On 29 May 2022, East Lothian Council Instrumental Music Service hosted An Anthem for East Lothian, in collaboration with Lammermuir Festival, under the baton of renowned conductor Sian Edwards.

This huge ensemble came together to mark the start of an exciting new partnership between East Lothian Council Instrumental Music Service, East Lothian Arts Services Youth Music Initiative and Lammermuir Festival and are now very pleased to be able to share this performance digitally.

An Anthem for East Lothian was commissioned for the Council’s Instrumental Music Service by Lammermuir Festival, with music by Liam Paterson (arranged by Peter Kemp) and words by Laura Attridge. It premiered in the magnificent St Mary’s Church in Haddington as part of the Haddstock 2022 Festival. This project was designed to bring together instrumentalists and singers from across the county to perform together in a celebration of who we are and where we live. East Lothian Council’s Instrumental Music Service Symphony Orchestra, Instrumental Music Service Pipers and Instrumental Music Service Instructors were joined by Preston Lodge High School Pipe Band, professional musicians from McOpera, Dunbar Voices and our Anthem Community Choir to premiere this incredible new work. This is one of the largest ensembles to take to the stage in Scotland since the start of the pandemic.

Sound production course students from Edinburgh College attended the performance on 29th May to record the project and mix the final audio for the video. An Anthem for East Lothian will now make its online debut to a worldwide audience on Tuesday 28 June at 7pm on the Instrumental Music Service’s Youtube Channel (click here for the digital performance).

CEO and Joint Artistic Director of the Lammermuir Festival, James Waters said “We are delighted to have launched our new partnership with the East Lothian Council Instrumental Music Service and their inspirational Team Manager Jonathan Gawn in a community-wide celebration of the Beautiful Music / Beautiful Places of our county. After the challenges of the last couple of years, the Anthem performance, together with our Youth Music Initiative-funded primary school opera projects, has enabled hundreds of young people and adults to share a musical pledge to cherish and protect the beautiful world in which we live, and we are hugely looking forward to continuing and developing this creative journey with these fabulous young musicians in our next full-scale Lammermuir Festival Community Opera next year.”

As part of Haddstock 2022, East Lothian Council’s Instrumental Music Service took over St Mary’s for two days of activities and performances. On Saturday 28 May, over 140 pupils from various school music groups from Knox Academy, Dunbar Grammar School, Haddington Primary School, Letham Mains Primary School, Law Primary School and Aberlady Primary School performed to capacity audiences. Saturday’s performances were an exploration of various musical styles and genres showcasing our talented and enthusiastic young musicians. Some of these young musician’s also returned the following day, to perform in our huge Anthem ensemble, featuring over 200 musicians and performing to two further capacity audiences.

East Lothian Council’s Instrumental Music Service Team Manager, Jonathan Gawn said: “This was many of our young people’s first public performance to a live audience and I really can’t imagine a better first live performance experience than this. We are very lucky to have an internationally renowned festival such as Lammermuir Festival on our doorstep and we can’t thank them enough for giving our young people the opportunity to work with a professional conductor such as Sian Edwards or the professional players that came to join us from McOpera.

“This was also a superb opportunity for us to collaborate with our friends from Preston Lodge High School Pipe Band, Dunbar Voices, Haddstock Festival and Edinburgh College and we look forward to further developing these relationships in the future. The Instrumental Music Service had over 350 musicians performing at Haddstock over the two days and the atmosphere at all the events was incredible. We are very lucky to have such an inspiring Instrumental Instruction Team here in East Lothian and we really can’t wait to share our Anthem video with everyone next Tuesday evening.”

Published: Thursday, 23rd June 2022