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Open Letter from supporters of Lammermuir Festival to Creative Scotland - Lammermuir Festival

Letter from supporters of Lammermuir Festival

To Iain Munro, Chief Executive of Creative Scotland and its Chair, Robert Wilson,

We the undersigned appeal to you to save what one audience member has described as a ‘precious jewel of originality and joy’.

According to the panels judging Open Fund applications at Creative Scotland, Lammermuir Festival does not sufficiently align to your priorities.

This is despite having the full support of the Music Officers at Creative Scotland who approved its application and strongly recommended funding without conditions.

This is one of the most acclaimed classical music festivals in the UK, recipient of an RPS award, the highest accolade in its field, and giving work to 350 musicians a year, many of them Scottish. It has a proven record of achievement, appeals to ever-growing audiences and supports performers at all stages in their careers.

It is also a festival which returns £750,000 in economic benefits for East Lothian, on top of its social and cultural benefits, bringing visitors to a region which is underserved for arts, offering audiences international quality music performances and participation opportunities.

If the festival were to not exist, neither would its work with McOpera which engaged 1,700 children, young people and adults as participants and audience through their outreach strand over the last two years. This proved a formative part of so many young musicians’ lives in East Lothian.

This strand of the festival’s work reached out to multiple and diverse local community groups, nurturing children and young people from across 31 different schools, supporting the growth of an Instrumental Music Service and creative organisations (such as Dunbar Voices), bringing to the region international conductors and Scottish creatives, composers, singers and instrumentalists. It has also regularly provided career placements to students from Edinburgh College, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh and Edinburgh Napier Universities, National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

This decision by Creative Scotland flies in the face of the expressions of support for culture in Scotland, and in particular for festivals, that the First Minister Humza Yousaf, Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy Neil Gray, and Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Angus Robertson have made in recent days.

The Open Fund process appears to have no strategic overview of provision, and no clear artistic, quality or geographic priorities.

Your process places huge pressure on organisations. Lammermuir Festival was invited to make multiple applications for the same activity with funding decisions taking their nerves to the wire – in this case Creative Scotland passed their verdict on a third application just 16 days before the festival started.

The system needs to change. As it stands it places Scotland’s cultural ecology on a downward trajectory.

Without Creative Scotland’s support the Lammermuir Festival’s future is under threat. Your decision not to fund the 2023 festival, destablises the organisation and undermines the festival’s ability to plan for or run a festival in 2024 and beyond. In order to secure the future of this festival beyond 2023, urgent support is needed.

As musicians, educators, audience members, supporters, participants, businesses in East Lothian, and community leaders we are utterly appalled at your decision and urgently appeal to Creative Scotland to reverse it in order to save this cultural gem.

This festival cannot be allowed to disappear.

Signatories (362):

Agnes Robson Supporter, Edinburgh
Ailsa Royston Audience member, Sherborne, Dorset
Akhtar Shamin Deputy Leader, East Lothian Council
Alan Craig Audience member & Festival Friend, Athelstaneford
Alan Dean Audience member
Alan Osborn Audience Member & Festival Friend, Surrey
Sir Alastair Muir Russell Chair, Lammermuir Festival
Alfonso Leal del Ojo Chief Executive, The English Concert
Ali Sneddon General Medical Practitioner, Audience member, North Berwick
Aline Gow Professional cellist and teacher, McOpera
Alison Brimelow Retired/ festival volunteer
Alison New Audience member, Musselburgh
Alistair Hogarth Pianist
Allan Glen Curriculum Team Manager, School of Media, Music and Sound Production at Edinburgh College
Allison Worth Audience member & Festival Friend, Gullane
Andrea Baker Singer
Andrew & Tara Wright Business owner, Overhailes Holiday Cottages, East Lothian
Andrew Barker Emeritus Professor, Edinburgh University, Attendee & supporter, Lasswade
Andrew Guest Audience member & Festival Friend, North Berwick
Andrew Robinson Audience member
Dr Andrew Watson Arts Educator / Open University Assoc Lecturer
Angie Simpson Audience member
Angus Jeffrey Audience member
Angus McCallum Audience member, Aberlady
Angus Tulloch Supporter
Ann Buchanan Audience member
Ann Dean Audience member, Edinburgh
Anna Carson Audience member & Festival Friend, Coupar Angus
Anna Ghazal NYCOS Creative Learning Producer
Anna Hocknell Audience member & supporter, East Lothian
Anne Browning Audience member, Haddington
Anne Fingland Audience member, Kelso
Anne Macdonald Audience member, St Albans
Anne Runnalls Audience member, Festival Friend, Edinburgh
Anselm Fraser Audience member
Antonia Fraser Festival Friend
Anwen and Elyn McInnes Catriona and the Dragon (young musician – orchestra)
Arthur Bruce Freelance baritone, Singer – cast member in ‘Catriona & the Dragon’
Audrey Copstick Dewarton, Midlothian
Barbara Gill Parent of child who participated in Catriona and the Dragon
Barbara Wallington Festival Friend, North Berwick
Barry Ayre Audience member, Dunbar
Becky Everett Audience member & supporter, Haddington
Bill Alder Audience member
Bob Young Audience member & volunteer, Longniddry
Brian Ferguson Musician’s parent , audience member, Musselburgh
Calum Kerr Trumpet mentor for Catriona of the Dragon/representative of NYOS Alumni & student of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Carlie MacDougall Audience member
Carol Millar Audience member & supporter, Buxton, Derbyshire
Catherine Wilson Festival Friend
Cathy Adamson Supporter, Freuchie
Catriona Stuart Supporter, Tillicoultry
Celia Coulson Retired teacher/volunteer
Charlotte Evans Audience member Catriona and the Dragon, parent musician in Anthem for East Lothian
Charlotte Kington The Loft Cafe & Bakery, Haddington, East Lothian
Charlotte Souter Audience member
Chiara Brand Audience member
Christian Lindsay Supporter, Dirleton
Christine Lessels Supporter and Audience member
Christine Wiggins Audience member & supporter, Edinburgh
Christopher Glynn Director Ryedale Festival
Christopher Kelnar Audience member, Edinburgh
Claire Blair Audience member
Clare Anderson Parent of Catriona Chorus Member, Volunteer Chaperone and Audience Member, East Linton
Colin Wilson Audience member, Festival Friend, Haddington
Constanza Dessain Audience member
Cornelis can Rein Festival Friend, Kilchrenan
Craig Hoy MSP MSP for South Scotland
Dan Tindall Audience member, Midlothian
Daniel Lamont Festival Friend, Edinburgh
Daniela Hardy Audience member
Danny Driver Pianist
David Bradley Festival Friend, Haddington
David Caldwell Audience member & supporter, Edinburgh
David Carson Secondary School head teacher (retired).
David Kirkpatrick Audience member & supporter, Dirleton
David McCord Audience member & supporter, London
David Shaw Stewart Festival Friend
David Simpson and Judy Riley Supporterand audience members
David Snodgrass Supporter, Dunbar
Dinis Sousa Conductor
Donald Smith Audience member, Haddington
Donna Brander Festival Friend, East Linton
Dorothy and Mark McCann Audience member & Festival Friend, Musselburgh
Dorothy Wright Audience Member and Festival Friend, Edinburgh
Douglas Alexander Scottish Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for East Lothian.
Douglas George Audience member and father of Catriona cast members
Douglas MacDougall Audience member
Dr Andrew Watson Arts Educator, East Lothian
Duncan Menzies Audience member
Edward Hocknell Trustee, Lammermuir Festival
Eileen Finlayson Audience member & Supporter, Edinburgh
Elaine McAdam Audience member & Supporter, Edinburgh
Eileen Russell Audience Member and supporter, East Lothian
Elana Eisen Violinist
Eleanor Martino Speech-language pathologist and voice therapist, Festival Friend, East Linton
Elena Urioste Violinist
Elisabeth Davenport Audience member & supporter, East Linton
Elisabeth Wilson Audience member, Dunbar
Elizabeth Gemmell Audience member & supporter, Haddington
Elizabeth Guest Carer, Audience member, North Berwick
Elizabeth Mavor Audience member
Ella George Cast member An Cadal Trom and Catriona and the Dragon, member of Dunbar Voices
Ella Macleod Catriona cast and member of Dunbar voices
Elspeth Davey Festival volunteer/ supporter
Euan Fletcher Catriona cast member; Let’s Make an Opera Primary School participant; and brass player in Anthem for East Lothian (age 10)
Eva Bryant Aged 9. Participant in Catriona and the Dragon
Evelyn Thorgood Audience member, Portobello
Ewing Lauder Music Instructor, East Lothian Council
Falko Burkert Konditormeister, Haddington
Federico Bruera Musician, audience member, Haddington
Fidelity Dean Audience member
Fiona Gaddes Audience member, Duns
Fiona Grant Audience member & supporter, London
Fiona Grayson Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire
Fiona McGibbon Open University Associate Lecturer/Festival volunteer/ Innerwick, East Lothian
Fiona Sweeney Catriona and the Dragon Orchestra Flute and Tutor, NYoS Alumni scheme
Frank Bigwood Audience member & supporter, North Berwick
Frank Church Musician, Largs
Freya George Cast member Catriona and member of Dunbar Voices
Gail Keating Audience member & Festival Friend, Bonnyrigg
Gavin King-Smith Audience member & supporter, Tynron
Gemma O’Keeffe Violinist
Geoff Ball Supporter and audience member
George Glen Audience member, Temple, Midlothian
George Haddington Audience member
Gill Stewart Audience member & supporter, Edinburgh
Gillian Devlin Parent of orchestra member, Catriona and the Dragon.
Graham Ross Audience member & supporter, Glasgow
Helen and Edward Cais Audience member, Glasgow
Helen Anthony Audience member & Festival Friend, Glasgow
Helen Bennett Teacher, Dunbar
Helen Kelly Audience member, Aberlady
Helen Wyllie Audience member, Haddington
Hew Dalrymple Supporter, North Berwick
Hilary Menzies Audience member
Iain Burnside Pianist
Iain Torrance Former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Supporter, Edinburgh
Ian Fingland Audience member, Kelso
Ian Irvin Company Director and Charity Trustee, Dunbar
Imogen Fletcher Cast member Noye’s Fludde, An Cadal Trom; member of Dunbar Voices
Isabel Orr Supporter, Musselburgh
Isabella Gold Orchestra member, Catriona and the dragon
Isla Kennedy Catriona and the Dragon cast; Dunbar Voices member
James & Annette Hunter Audience member & supporter, Edinburgh
James Dobie Audience member
James Findlay Owner, The Waterside Bistro, Haddington,
James Ironside Emeritus Professor, University of Edinburgh, Support & Audience member, Edinburgh
Sir James MacMillan Composer
James McNeill Supporter, Edinburgh
James Stretton Trustee, Lammermuir Festival
James Tomlinson Audience member, Edinburgh
James Williams CEO Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Jamie Korner Foyle Foundation Trustee, Supporter, Edinburgh
Jane Dickinson Audience member, Edinburgh
Jane McCallum Nurse, audience member, Aberlady
Jane Nicolson Primary School Teacher, Ayrshire
Jane Rawlings Audience member
Jane Steele Audience member, London
Jane Watt Audience member, Haddington
Janey Dalrymple Supporter, North Berwick
Jean Church Largs, Ayrshire
Jean-Luc Barbanneau Audience member & Festival Friend, North Berwick
Jennifer Martin Arts Administrator
Jennifer Trussler Primary teacher of class who participated in ‘Let’s Make an Opera’; parent of a young person who participated in Catriona and the Dragon and the Anthem for East Lothian.
Jenny Harper Supporter, Haddington
Jenny Hill Musician and Youth Music Initiative Tutor working with children in East Lothian primary schools
Jeremy Denk Pianist
Jessica Brown Audience member & Festival Friend, Edinburgh
Jill Shepherd Teacher, audience member, North Berwick
Jim & Gwynne Grayson Thornborough, Buckinghamshire
Joanna Lowe Parent to Ella, cast member in Catriona and the Dragon
John Butt Conductor
John Campbell KC Supporter, Duns
John Harris Red Note Ensemble
John Kitchen Harpsichordist
John Lally Audience member, Musselburgh
John Lindsay Audience member & supporter, Direlton
John McCabe Audience member, Bo’ness
John Robinson Professional violinist,Violin teacher, String Coach.
John Roden Audience member, Felton, Northumberland
John Smart Business Owner, Collaborative Creative, Haddington
John Stone Audience member & Festival Friend, Coldstream
Jonathan Gawn Team Manager – East Lothian Council Instrumental Music Service/Principal Tuba Scottish Ballet
Jonathan Goodbourn Primary school teacher (Let’s Make an Opera programme), parent of performers (An Cadal Trom, Catriona, Anthem for East Lothian), and audience member
Joshua Ellicott Tenor
Joy Dobie Festival Friend, Duns
Joyce Withers Supporter, Darnick, Melrose
Judy Thomson Audience member
Julia Parker Stevenston Trust trustee, supporter and audience member
June Marshall Supporter, Haddington
Karin Haig Retired civil servant, Supporter, East Linton
Kate Quartano Brown Adviser for the Cockaigne Fund at Foundation Scotland, Audience member & supporter, Edinburgh
Kate Wake Audience member
Katherine Campbell Audience member, North Berwick
Kathryn Jourdan BEM Music teacher
Katie Hull McOpera violinist
Katrina Bateman Professional violinist and coach for Catriona orchestra
Kelly and Neil McInnes Audience member and parent (Catriona)
Kenneth Anderson Musselburgh, Attender
Kenny MacAskill MP MP for East Lothian
Kerry Rait Parent of Catriona children’s chorus member
Kirsteen Davidson Kelly Trustee, Lammermuir Festival
Kirstie Logan Professional orchestral musician and teacher
Kirsty Macdonald Music Teacher, East Lothian
Kit Adamson Supporter, Haddington
Kyle McPherson Catriona and the Dragon cast; member of Dunbar Voices
Lauren Reeve-Rawlings Horn player, Glasgow
Lesley J Walker Volunteer
Lilli and Summer McCullagh Catriona orchestra and members of East Lothian IMS
Lin Macmillan Audience member, Bo’ness
Linda Shaw Stewart Trustee, Lammermuir Festival
Lisa George Audience member and cast member (adult chorus) for An Cadal Trom and Catriona and the Dragon
Lorna Young Audience member & supporter, Longniddry
Louise Hardy Usher at Lammermuir festival
Lucy Vaughan Creative Learning & Community Engagement Consultant, Scottish Borders
Luis Eisen Professional bassoonist
Lynda Jeffrey BEM Music teacher
Lyndsay Ross Audience member & supporter, Glasgow
Magdalena Chojnacka Audience member, Ormiston
Mahan Esfahani Harpsichordist
Malcolm Martineau Pianist
Malcolm Morrison Festival Friend, Bowden, Melrose
Margaret Alder Audience member
Margaret Evans Audience member, Tyninghame
Maria Wloszczowska Violinist
Mark Penty Audience member, Leeds
Mark Simpson Clarinettist and Composer
Martin Brabbins Conductor
Martin Storey Cellist, member of Scottish Opera and teacher at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Martin Whitfield MSP MSP for South Scotland
Mary Macleod Parent of Catriona and the Dragon cast member, staff member of Dunbar Voices
Matthew Brook Baritone
Matthew Rooke Composer (An Cadal Trom, Lammermuir Festival 2018)
Maureen Blackwood Audience member, Lauder
Maureen Evans Audience member, Dirleton
Max and Sarah Ward Supporters and Audience members
Maxwell String Quartet Artists in Residence, Lammermuir Festival
Melissa Bradley Audience member
Michael Brander Festival Friend, Whittingehame, Haddington
Michael Framer Audience member, Festival Friend, Gullane
Michael Lloyd Audience member, Dunbar
Michael Williams Festival Friend, Haddington
Mils Souter Audience member
Mireille Poots Audience member & supporter, North Berwick
Miriam McHardy Audience member, Musselburgh
Moira Macfarlane Audience member, Haddington
Monica Wilkinson Lecturer in Dalcroze Studies at RCS and freelance teacher of Musicianship/festival volunteer
Morag Austin Supporter, Edinburgh
Morleymor Fisher Commander Royal Navy, Audiene, Howgate
Nancy Bernklow Newtongrange, Midlothian
Nancy Richardson Audience member, Blairgowrie
Naomi Trussler Catriona and the Dragon (cast member); participant in the Anthem for East Lothian; Member of Dunbar Voices Senior Choir
Nicholas Lewis Audience member, Orkney
Nicholas Mulroy Tenor
Nicky Pritchett-Brown Supporter, fundraiser and audience member
Nicola Goodship Festival volunteer 2022 & 2023
Nicola McPherson Catriona and the Dragon parent chaperone
Nigel Short Tenebrae
Noel O’Regan Honorary Fellow, Music, University of Edinburgh and audience member
Olena Dorohanova Catriona and the Dragon, Adult Chorus member
Olive Ayre Audience member, Tyninghame
Olwyn Alexander Supporter, Edinburgh
Owain Park Gesualdo 6
Patricia L Miller Audience member & Festival Friend, Alexandria, Virginia USA
Patrick Kenny Performer/ Trombone Coach (Catriona)
Paul Garbett Audience member, North Berwick
Paul Smart Consultant – Post 16 Education, Scottish Borders
Peggy Wu Assistant conductor on community opera and RCS MMus student
Penelope Barron Festival Friend, Edinburgh
Penny Graham Audience member
Peter Davey Festival Supporter for 14 years
Peter France Supporter, Edinburgh
Peter Fry Professional Double Bass player and teacher.
Peter Wallington Supporter, North Berwick
Philip Higham Cellist
Philip Immirzi Supporter/Friend, Dunbar
Philip White Chair Garvald and Morham Community council
Philippa Marston Audience member, North Berwick
Philippa Tomlinson Audience member, North Berwick
Poppy Davidson-Kelly Catriona cast (children’s chorus)
Priscilla Parry Supporter, Dunbar
Prof Peter Ghazal OBE & Mrs Jackie Ghazal Festival supporters, Cardiff
Rev. Suzie Fletcher Minister, parent of cast members from all 3 Lammermuir Festival operas, Let’s Make an Opera primary programme, and local minister of host venues for Lammermuir Festival concerts
Rev’d Alison McDonald St Mary’s Parish Church, Haddington
Rev’d Canon John Audience member, Dunbar
Rex Worthington Catriona cast (children’s chorus)
Richard Boothy Fretwork
Richard Brand Audience member
Richard Pont Audience member, Pathhead
Richard Stewart Audience member, North Berwick
Richie Harrison Course Leader HNV Y1 Sound Production, Edinburgh College
Rob Martino Software engineer, music and audio applications, Festival Friend, East Linton
Robert Duncan Retired, audience member, Edinburgh
Robert Glen Pathhead, Midlothian / Attender
Robert Linton Haddington Business Owner
Robin Hardie Supporter, Festival 2023
Robin Harding Festival Friend, Edinburgh
Robin Mether Festival Friend, Musselburgh
Roderick Thomson Festival Friend, London
Roderick Williams Baritone
Roger Bromley Emeritus Professor, Festival supporter, Prestonpans
Roman Rabinovich Pianist
Rory McCleery Marian Consort
Rosalind Finlay Stevenston Trust trustee, supporter and audience member
Rosamund Weaver Audience member & supporter, Camptoun
Rosemary McDougall Audience member, Fala village
Rosemary Morrison Audience member, Bowden Melrose
Roxane Nash Festival Friend, Dunbar
Ruari Donaldson Professional musician and teacher
Ruth Alder Audience member, volunteer & supporter, Dunbar
Ruth Ellis Formerly sub-principal clarinet in the SCO 1987-2009, East Linton
Ruth Hall Retired/Volunteer usher, Haddington
Ruth Hannah Festival Friend, Edinburgh
Ryan Corbett Accordion
S Anne Guthrie Audience member
Sandra Anderson Business Owner, Four Bags Full, Musselburgh
Sarah Donaldson Audience member, Garvald
Sarah Gold Audience member and parent
Sarah Harringon Cellist with Scottish Opera, Glasgow
Scott Kennedy Audience member
Sean Shibe Guitarist
Senga Mackay Audience member and grandmother of Catriona cast members
Sharon Gent Audience member, Ormiston Tranent
Sharon Haslam Professional Violinist and Teacher
Sheila Barker Audience member & supporter, Lasswade
Sheila Glendinning Festival Friend, Haddington
Sian Edwards Conductor
Sian Reynolds Translator, audience member, Edinburgh
Sir Derek Myers Audience member
Sophie Tulloch Audience member
Stehen Maddock Principal Birmingham Conservatoire
Stephen Chicken Audience member, Swinton
Stephen Metcalfe Audience member, Edinburgh
Stephen Thomas Audience member & supporter, Cambridge
Steven Osborne Lammermuir Festival Patron and Pianist
Stewart Chalmers Member and original Hon. Sec of the Lammermuir Trust, Haddington
Stuart MacRae Composer
Stuart Stratford Conductor
Sue Baxendale McOpera / Lammermuir Festival Community Opera Creative Producer and Project Manager; Horn player
Sue Chicken Audience member, Supporter, Swinton, Duns
Sue King-Smith Festival Friend, Tynron, Dumfriesshire
Susan Moffat Volunteer usher and ornithological consultant
Suzie Davidson-Kelly Audience member, East Lothian
Terez Korondi Violinist
Tom Bryant Parent of child who participated in Catriona and the Dragon
Tom Gemmell Festival Friend and audience member, Haddington
Tom Pate Audience member & supporter, Edinburgh
Tom Poster Pianist
Tracy and Simon McCullagh Catriona audience member
Una Coombs Audience member, Edinburgh
Vanessa Kennedy Catriona and the Dragon adult chorus cast
Vicky Bryant Audience member
Victor Poots Audience member & Festival Friend, North Berwick
Will Conway Hebrides Ensemble
William Cole Conductor, Glasgow
William Gold Piper in Catriona and the dragon (IMS)
William Lucas-Evans East Lothian secondary school pupil and musician in Anthem for East Lothian and Catriona.
William Moyes Member North Berwick Law, Edinburgh
William Thomson Friend of Lammermuir
Xa Shaw Stewart Audience member, East Lothian
Yolanda Plumey Professor of Historical Musicology, University of Exeter


First Minister Humza Yousaf

Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Angus Robertson

Minister of Culture Christina McKelvie

Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy Neil Gray