Mary McKean steps down as Chair of Strings Attached
Established in 2010, Strings Attached has been for over a decade promoting high quality chamber music in Brighton and Hove. This tremendous achievement has been thanks in no small measure to the determination and dedication of Mary McKean, Chair from the outset.
Those who recall the earlier Coffee Concerts at the Old Market in Hove, and their regrettable end in 2010, will also remember Mary, with clipboard in hand on those final Sunday mornings, soliciting support to ensure the concert series would continue somehow, somewhere. She was successful in enlisting many supporters and in cajoling a small band of volunteer devotees to join her to form a committee to take forward the project.
With deft diplomacy and an engaging enthusiasm for overcoming obstacles in the road, she steered us through some uncertain early days to the flourishing relationship which continues with Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival under the leadership of Andrew Comben. He agreed to engage the ensembles if Strings Attached could ensure a substantial audience. It has been a tremendously successful partnership which has certainly gone a long way to satisfy the appetites of local chamber music enthusiasts and supported talented young artists to make their way in the professional music world. Strings Attached has thus lived up to the charitable aims established back in 2010 under Mary’s leadership.
Without her absolute dedication to working closely with Andrew Comben and his colleagues and to listening to the views of the members we would not have enjoyed ten series of Coffee Concerts at the Corn Exchange and, more recently, the Attenborough Centre with an eleventh series just starting. Nor would we have the thriving relationship with the local music community that we have today.
We should acknowledge that Mary received the Brighton & Hove Arts Council Award for services to the arts in 2020 for her work with the Regency Society as well as with Strings Attached.
Brighton & Hove is certainly losing an important champion of the arts as Mary moves away to the West Country later this year, but we send her on her way with our gratitude and thanks, with every good wish for her new life there.