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Mavis Cook reminds us why music, politics and humanity are important to all. 
Ingestre Hall is proud of its tradition of creating and supporting a community of residents for every group that visits and this especially so for those groups who truly value the meaning of ‘community’. The WMA’s Summer Schools are relatively new to Ingestre but have quickly become a significant part of the Ingestre family and tradition; its express purpose to ‘to encourage the composition and performance of music with special regard to that which expresses the ideals and aims of humankind towards the improved organisation of society’. Therefore, the WMA’s synergies with Ingestre’s are evident; a commitment to promoting active participation in and celebration of the arts for and with all. This is backdrop to my first meeting with Mavis Cook. Mavis was part of the organising committee, undertaking a pre-visit to assess the suitability of the Hall for the forthcoming Summer School, we had lots to talk about, our conversations navigating the politics of music and the politics of organising a summer school – both no mean feat. Mavis was clearly a formidable organiser, musician and political activist with a lot of experience. Yet I particularly remember her wonderful sense of humor, a gentleness that belied her deep rooted political authority and a warmth that would endure her to all but the coldest of capitalists. From that day on Mavis was a welcome sight at Ingestre and was loved by all the staff. She was always conversational and friendly and whenever she had occasion, would find the time speak with the cleaners, the cooks, the site staff and anyone else who worked at the hall. It with sadness that we witnessed on her last Summer School a noticeable deterioration in her physical health, yet her presence was unmuted and the support she required served to remind us of our common inalienable need to be part of a community; as musicians, as members of a summer school and as members of society. As we move forward without Mavis, Ingestre resolves to be guided by her political and musical conviction, her social prowess and her ability to make good company – all essential components of a healthy and thriving artistic community - long may it continue and thank you Mavis. 
For information about the WMA and links to the Summer School please visit: http://www.workers-music-association.co.uk/ 
Tagged as: community, Mavis Cook, Music, WMA
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