McLellan festival was one of the best

The summer school students after they performed at Corrie Church.

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The McLellan Arts Festival has again been a whirlwind 10 days ending last Saturday with a lively and most enjoyable production of Lehar’s The Merry Widow much appreciated by the audience.

Other highlights have included a splendid performance of  Handel’s Messiah under the experienced baton of Alec Crowe with singers from the Arran Summer School accompanied by  an orchestra of young musicians also from The Royal Northern College of Music; who also gave us an entertaining opera gala, a wonderful service of sacred music in Corrie Church led by  the talented  young singers of the Summer School and with the mellifluous voice of John Sillars reading Arran Burn by Robert McLellan  in Corrie Church; a warming poetry evening with winners and judge of the Poetry Competition, Sean O’Brien; an interesting evening with Kirsty Wark; a lively ceilidh in Whiting Bay; a fascinating and entertaining film night in Corrie and Sannox Hall; a terrific evening of Scots song, fiddling and verse, again in Whiting Bay Hall and a fascinating evening of theatre from drama students from The Royal Scottish Conservatoire.

This festival was amongst the best we have had and, as always thanks are due to the many who contributed to its success. Special thanks to Sue and Ian McKinley for generous support of the Summer School, to Alec Crowe and Peter Wilson for tutoring at the Summer School, and to  Diana and Douglas Hamilton and John Wilson for lending houses and pianos for lessons In addition, we would thank all those who performed – including our local performers, Angus Adamson, Arran Dawn, Drambusters, Sheila Gilmore, Stuart Gough, Biff and Tom, Tim Pomeroy, John Cruikshank, James Mutch and John Sillars.

Also Tortoise in a Nutshell Theatre Company, Kirsty Wark, Chris and Jan Atkins for Uncowed, Ed O’Donnelly for Arran on Film,  Cicely Gill and David Underdown for organising the Poetry Competition, John Cruikshank for organising and sponsoring A Scots Hairst, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland for organising Drama Live, The Douglas Hotel and Stags Restaurant for their generous donations,The Book and Card Shop for so kindly handling tickets, The Arran Banner for coverage, Arran Events for online ticketing and sound expertise, Arran Lodge for providing superb  accommodation, Corrie Church, KA Leisure and Community Theatre, Whiting Bay Village Hall, Corrie and Sannox Village Hall for excellent venues and service, Colin Guthrie for generous provision of accommodation, Andrew Walsh of Arran Active for storage of pianos, Josephine Broekhuizen, Carol Atkins and Jessica Wallace for delicious catering, Angie Fisher and Christine Drennan for ceilidh meringues, Sarah Cook, Jan McGregor and Kilmory Community Bus for transporting students,

Finally to Margaret Wright for events management, Lynda Blair for financial wizardry, front of house volunteers from the McLellan Festival Steering Group, Anne and John Bruce, Anne and Geoff Hawkins, Jan and John Inglis and David Pfluger for hosting students, and, of course, grateful thanks to all those warm and appreciative people who attended the performances.

If anyone out there would like to join our steering group or become involved please email Heather at or phone 01770 302670.

                                                                                                                         Heather Gough


The students who attended what is likely to be the last summer school on Arran. 01_B36mclellan01