I think they also loved the feeling of camaraderie and support which they gave each other. I clearly remember as a teenaged singer myself that if we were at Blackpool festival as a group, we didn't care who won, as long as it was one of us - we went for the friendship and the 'crack' as it is called today !
This particular group were all routing for each other. How wonderful that is to see.
The journey to North Yorkshire was sunny and easy, we stopped ( well my car that is) for lunch at Dobbies and a strong coffee elsewhere and arrived at a glowing and hot Saltburn by about 6.30pm. The town looked beautiful, a mix of manicured lawns and fully blossoming gardens and the Happy Valley woods where my parents and I picnicked in the Enid Blyton time of the 50's and 60's.
We were blessed with lovely hosts in the town, although those of us who are Littlebeck regulars missed the magical beauty of that part of the national park ! However we stayed with such welcoming folk, everyone was made to feel totally at home.
The traditional Friday in Whitby had to be done and we were joined by Julia, of said Littlebeck who had returned from her holiday only moments before coming for lunch ! Trenchers was enjoyed by all, the massive fish and chips went down a treat, as well as my inevitable crab salad !
Festival day dawned hot and sunny with everyone eager to get going. Our accompanist Julia Kennard arrived and we embarked upon the day with a will. There were some brilliant performances from all the singers, first timers J, L and S absolutely excelled themselves, gaining confidence and strength with every class, and realistically one would not have thought for a moment that they had never competed before - I was so very proud of their courage which paid off in a big way bringing home trophies and certificates enough to paper the wall !
The older hands did very very well, N,E,A and S who are all at different ages and stages were tremendous. The performed out of their socks, and again brought home silver prizes and placings which made myself and Fiona, who teaches Eve as well, swell with pride.
For me however, much as the prizes are so rewarding, it is the support they give each other and the utter lack of jealousy and competition which pleases me the most. That is a rare gift amongst young people these days. That is what will underpin their future, make any loss and criticism easier, and most importantly, make sure that as empathetic professionals will ensure they are employed again and again.
That bond and acceptance of others worth and talent is the real trophy of the festival. Let the pictures speak for themselves !
The inevitable fun picture !