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2008 – 2009 Series : Chairman’s Report
Another year, another Series....
We started the year on a Swedish theme, by chance not intention. An evening of mainly Swedish music for violin and piano was followed by the international prize-winning piano trio, The Kungsbacka Trio [2/3 Swedish], who lived up to their international reputation albeit in front of only 50 of an audience – but we enjoyed the privilege! 
Brilliant musicianship of a different style was next up with Arild Andersen [the Swedish representantive], Tommy Smith from Tillietudlum and Paolo Vinaccia from Norway in Lanark for one stop of their UK and European tour promoting their CD “Live at Belleville” – MiL on the European map!
After Christmas the Scottish Chamber Choir came as part of their 40th Anniversary year, followed by the Alba Quartet in a concert funded by Enterprise Music Scotland who had awarded them a 1 year Residency – a Residency that was a steep learning curve for all concerned! 
And we ended up in the Lanark Agricultural Centre for North Sea Gas, an intrepid group who have decades of ‘on the road’ experience and who somehow look as sound as fresh as ever.
We have been particularly pleased with our growing relationship with the Music Department of Lanark Grammar School under Julie Brown / Heggie and her team. The Arild Andersen Trio provided a very successful workshop at the school, and we hope to repeat and expand on this aspect of MiL. Lanark Grammar School has also provided musicians and a band for the pre-concert local young musicians slot – and indeed have done so again tonight. 
Thanks also to our other Local Young Musicians who have all demonstrated huge talent and musical confidence.
Local Charities have continued to be involved at our concerts, and they are as grateful for the chance to be seen as we have been for their contribution to our evenings with raffles and tombolas. We like to keep it local.
We are especially grateful to Greyfriars for our Home Base. They have been always accommodating and helpful, and every group that plays here remarks on the excellence of the acoustics – and now they also have quality lighting! 
Lanark Auction Market have also gone out of their way to provide an excellent venue for the big concert, with their catering and car-parking and now their stage.
Our Sponsors are, I suppose, the group without whom none of us would be here at all. Davidson and Shirley, Jacks the Ironmongers, The Lanark Doctors, I A Stewart, Lanark Tyre and Exhaust Centre, Loaningdale Trust, The Baron of Lee, Enterprise Music Scotland, Morrison and Smith, and the Sponsors of our North Sea Gas concert, Dorricot and Bent – you have our eternal gratitude and your reward, we hope, is in the glow of cultural benefaction and the sound of music! Please don’t stop now!
Next Series is planned and booked: details are around the hall here, and I hope that you will take note and put the dates in your diaries now as your priority engagement for those evenings. 
Audience numbers are lower than we would hope, and at a level where the quality of the music that we can afford to bring is in danger of being compromised. That is not the case for this coming Series, which we see as something of a ‘make or break’ season for which no expense has been spared. The future depends on YOU, our series ticket holders, and on your ability to bring more people to swell the audience numbers. Help!”
Finally, the group who actually do the work: the committee. I am personally extremely grateful to them for everything they do to keep me right, to keep the finances in order, to keep the show on the road. It is not, I hope, onerous, and a good concert is a wonderful morale booster. But we started out with the intenetion of ringing the changes in the committee, with a commitment of only 3 or 4 years at a time, so that different ideas and tastes could be explored and presented. We need new committee members to replace this committee, and now is the time to join us so that there can be an overlap / run-in year. Please volunteer for a shift at the helm, and encourage any others you may come across. This committee will come to the end of their time – if there is no one to take it on, then the cultural life of the community will be significantly shrunken.
Thank you Local Young Musicians, thank you Charities, thank you Venues, thank you Sponsors all, thank you Committee, and thank YOU, the Audiences!

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