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More Music Executive Director Kathryn MacDonald to step down

Posted by More Music on 21 December 2023

For nearly 3 decades Kathryn MacDonald has been an integral part of More Music and now she is moving on to new and different projects and ventures. Her energy and vision will be greatly missed by all the staff, the board and the communities in which she has worked.

Kathryn says “More Music has my heart; and the team, the participants and the wider community are my family so leaving will be a huge wrench. While it has been my privilege and pleasure to have been part of this incredible organisation since 1996 when I became More Music’s first employee, after 28 years it is time for us both to have a change. I’m proud to have led such a passionate and creative team and feel incredibly lucky to have been part of so many people’s lives and connected to so many projects.”

Kathryn joined More Music in 1996 and has worked tirelessly developing the charity’s community focus and shaping More Music into what it is today.

When she started, the charity had just 2 employees and a small office space, it’s now grown to a staff team of 14 and runs in a beautiful community building where hundreds of people attend a variety of participatory sessions every week. During this time, More Music has held  long term funding agreements with Arts Council England, currently as a National Portfolio Organisation and, since 1999, with Youth Music, becoming part of their Catalyser Programme in 2023.

With a passion for including and encouraging people of all ages, all backgrounds and all abilities, Kathryn has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to create programmes and projects which help people develop skills, improve their life chances and enjoy joyous moments. She has forged local partnerships with cultural and third sector organisations helping to develop connected activity across Morecambe, Lancashire and beyond.

Chair of the Board Lauren Zawadzki says “Kathryn has been a good friend and a great colleague over the many years I have worked with the charity. Her compassion and kindness to be supportive and encouraging to all of More Music’s participants and audiences is like no other; while her determination for the organisation and its people to succeed in delivering its vision and mission is nothing but inspirational.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees I would like to thank her for her many years of service and wish her the best of luck in her future.”

Kathryn’s work includes initiating the amazing Catch the Wind Kite Festival (which she started with local residents, Mike Boardley and Melody Treasure) and then producing it with the More Music team for 20 years. It became the iconic local festival, showing Morecambe at its very best and showcasing musicians and artists from across the world. This sits alongside That Spring Thing and the Winter Lantern Festival, both longstanding, vibrant community events in the West End. She has been committed to the continuation of  the  Holocaust Memorial Day projects and to creating opportunities for refugees and asylum seekers to engage with More Music and the local community.. She has supported  and encouraged the growth and success of More Music’s young people’s work which has transformed the lives of countless young people.

She steered the charity through the pandemic years, re-inventing projects and maintaining relationships with isolated people, and over the past 4 years has pioneered creative health and wellbeing programmes for elders and young people experiencing challenges with their mental health. These projects, including the much loved Seagull Cafe  and the developing partnerships with the statutory health services are now key areas of work for More Music and will become another great part of her legacy.

Recruitment for a new Director will begin in January 2024.

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