Newsletter #72

This newsletter is mainly to let you know of some changes in the Strings Attached committee as well as to remind you about the next Coffee Concert on Sunday 20th November.

Mary McKean, the Chair of Strings Attached since its inauguration in 2010, will be leaving us at the end of the year as she moves away from Brighton. We are sad to see her go and thank her for all she has done for us. We are delighted to let you know that her role will be taken on by Helen Simpson who has been a committee member for the past six years.

Helen is a musician who taught in higher education at Bretton Hall ollege Yorkshire and in Continuing Education at Morley college London. She lives in Brighton.

To find out how Strings Attached came to be and to learn more of Mary’s huge contribution to its success, you can read an appreciation of her work overleaf.

The second concert of the season will be given by the Paddington Trio on Sunday 20th November at 11.00 am at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA) at the University of Sussex.

Judith Weir     Your light may go out
Beethoven      Piano Trio in D Major, Op 70 No.1
Arvo Part         Mozart-Adagio
Shostakovich   Piano Trio No. 2, Op.67

Tickets are available from the Brighton Dome Box Office (01273 709709) or online at for £18.50 (concessions £16). Tickets for individual concerts are also available from ACCA on the day.

Tickets for those aged 8 to 25 are free under the Cavatina Scheme. These free tickets can only be booked by visiting one of the box offices in person.The Brighton Dome box office can issue them in advance or they can be obtained from the ACCA box office on the morning of the concert. Either the young person should be present at the time of booking or the person booking must show proof of age e.g. a passport. Under 14s must be accompanied to the concert by a paying adult.


11 December              Quatuor Arod
22 January                  Philip Higham (cello)
19 February                Heath Quartet
19 March                    Joanna MacGregor and Brighton Philharmonic Chamber         Ensemble

Full details of the coffee concert programmes can be found on the Strings Attached website –

If you haven’t renewed your membership of Strings Attached, it would be appreciated if you would do so by using the online form which can be found at The annual fee is £10 and free for students. If you prefer, you can download the membership form using the same link and post it to the address on the form or attach it to an email to For Gift Aid purposes please complete one form for each person.

Payment by bank transfer is far more convenient for us than payment by cheque. Please use your surname as the reference.

Paid up members will be given a membership card and this will give access to free interval drinks – sherry or fruit juice.

We hope you will choose to renew your membership and support our work – and that you will encourage like-minded people to join us.


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.

The calendar of contains information about other chamber music events in the area. You might want to note the following in particular:

18 November
Music and Wine at St Luke’s in association with New Music Brighton features the Leto Ensemble (flute, clarinet, piano).

2 December
The next in the season of Nicholas Yonge Society concerts is a piano recital by Zoltan Fejervan.

9 December
The Resol String Quartet performs for Music and Wine at St Luke’s

10 December
Lewes Chamber Music Festival Christmas concert takes place at Trinity St John Sub Castro Church, Lewes

27 January
Nicholas Yonge Society concert by the Brompton String Quartet

Lunchtime concerts continue at the Chapel Royal and Unitarian churches in Brighton as do early afternoon concerts at St Nicholas Church, Brighton