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Friday, February 25, 2011

Coming of Spring Festival and concert with Claire Hewitt in Penicuik

Claire in the (to us here for privacy reasons invisible) circle of young families
Yesterday the long prepared for 'Coming of Spring' celebration took off, a partnership event between the Penicuik Community Arts Association (PCAA) and 'Stepping Forward', the Penicuik Midlothian Sure Start (MMS) family support centre, inviting storyteller and singer Claire Hewitt to enthral everyone of every age group.
Claire in action !

Between 10am and 2.30pm Claire was 'stationed' at Stepping Forward on the masterly heartfelt by Liz yurt rug (see above) - truly enchanting the mums & babes & grans with her rhyme and mime time, her singing of sun and stars, wind and wave, endearing beasts and the human child, her playing the soothing harp, and sharing her riveting storytelling. It was awesome seeing a little 'never-sit-still' boy actually sit spellbound at the harpist's feet for a wee while. And it was such a joy to see the eyes and hands of all ages, and especially the wee ones', open wide in wonder at song and tone.
One such song story, The Lullaby to a Tree, very fitting for the afternoon spring planting session, can be found here for listening to and for seeing some of the photos of the day.
The full selection of photos can be found here.

The event was embedded in a 'Wheel of the Seasons'  rainbow banner making, or actually launching it, - an interactive banner which is to inspire the families at Stepping Forward for years to come to decorate it anew every season, as the seasons turn and bring us their gifts.
Claire, using the wetfelt technique, also made little banners with the little ones and their parents or grans:

 The banners, strung up on a home-made cord, then led us out into the garden, where the planting of spring plants (donated by Pentland Plants!) begun. Hear the planting song again here.

Diane (the grandparents organiser) planting snowdrops

 And then - after all our efforts of planting and singing,the sun finally was coaxed forth from behind the clouds!
and another Claire tidying up after the planting
Stepping Forward can be truly stepping forward now into a blossoming spring as the plants in the beds and bushes grow and the other springy things heartfelted on the season's wheel!

In the evening, at the Arts Association (PCAA) in West Street, Claire gathered a bunch of old and young round the fire and the felts of Liz to listen and watch her telling some dramatic folk stories from round the world. See a few stills here as you listen to her leading us through a singalong.

And if you are very sorry that you missed that event, you can have a chance to listen again to some bits and pieces if you download the audio files from here.

Claire in situ at the cosy West Street arts centre room at night

Thank you Claire for your stories and songs and your many other talents and gifts. Thank you, Liz, for the loan of these wonderful heartfelted rugs which made both events today a yurt feel occasion. Thank you Pentland Plants for your spring gift to Stepping Forward and thank you PCAA and MMS, and especially the volunteers of our Making Space here for these lovely 'Coming of Spring' events.

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