A retired Perth folk musician is donating her much-loved fiddles to local kids who can’t afford to buy instruments.
Jean Ferguson, Perth, 81, decided to give away the violins after reading about the Big Noise Douglas Orchestra, which provides free tuition and instruments.
She said: “I was never a brilliant musician but I was in lots of groups. We had great fun. I loved my music. It was my whole life and I loved every minute of it.
“I never hit the headlines or anything like that, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and when I saw these wee kids I thought I’m going to act on it – I’m going to do it now.”
Mrs Ferguson, who played the accordion and fiddle, performed with Wilkie’s group in Perth, the Glenfarg Accordion and Fiddle Club and Crossford Music Group before arthritis forced her to give up on her passion.
She is donating and ¾ fiddle and full-sized one, along with cases, bows, music stands and tuition books.
“When I was a wee lassie I desperately wanted an accordion but my parents worked on a farm and couldn’t afford it. I could not get an accordion. It used to break my heart every Christmas. Eventually when I was 12 years old I got an accordion and the sheer joy I will never forget,” she added.
Despite a large family, including two children, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren, none of them have followed her into music.
“When I read that story about the orchestra I thought there would lots of wee bairns who would appreciate a fiddle at this time of year and I wondered if there’s time to get it to them before Christmas. I acted on the spur of the moment, but it’s given me great joy and I’m delighted to have given them away.”
She said she was a strong believer in keeping music tuition free. “Most kids who are into music don’t get into trouble. There is something in music that keeps them employed. It’s a sin to take that away.”
Nicola Killean, CEO of Sistema Scotland – the charity which runs the Big Noise Douglas Orchestra which performed in Dundee on Wednesday night – said: “This is an absolutely lovely gesture from Mrs Ferguson and I would like to thank her for this generous gift.
“Her kindness will help to transform the lives of local children through our Big Noise Douglas programme for many years to come.”