Bute’s instrumental music instructor Tony Spencer became the latest recipient of a Community Service Award from the Rotary Club of Rothesay this week.
The award was made “In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the promotion and enjoyment of music in the community on the Isle of Bute”, and was presented at the club’s annual Scottish evening at Kingarth Hotel this week.
In his ten years on Bute, Tony has tutored many pupils at the island’s primary schools and at Rothesay Academy, and is always on the lookout for talented and enthusiastic performers to join the Academy Swing band.
The band enjoys a high reputation on Bute and Argyll where they went on tour on several occasions.
Not content with directing Academy Swing, Tony has also recently formed a Community Band who have performed at numerous local events.
In addition to his instrumental work in and out of school, five years ago Tony also brought together talented local singers to form the Island Voices choir, whose members have performed at various venues, most recently singing Faure’s Requiem at Trinity and St. Andrews churches.
He has also been very supportive of the Rotary Young Musician of the Year Competition. The winners of the local heat in this year’s competition were Robin Brandon-Turner in the instrumental category and Rosa Edwards in the vocal class.
Robin and Rosa are now making final preparations for the next stage in the competition, the west of Scotland district finals, which will take place on Sunday, February 17 at the Royal Conservatoire (formerly the RSAMD) in Glasgow, and all in the club hope they will succeed at this level and go on to the Regional finals.
On receiving the award from the club’s vice-president, David Anderson, Tony, who is also the organist at the United Church of Bute, said how utterly surprised he was and how delighted and honoured he was to receive it.