_B13music05

Olivia McNeice recites To a Louse by Robert Burns in the verse speaking category. 01_B13music06

Brodick Early Years class perform in the actions songs category. 01_B13music07

Kilmory Early years class perform Cows in the Kitchen .01_B13music08

Teachers lead the Lamlash Early Years pupils who performed True Colours – complete with hand actions. 01_B13music09

Adjudicator Lesley Wilson presented the Kilmory Early Years class with the Nancy Cooper Memorial Trophy in the actions songs section. 01_B13music10

Kilmory Primary perform the charming and humorous Spring Chicken. 01_B13music11

Kilmory Primary were the proud winners of the Maynell Cup in the action song category. 01_B13music12

Adjudicator Heather Gough amid the children from Shiskine Primary who won the Festival Salver in the choric speaking category. 01_B13music13

P7 Whiting Bay pupil Jesse Townsend won the Professor Alan Gemmel Cup in the piano solo elementary category. NO_B13music14

Caitlin Fraser, right, accompanied by Greta Litton took the strings solo elementary  category, winning themselves the Festival Salver. NO_B13music15

Nastassja Alberti performed in the advanced piano solo category earning herself the Tourist Board Cup. 01_B13music16

Lucy Walsh impressed the audience with a technically challenging performance including a flute concerto by Bach. 01_B13music17

Adjudicator Lesley Wilson congratulates Lucy Walsh on winning the Rannoch Plate for an impressive flute performance in the instrument solo category. 01_B13music18

Finn Popplewell receives the Elizabeth Cup for his children under eight vocal solo entitled The Cat.  01_B13music19

Daisy Innes and adjudicator Heather Gough with the Ormidale Cup for junior verse which she won for her Burns excerpt from Tam O’shanter. 01_B13music20

Samantha Payn, who performed in various categories, receives the Festival Salver from Heather Gough for her verse speaking.01_B13music21

Worthy winners of the Festival Salver were the harmonic voices of the Vivace ensemble. 01_B13music22

Ancadasa Quartet performed The Evening Primrose in memory of its composer. 01_B13music23

Aint Misbehavin members get the audience dancing with their version of Hot Diggity. 01_B13music24

The Busking Sharks belt out a Romanian waltz to the delight of the audience. 01_B13music25

Druma Daiko performed a well timed and impressive performance on the Taiko drums. 01_B13music26