Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas 2009

It's Christmas Eve night with about 1 and a half hours till Christmas Day and I am now very tired. It has been a long day getting everything ready for tomorrow. Thankfully everything seems under control and Kate has now gone to bed to hopefully waken up not too early tomorrow!

We are having a white Christmas this year and the temperature is about minus 9 or 10 degrees and that is the coldest Christmas I can remember for about 20 years. I have to say I love this weather and it brings back memories of Christmas when I was a child. Kate is certainly enjoying it as well.

Everybody is at home and I have a good feeling for tomorrow. My Mum and Dad plus Caroline's Mum; Caroline,Adam, Fraser, Kate and myself for dinner tomorrow and despite the fact that the volume level will rise considerably we should have good day.

I hope anybody reading this has, or has had an equally good Christmas. If not then I am sorry. Maybe you can try things differently next year. So,

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The eternal battle with funding

I have now had my second application for funding to the Scottish Arts Council's Inspire Fund. I am told it is not inspiring enough. My plan of coaching and conducting a group of young children of Primary school age every week does not meet the required "Inspiration" target. In their minds that might well be the case but nobody has been out to visit the group and see/hear how inspiring it is for these young children, many from very deprived backgrounds, coming together every week and producing fantastic, nee inspiring music and see what pleasure it brings for these children to achieve these standards. This is not bog-standard recorder group or primary "percussion" group. These children are playing string instruments i.e. Violins, cellos and Violas. How much more inspiring does it get. The powers that be just don't see or even know what supreme effort it is even for these children to be at school. The most staggering statistic is their attendance is far greater on Friday (when we rehearse} than any other day of the week. Why do they make that special effort?

I have tried to put in words to the Arts Council everything that happens. I have even had to label some of these children "deprived", "Socially disadvantaged", "from dysfunctional families", ALL to try and wrestle some funding enabling me to keep this group going and hopefully improve. I cannot degrade the children anymore or try finding the correct political speak for them to impart with their monies.

I have seen the list of groups who are getting funding and while I wish them all the best in their ventures I cannot see why they are any more deserving apart from being able to fill a form out better than myself. I wonder how many projects have actually been visited? Is it all take from the forms that are sent in or is their word of mouth to the right people? I sound totally paranoid when I say that and again I do not be-grudge other groups funding, I just wish to God it was us!

I do not know how long I have the energy to sustain Yoker Strings at the level it has reached. I have found it very hard this year in that it imposes on my whole week and is forever there. I wish I could afford to concentrate my energies full-time to the project but I have to live in the real world. That means mortgage, bills and living for myself and family.

If you are a philanthropist and read this please get in touch and give the means to carry this project forward. In days of doom and gloom this is a beacon of light that shine every Friday afternoon and deserves to continue shining.