A Moray music teacher who resigned in protest after huge increases were proposed to tuition fees is preparing to take his final bow.
John Mustard has taught generations of youngsters during his career with the council, that has spanned more than 30 years.
At the weekend the talented cellist will take part in the Moray Music Centre’s annual concerts for the final time.
A line-up of more about 20 former students of Mr Mustard, many of whom have progressed to become professional musicians, has been prepared to make special appearances on the day to pay tribute to their mentor.
Mr Mustard quit as the council’s head of the music instruction service after an 85% increase to lesson fees, bringing the annual charge to £699, was proposed – he feared the move could price out many youngsters from a lifetime of enjoyment.
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Although the rise was later reduced to 10% the musician stressed he never considered withdrawing his application, explaining “the decision was final”.
But despite being about to call time on three decades of involvement with the music centre Mr Mustard explained he was not expecting tears on the day.
He said: “I’m not really an emotional type of guy. I don’t know much about what has been planned expect knowing that some former pupils are coming back, which will be fantastic, so I think I’m excited and looking forward to it more than anything else.
“Some of them will be into their 40s now. I’ve been doing it for a long time so a lot of them will be adults with children of their own now.
“I know one of my first pupils from when I started at West End Primary is coming back so it really will be fantastic to see everyone.”
After stepping down from his position Mr Mustard intends to continue teaching cello privately as well as continuing to play for various choirs in the region.
Moray Music Centre’s concerts will take place on Saturday at Elgin Academy at noon for the junior section and 2pm for the senior section. Entry £5, concessions £3, available on the door.