The MacLennan Group History

The MacLennan Scottish Group was formed in 1979 by a dancer (Iain MacLennan Brown) and a musician (the late Pipe Major Bryan Bredin - click here), with the aim of promoting Scottish music and dance. The Group was unusual in that it laid stress on a balance between the dance and the music. The musicians were always full members of the group,rather than invited along to provide an accompaniment for the dancers. The integration of music and dance has always been a crucial part of MacLennan performances. One of the group's primary aims was to promote Scottish music and dance by visiting festivals in other countries. The Group was established to perform at its first Festival, the Europeade in Antwerp, in September 1979, and at that time the first of a wide variety of contacts with Flemish dancers and musicians in Belgium was forged. These early contacts have been maintained for more than twenty years, along with friendships established in more recent times. Through the years the group Countries visited by MSG has visited numerous festivals in many countries including regular appearances at the annual Europeade festival. The map highlights the countries visited by the group. Click here for a full list of the countries and festivals visited.

From its inception, the MacLennan Scottish Group took the line that it was very important to be able to reciprocate the generous hospitality it had received at so many festivals, and it therefore established its own Festival. This is held annually, at the end of May, in the South London/Kent area. For more information on the MacLennan Festival, click here. The membership of the Group has, inevitably, changed over the years, as people have grown older, had children, or moved away from the London area, but in many cases contacts have been maintained and former Group members return to help with the Festival and attend celebrations, such as the party held in September 2000 to mark the 21st Anniversary of the first trip to Belgium and the 30th anniversary party held in September 2009.

Pipe Major Bryan Bredin

Bryan Bredin, together with Iain MacLennan Brown, founded the MacLennan Scottish Group in 1979. For many years he led the musicians in the Group. Sadly, he died on 19 September 2000. He is very much missed: his musical contributions were invaluable, and his understanding of the Group's repertoire and the requirements of Scottish dancing, whether country, highland or step, was complete. More than that, though, he was the life and soul of any party, in the UK or abroad.

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