Operatic Society celebrate 50th year

Pictured are the cast for BAOS 50th anniverary show
Pictured are the cast for BAOS 50th anniverary show

Brechin Amateur Operatic Society is set to celebrate its 50th year with a special anniversary show from September 4 to September 6.

The show - ‘50 Years of Song’ - will include songs from a number of productions put on by the group over the past 50 year. Numbers such as ‘This is my lovely day from original production’ (Bless the Bride, 1965), ‘Habenera’ (Carmen 1969), ‘Ol’ Man River’ (Show Boat, 1989), ‘The Sound of Music’ (The Sound of Music, 2000), ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ (Carousel, 2008) and ‘Black Hills of Dakota’ (Calamity Jane, 2013) are all set to feature.

The anniversary show will also feature original members from the 1964 group - Wilma Smith, Ken Aitken, Jean Fitchett, June Thom, Margaret Ramsay.

The original Brechin Amateur Operatic Society was formed in 1864 and continued until 1934 when the retirement of conductor and Society stalwart James Hollingworth put an end to productions.

The group was reconstituted again in April 1964, and the revived Society performed ‘Bless the Bride’.

The president of the society 50 years ago was Provost James Millar, who held the post for 10 years. In his foreword for the society’s production of ‘Bless the Bride’ he said: “I sincerely believe that the revival of the Society will fill a long-felt want in the cultural activities of our community, and I hope, that ‘Bless the Bride’ will be the first of many enjoyable annual performances.”

A spokesperson for the current BAOS group said: “We are delighted that Provost Millar’s hope was fulfilled and in all but one of the succeeding 49 years Brechin Amateur Operatic Society has indeed provided an annual performance for the Brechin public.”

In his President’s Welcome for ‘The Producers’, which was performed earlier this year, current BAOS president Steve Middleton said he was honoured to be president during the 50th anniversary. He said: “The longevity of the Society is testament to the hard work and dedication of the many members of the Society over the last 50 years, not just those of us who just happen to be at the helm as the Society reaches this milestone.

“Throughout this time each year the Society has brought live musical entertainment to the City Hall stage. I also believe that our Society has played a significant role in the local community, providing many newcomers to the City with somewhere to meet new friends and socialise. I see no reason why this should not continue to be the case for many more years to come.”

Mr Middleton also paid tribute to the audience support. He added: “It is only your willingness to support the Society by coming back year after year to see our performances that allows us to keep on enjoying this hobby. The same must also be said of the Honorary Members of the Society whose unstinting financial support each year cannot be understated. On behalf of all members of the Society I thank you all.”

Tickets for the anniversary show, which starts at 7.30 p.m. can be purchased from Robinson’ Opticians, St David Street.

Rehearsals for next year’s production, ‘Curtains’, start on Tuesday, September 23,in the City Hall – new members welcome.BAOS can be contacted on info@brechinamateuroperatic.co.uk or on www.facebook.com/BrechinAmateurOperaticSociety.