Ben plays the clarinet and is extremely lucky to have an amazing, enthusiastic and dedicated teacher with a really fantastic name – Welvin Potter. When Welvin first met Ben he was delighted to discover Ben was a twin as Welvin is also a twin. Before I got to know Welvin the mischievous side of me couldn’t help but wonder if Welvin’s parents had a great sense of humour and had called his twin brother Melvin. I now know Welvin has a twin sister but his parents must always see the funny side of life as his sister is called Willet. (I am not being unkind to a man I have the greatest respect for and who has become my friend, he always laughs at their names and talks about how much fun was made of them at school). Anyway, this is in no way relevant to my story but his name always makes me chuckle.
In the week before Christmas Welvin organised and funded a concert and awards ceremony “The Golden Quaver Awards” for all his students for no personal gain, merely as a thank you to all his musical stars for working so hard during the year. The ceremony was reminiscent of the Oscars and a truly memorable evening was had by all. What was so striking for me about the evening is that Welvin is a typical struggling artist with a heart of gold and no head for business who is often forgetting to charge for lessons. He is a man with barely two spare dollars to rub together but he organised The Golden Quavers completely on his own time and with his own dime. He paid for everything including wine for the parents, a photographer, certificates and inscribed awards for the children and bags of lollies and chocolates as consolation prizes for those not quite good enough to receive an award. Perhaps my judgement has been influenced by the fact that I was joint recipient of the “Supportive Parent of the Year” award and I received a certificate and a bag of Jelly Babies but I like to think my affections cannot be so cheaply purchased.
I was so touched by Welvin’s kindness and generosity that I felt he deserved some of the recognition he was lavishing upon his students so I contacted our local paper and asked if I wrote the story and provided a photograph, they would feature an article on “The Golden Quaver Awards”….and they did! They have a 300 word limit for stories of this kind so it was tough to squeeze it all in but I am proud to say I am now a published author (!) and here is the story that appeared in last week’s Mosman Daily:
BIG DAY FOR FLAPPERS AT SCHOOL
FASHION-CONSCIOUS MUSICIANS TAKE STAGE AT GOLDEN QUAVER AWARDS
Contributor: Alison Bradshaw
With trembling hands, to the sound of a drum roll, Welvin Potter opened the final envelope to reveal the winner of this year’s much coveted “Golden Quaver High Achiever” award at Beauty Point Public School.
Welvin is a peripatetic music teacher giving lessons in flute, clarinet, oboe, saxophone and recorder. The parents and students believe they are lucky to have such a devoted teacher.
“His level of dedication is remarkable,” says Sian Dower, mum to Holly, 8, a Beauty Point flautist. “He truly inspires the children with his infectious enthusiasm.”
His enthusiasm and dedication were demonstrated in abundance in Beauty Point school hall where Welvin organised and funded an “Oscars” style awards ceremony for the students. The event was entitled “The Golden Quaver Awards” and young musicians of all abilities were invited to dress up “Gatsby-style” and play their first public solo to an audience of excited parents. Engraved trophies featuring his trade mark “golden quaver” were presented to the mesmerized winning students in true Hollywood fashion. All that was missing was the red carpet.
Awards were offered in the following categories: musicality; outstanding achievement and playing excellence; dedication. There was a “Young Virtuoso” award, plus the event signature award “The Golden Quaver”, presented to the young musician who has demonstrated a strong, self-motivated work ethic, creativity and originality throughout the year. Welvin also acknowledged the support and commitment of parents with a “Parent of the Year” award.
Worthy winners this year included Tilly Bartram, William Bartram, Ben Britton, Olivia Castree-Croade, Adie Connor, Holly Dower and Toby Van Extel.
“The students at Beauty Point have worked incredibly hard and I wanted to give them a fitting opportunity to celebrate their success,” says Welvin.
School Band Manager, Rosie Connor adds, “The real winner is the Beauty Point band.”