Stay connected

Frome Festival welcomes Morag McLaren as Patron


Morag McLaren - new patron of the Frome Festival.

Morag McLaren – new patron of the Frome Festival.

FROME Festival is delighted to announce the appointment of Morag McLaren,  founder and creative director of The Cooper Hall Foundation, as its patron.

The festival’s first patron, from 2001 to 2007, was Pamela, Lady Harlech. There has been a vacancy from 2007 to the present time. The Board agreed to invite Morag to take on this honorary role in recognition of her outstandingly generous contributions to the festival since Cooper Hall opened two years ago.  Responding to Morag’s appointment, Martin Dimery, creative director of the festival, had the following comments to make on her new position. He said, “The Frome Festival has enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Cooper Hall since it opened last year thanks to the hard work of Morag McLaren and Fay Goodridge, associate director.

“We are delighted that Morag, who is a performer of great distinction, has accepted our invitation to become patron of the Frome Festival. We are very lucky that she has chosen to live and work in Frome.”

Robert Morris, chairman of trustees of the Frome Festival, also welcomed Morag to the position of patron with great warmth. He said, “Ever since the opening of Cooper Hall during, and as part of, the Frome Festival 2012, Morag has been a most generous and joyful supporter.

“The festival trustees have invited her to become our patron and we are delighted that she has accepted. Cooper Hall, with Morag’s welcoming presence, has already brought outstanding performances and programmes.”

Morag herself had the following words to say on her appointment, “The first performance presented at Cooper Hall in July 2012 was an event organised by Frome Festival and its resounding success set a standard that continues to give us a sense of purpose and focus in our programme planning that has unquestionably helped to launch Cooper Hall as a local venue.

“I never imagined, a year down the line from that first concert, that we would be co-producing an opera at the next Frome Festival, hosting an eclectic mix of musical events, and feeling part of the dedicated team that make the festival happen.

“Not only did this bring its artistic rewards and audience satisfaction, but – in a very short space of time – has given me the opportunity to make valuable friendships and introduce myself, and our venue, to the community.

“My personal professional experience as a performer and producer has given me an awareness of the huge amount of work and financial considerations that go into running a festival, especially one with the range of choice that Frome offers and sustains.

“I am driven now, at this stage in my career, to provide as many performing opportunities as I can in a world where live performance in the Arts is all too often undermined, undervalued and certainly underfunded. I therefore wholeheartedly support the Frome Festival to this end in any way I can, and take great pleasure in accepting the position of patron.”