The days when 2 or 3 duet players gathered darkly and mysteriously in a smoke-filled room are long gone, so the first evening of the WCCP's 25th Spring weekend found a dozen or so of us being given our Friday night workout by the dark and mysterious Iris Bishop.
I had looked through the weekend's music book and thought "this doesn't look too bad". Of course, I should have guessed! Iris had brought along a whole other book specifically for the duet players, full of challenging music by all sorts of people from Souza to Dave Brubeck, to Charlie Chaplin, A.Non, and T.Rad. All of the parts with all of the notes! But, as is the way with Iris, somehow, we just seemed to find the notes, even when they weren't really there. Well, some of us did!
An enjoyable bar session, ably hosted by Geoff Thorp, finished uncharacteristically early (i.e. we didn't even make 2 o'clock!), which had the advantage of leaving everyone fresher for Saturday, and the duet players more able to cope with the temperature fluctuations in the "tune room" (or 1960's temporary prefab room, as we like to call it). PLEASE can we not always be banished out there – we ARE house-trained, you know.
After a lot of hard work, we broke for Saturday dinner and a lovely concert from the tutors, Sandra Kerr, Iris, and Mick Bramich, plus a delightful spot from the "Junction 25" concertina band under Claire Wren (well, not literally, obviously). Then another great (and somewhat later) session, and all too suddenly it was Sunday, time for showcases, cream teas, and tearful farewells (O.K - I exaggerate slightly, but not about the cream teas).
Highlights? I've been coming to Kilve for 15 years now, and I still get goose-bumps of anticipation when I come over the hill on the A39 and see the place for the first time; Iris's easy assumption that somehow we'd just pick up all these tunes (actually we did better than we could ever have expected, thanks to her teaching and encouragement); the favourite songs and tunes in the sessions, and young Cat behind the bar "doing battle with the prawn"; the food, especially the chicken curry; the cakes, the company etc May the next 25 years be as much fun!
The weekend was organised by Esther Venn (general organisation—in other words everything except music and tutors) and Beryl Whitehead (all matters to do with music and tutoring). We should be very grateful for this and rememberthat Esther and Beryl and all other committee members do this work voluntarily.
It was as usual a great weekend and if you have never been to a Kilve Weekend, you are definitely missing a great experience!