Grand finale for McLellan Festival

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From the thoughtful poetry of the McLellan poetry prize winners, the fun of a rip-roaring ceilidh, beautiful sacred music in Corrie Church and a fascinating talk from Kirsty Wark, this has already been a McLellan Arts Festival to remember.

Not only that there has been the rousing fiddling  of Paul Anderson, bothy ballads with Geordie Murison, verse from the North East with Shona Donaldson, lovely singing from John Cruikshank and pawky McLellan from Sheila Gilmore, John Sillars, Stuart Gough and James Mutch, as well. And it’s not over yet!

Tonight (Friday) in the Community Theatre in Lamlash, we will have the treat of the superb young opera singers performing an Opera Gala followed tomorrow night (Saturday) in Corrie Hall with the talented young actors of the Royal Scottish Conservatoire presenting their exciting  work. Finally, on Sunday the summer school  closes with a performance of Handel’s Messiah, giving us another chance to hear these talented young people accompanied by members of the Arran community in the McLellan Festival Chorus.

Don’t forget the final performance of the McLellan Arts Festival in conjunction with Music Arran on Saturday September 14 when the talented young professional company, Opera Bohemia perform The Merry Widow in the communty theatre.

This year marks the 10th anniversary  of the Arran Summer School, founded by Peter Alexander Wilson in 2009. Since then many students have taken part and what a worthwhile experience it has been for the students and for the island giving us the opportunity, not just to hear beautiful music but to be involved with these talented young people in an oratorio each year.

The said young people who have attended the school have gone on to be professionals of the highest standard, singing throughout the world. Over the years, many well – known tutors have taken part, tutors who have worked with the Royal Northern College, Manchester, Covent Garden, the Royal Academy of Music, English National Opera and the New York Met – to name a few.

We are grateful to all of them for their expertise and their wisdom but a special mention must be made here of Peter Alexander Wilson himself. Peter has worked tirelessly and completely voluntarily over  the last 10 years to make the Summer School happen and without him it never would have been. We owe him a deep debt of gratitude.

Tickets online at, the Book and Card Shop, Brodick or at the door.

                                                                                                                        Heather Gough


The summer school students after they performed at Corrie Church. 01_B36mclellan01

The summer school students in full voice at Corrie Church. 01_B26mclellan02

Kirsty Wark is pictured with book supplier Tom Fleming and her new novel ‘The House by the Loch’ at the end of the Clamjamfry at the community theatre. NO_B26mclellan03

Peter Wilson started the summer school 10 years ago. NO_B26mclellan04

A scene from the Opera  Bohemia production of The Merry Widow coming to Arran next weekend. NO_B36mclellan05

Poetry 1st prize winner, Pamela Brough from Leek, Staffordshire with judge Sean O’Brien. NO_B36mclellan06

Sean O’Brien with McLellan poetry competition winners, Pamela Brough,James Caruth,Kitty Donnelly, Jane Kinton and competition organisers, Cicely Gill and David Underdown. NO_B36mclellan07