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Wakefield Gilbert & Sullivan Society

Members’ Noticeboard

This page contains information for members, but visitors are welcome to take a look!

Dates for your Diary

Tuesday 5th January to 15th March 2016
Floor rehearsals for Yeomen at Sandal Methodist Church- see rehearsal schedule

Please let the chairman or secretary know if you cannot attend.

Wednesday 16th March to Saturday 19th March 2016

Yeomen of the Guard

St Austins Theatre, Wentworth Terrace, Wakefield

Friday 17th June 2016 – Sandal Hospice Fundraising Group

Sandal Methodist Church from 7pm

Sunday 3rd July 2016 – G@S for All Concert

Academy Theatre, Barnsley

Members are asked for their availability for both concerts so that a programme can be fixed.

Newsletters

To see a copy of the recent Society’s newsletters, click on the links below:
Newsletter spring 2017
Newsletter Autumn 2015
Newsletter Spring 2015
Newsletter Summer 2014
Newsletter Spring 2013
Newsletter Spring 2012
Newsletter Autumn 2011
Newsletter Summer 2011
March 2011 Newsletter
Newsletter Autumn 2010
March 2010 Newsletter
November 2009 Newsletter
March 2009 Newsletter

Society AGM

July 2013
Our thanks to those stalwart members who attended or gave apologies.

The most serious issue arising from the meeting is the lack of volunteers for the posts of chairman, treasurer, ticket secretary and general committee members. Without these roles being filled, the society cannot continue to function effectively, so please, please do consider whether you can help, or whether you know anyone who would volunteer. Committee positions do not have to be filled by singing members. The committee is quorate (just) and Jenny very kindly offered to be acting chairman until the post can be filled, in addition to acting as our librarian. However, it must be emphasised that just 5 people cannot do all that is required to run the society. We need more volunteers to act as committee members.

A special thank you is due to Gordon for his excellent work as chairman over the last 10 years. It was agreed that he deserved some time off for good behaviour, and it is a blow to the society that his work commitments no longer allow him to continue as chairman, though he was elected back on to the committee as an ordinary member (though it is doubtful that Gordon should ever be regarded as merely ordinary!).

Martin and Margaret stepped down from their positions as Treasurer and Ticket Secretary, and Ian’s term serving as a committee member also expired. All three deserve our heartfelt gratitude for their sterling efforts in these roles.

Graham bravely allowed himself to be nominated for the position of Business and Publicity Manager (after Amy stood down owing to her increased family commitments) and was duly elected with alacrity. He takes on this role in addition to his duties as patron’s secretary. Amy continues to serve on the committee and also acts as the website officer.

Thankfully, Jane was re-elected as secretary! Hurrah!

Other issues discussed included venues available for our next production, the society finances, the number of members, and the way risk is monitored.

The Open Forum following the meeting was a lively and very useful discussion ranging across many topics, but particularly about the style of our productions and fundraising ideas. Gordon and Jane were congratulated on the excellent work they do in the costume hire department.

If you have any ideas or suggestions which would benefit the society, please feel free to mention them to the committee at any time. Your support and fresh thinking is really needed to help the committee.

NB: Extraordinary General Meeting
At a subsequent meeting, further changes in officers were enacted. Gordon resumed the chair, Jane remains secretary, Jenny took on the role of Treasurer, Graham remains Business and Publicity officer with assistance from Amy, and Richard, Nadine, Peter and Helen were gratefully welcomed to the committee as ordinary members.

Splendid Singing at Walton and West Bretton

June and July 2013
Our concert to raise funds for the Walton RNLI Group went with a real swing and was a lovely evening. The audience feedback afterwards was that “the singing was splendid” and that it was clear we “all shared such joy in the music”. Fantastic! A big thank you to Jen and Neil, to all the soloists, and indeed, to everyone involved!

We gave a similar performance at West Bretton Church, which also went really well and was a effective fundraising event for the church. Oliver and a different group of equally talented soloists helped Jen make the evening a success, depite the inclement weather. Thank you again to everyone involved.

Social Evening

April 2013
A small group of dedicated members enjoyed an evening of quizzes and puzzles. It was a shame so many people were unwell and unable to make it.

New Year Dinner

January 2013
We returned to the Brookhouse Club for our Annual Dinner which was another slap up feast! Hats off to Graham for initiating the first WG&S “Bingo Quiz” which was challenging but entertaining. You’d be amazed how much some members of the society know about rivers!

Christmas Fuddle and Beetle Drive

December 2012
Sandal Cricket Club was the cosy setting for our Christmas party. Along with the obligatory tonnes of food and good company, we partook of our favourite pastime: one of Margaret’s Beetle Drives. With intellectual stimulation provided by Jenny and Stuart, it was another enjoyable evening. Thank you to everyone who helped, organised and attended.

Carol Singing 2012

November and December 2012
In a busy schedule of carol singing the society raised £200 for Wakefield Hospice as well as valuable funds for our own coffers. Thank you all for turning out in the cold and making this possible. This sort of fundraising activity is becoming increasingly important for the society, and relies on the commitment of members. Altogether now: Chig, Chig, Chig, Chig . . . .!

Charity Concerts 2012

September and October 2012
We gave three excellent concerts to raise money for local charities: The Calder Grove and Durkar Hospice Group, The Rotary Club of Normanton, and Dr Jackson’s Cancer Fund. Congratulations to Martin, Oliver and Norman, and a big thank you for your hard work. Well done to everyone else who took part with such willingness and flexibility. Thanks to you we have raised over £500 for local charities and very welcome money for our own coffers too. The nice thank you letter from the Calder Grove and Durkar fundraisers called the chorus “amazing” and says: “On leaving the hall, many people made a point of saying how much they had enjoyed the evening’s entertainment”. There is a complimentary report of the Rotary Club concert on their website: Normanton Rotary Club website and people at the Dr Jackson’s concert made a special effort to tell us how much they had enjoyed the evening.

Sewing Evening

Tuesday 4th September 2012 A dedicated team of volunteers met at Gordon and Jane’s to continue work on the costume collection. Alterations and repairs were made, lots of costumes labelled and catalogued, and the Mikado accessories were prepared for the next hire, so it was a very successful evening. Unbelievably, Jane ran out of jobs on her list! Thank you to everyone for your hard work.

Sewing sessions are fun!

Society AGM

Tuesday 31st July This was held at Sandal Methodist Church and there were biscuits! The committee remained the same except for Peter and Margaret stepping down. Their hard work was saluted. This leaves a couple of committee vacancies including the important role of ticket secretary, though Graham nobly volunteered to join the committee and will be officially co-opted at the next committee meeting. After the AGM was an EGM. This was an important meeting where we voted to adopt the new constitution which Jay, Ernie and the committee have worked so hard to develop over the last few years. Full details of the meeting, and the new constitution with the revised wording that was agreed on the night will be posted here soon. After the meetings, an Open Forum discussion was held. The notes from this are available here: Open Forum notes 2012.

WG&S Concert – Saturday 28th July 2012, 7:30pm

WG&S Concert at Sandal Methodist Church. This was a concert to raise funds for our own society, so it was great to see a respectably sized audience. The thrill of performance really brought the music to life and it was a very enjoyable evening. Hats off to Martin and Norman! Here is a copy of the programme and a few photos.

Ruddigore Auditions

These were held on Monday 23rd July 2012. The audition committee was Ian Downes, Jim Newby, and Jen Whittam. The audition pieces are listed here. The final cast is:

Robin Oakapple – Graham Weston

Richard Dauntless – Leon Waksburg

Sir Despard – Gordon Fawcett

Sir Roderick – David Parker  

Old Adam – Bobbie Greatorex

Rose Maybud – Maggie Lowe

Mad Margaret – Val Green

Dame Hannah – Jane Fawcett

Zorah – Catherine Jackson

Ruth – Pauline Hepkin

Treasure Hunt and Pie & Pea Supper

Friday 20th July 2012 Having been postponed once due to torrential rain, thankfully it was far less wet for the Treasure Hunt, through still raining! Nonetheless, it was a very enjoyable test of observation and lateral thinking skills. We give three cheers to Martin for devising and organising it! Then, we adjourned to the cosiness of Sandal Cricket Club for a delicious Pie & Pea supper, where our hosts, Stuart and Jenny, did a wonderful job keeping us all fed and watered. Many thanks to them and the Cricket Club. A very pleasant evening all round.

Carousel Theatre Trip

Tuesday 15th May 2012 A group of 20 members went to see Opera North’s production of Carousel at The Grand, Leeds. It was an excellent show, with wonderful singing and interesting directing. It was clearly a powerfully moving performance – half the audience were in tears by the end!

HMS Pinafore; show week and on tour

14th – 17th March; 23rd – 24th March 2012 Our run of Pinafore was really successful and everyone should congratulate themselves! A big thank you to everyone who helped the week go so well. The first few nights were nerve-racking with a large Dan shaped hole in the men’s chorus; bravo to Paul for stepping in. We particularly enjoyed working with Wakefield Sea Cadets who added extra youth and vitality to the show. We were all really impressed with their performances, and their helpfulness. They also made a good attempt at licking the men’s chorus into shape! We also gave two touring performances to help raise funds for local charities. The new venue of the Aulis Hall at the Pennine Community was a joy to sing in, and the audience was great too; really responsive and appreciative. We were also delighted to be invited back to the Whitfield Centre where the supportive audience really enjoyed Oliver’s customisation of the words to the Captain’s Song, and the cast were highly amused by the ad hoc creation of a companionway leading below deck!

New Year Dinner

Friday 13th January 2012 This was at the New Brookhouse Club, 221 Barnsley Road, Wakefield, WF1 5NU at 7.30pm A delicious meal in a very nice private room. A very enjoyable evening in good company. A splendid start to our social activities in 2012! Remind yourself of the menu here: menu for new year dinner2012 Congratulations and thanks to Jane for all the organisation, helped by Margaret.

Merrie England Repertoire Evening

3rd January 2012 Despite the gales and rain, this evening was very interesting as we listened to and sang along to a 1960′s cast recording of the show. It was fascinating to hear the similarities to G and S works in both lyrics and music, and the fish song is fast becoming a society favourite – perhaps one for the next concert programme! Thanks to Jim for his explanations and to the DJs.

Christmas Fuddle

20th December 2011 Thank you to Jenny and Stuart and the Sandal Cricket Club for their excellent hospitality. We enjoyed a first rate supper, some taxing quizzes, a vital fundraising raffle, followed by the traditional beetle drive. Congratulations to Margaret on organising another very successful event. Merry Christmas everyone!

Carol Singing

10th, 18th and 19th December 2011 Members with strong constitutions fought off the bugs going round and turned out in the cold and wind to provide a choir for our three carol singing events this year. Thank you to everyone who gave up their time to make this possible. As well as raising the profile of the society and being a chance to give out HMS Pinafore leaflets, we also managed to raise over £300 pounds which will be shared between Wakefield Hospice and our society – a fantastic result!

Summer Barbeque 2011

Saturday 30th July 2011 Once again Tony (with Beryl’s permission) agreed to let us use his house for the Society Bar-B-Q. Thank you to them for the excellent hospitality and quiz, and thanks to the social committee for organising the event. The weather was beautiful and a convivial evening was enjoyed by all.

Society AGM 2011

Tuesday 26th July 2011 The meeting was held at Sandal Methodist Church. Thank you to everyone who attended and to Tracey Turner for examining the accounts.

Committee

The committee elected was: Chairman – Gordon Fawcett (2 years to serve) Secretary – Jane Fawcett Treasurer – Martin Whitaker (with assistant Margaret Charlesworth) Business and Publicity Manager – Amy Downes Ticket Secretary – Peter Bolton Committee Members – Jenny Grove (1 year to serve), Ian Downes (2 years to serve) and Margaret Charlesworth (1 year to serve). We are short of one committee member and would like to ask for a volunteer to be co-opted on to the committee! If you would like to take a more active part in the running of the Society and see what it takes to organise a show, you will be made most welcome! The committee are a very friendly bunch, and meet once a month usually on a Monday evening. We rotate the venue around the member’s houses, so you don’t have to supply tea and coffee too often!

Social Committee

The main committee would like to hear from any member who has a burning desire (or even a slight inkling) to help with the social side of the society. Over the years we have had plenty of different social events including Barbecues, visits to the theatre, walks, cheese and wine evenings, dinners, visits to Grim’s Dyke etc. We are always interested in a social evening especially if food is involved! If you feel you have something to contribute to this area of the society, please let the secretary know as soon as possible!

Open Auditions for HMS Pinafore.

Monday 25th July 2011 There was a good turn out for the auditions, justifying the decision to move them from September to July, and making more work for the auditioning committee! The cast is as follows:- Sir Joseph Porter – Bobbie Greatorex Captain Corcoran – Oliver Longstaff Ralph Rackstraw – Anthony Farrimond Bill Bobstay (Boatswain) – Gordon Fawcett Bob Beckett (Carpenter) – Daniel Senior Dick Deadeye – Martin Whitaker Josephine – Alison Davies Cousin Hebe – Jane Fawcett Little Buttercup – Maggie Lowe

Sorcerer on Tour! – Saturday 9th April 2011

Many thanks to everyone who supported the Touring performance for the Society for the Blind in Batley. Hopefully it was an enjoyable experience; certainly it was lovely to have such an appreciative audience (and yummy scones again!). Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Paul who had to miss the show, and a huge thank you and well done to our incredible versatile male principals. To cover Paul’s part, every male solo role was played by a different person at just a few hours notice. Absolutely astounding and remarkably successful. Touring performances are likely to become very important for the health of the society finances, and they will not be possible without member support, so thank you everyone for your enthusiasm and professionalism. The event was very successful for all concerned, with over a thousand pounds raised for the Society for the Blind.

Sorcerer Feedback – April 2011

A Past Productions page has now been created for The Sorcerer at http://wakefieldgilbertandsullivan.org.uk/?page_id=1657 and there is lots of information and photos there. If you have anything to add; photos, feedback, comments etc, please let Amy know: contact@wakefieldgilbertandsullivan.org.uk

WG&S New Years Dinner – Tuesday 4th January 2011

This was held at Heath Cottage Restaurant,Wakefield Road, Dewsbury, WF12 8ET this year, and was another chance to “eat, drink and be merry”. We also sang for our supper in a witty parody of “Now to the Banquet We Press”. Thanks to Gill and the social committee for frighteningly efficient organisation as usual. You can look back at the menu if you want a reminder!

Entertainment for Pinderfields Hospital Volunteers

On Monday 6th December 2010, we provided musical entertainment for the Pinderfields Hospital Volunteers at their Christmas Party. We sang a mixture of choruses and solos from The Sorcerer and Christmas carols from 1:45 to 2:15pm at the Brookhouse Club, Barnsley Road, Wakefield. It was a fun afternoon and a pleasure to perform.

Wakefield Gilbert and Sullivan Society Christmas Party

Our Christmas Party was on Tuesday 14th December 2010 and we enjoyed an evening of fun and games, organised by our Social team. The usual ‘fuddle’ rules applied, so we all brought food and had a fantastic spread. The Beetle Drive was as competitive as ever!

Data Protection Policy – November 2010

With relief, the committee have finished crafting the Data Protection Policy! Here is a link to the complete version in PDF format: WG&S_DDP If you have any questions about it, please talk to Gordon or Amy.

The Merry Widow – Leeds Grand Theatre – Friday 22nd October 2010

This was a very enjoyable night out at the Grand. The costumes were gorgeous and the set was beautiful (most of the men really appreciated the movable lights!). Thanks to Margaret for organising the night out. Opera North have excelled again!

Come and Sing event – Tuesday 12th October 2010

It was good to see some new faces at this open rehearsal, and everyone enjoyed singing some of the big double choruses from our favourite shows. We hope some of the visitors will go on to become members too.

The Sorcerer – Auditions – 6th September 2010

The auditions for Sorcerer were held on Monday 6th September at College Grove Sports Club. Here is the cast list: Sorcerer 2011 Cast List

Concert at West Bretton Church – Sunday 5th September 2010

We performed a musical medley of G&S and other pieces to a small but appreciative audience. It was a good show with excellent and varied solos, and thanks to our brilliant MD and accompanist team of Jen and Martin. After all his rude comments in his outrageous script, our amazing compère Peter had better look out! We particularly enjoyed the audience participation. Thank you to everyone who came or took part.

Society AGM – 3rd Aug 2010

The AGM was held on 3rd August 2010 at Sandal Methodist Church. Thank you to those who came. The new committee elected is: Chair: Gordon Fawcett Secretary: Jane Fawcett Treasurer: Martin Whitaker Patron’s Secretary: Jenny Grove Ticket Secretary: Peter Bolton Business and Publicity: Amy Downes Ordinary members: Margaret Charlesworth, Ian Downes (co-opted), Ernie Lowe (co-opted) There were 2 committee vacancies after the AGM had concluded. The committee could therefore co-opt onto the committee to complete the team. This ensures that the committee members are not overworked (as it is a hobby) and to ensure there is proper debate over items that affect the Society. Ernie Lowe (our past Secretary) volunteered to be co-opted onto the committee to assist our new secretary. Ian Downes also volunteered to be co-opted onto the committee and will no doubt be assisting our Publicity Manager. The committee thank both for giving up time to help Society.

Society Barbecue 2010

Another really enjoyable social event (July 31st 2010) and it didn’t rain!

Concert Performances on Saturday 17th July

A BIG thank you to Jen and Martin and those that took part in the day, for their enthusiasm in poor weather, and for their willingness to travel across Yorkshire on the day making these concerts possible. The performers looked very professional and were complimented on their performances. Concerts like these allow us to enjoy a different repertoire as well as the G&∓S favourites, and are an opportunity for members to perform chamber pieces and solos. They are important to help fund the society as well as raising our profile, and they are a great excuse for a get-together too!

Newmillerdam Concert – Village Green Day.

The concert was beneath an army tent, fortunately, as the weather did not help to entice people to the event. We started the day’s proceedings, and were followed by a 10ft tall Green Man!! We had to leave before the main events, but the Village Green day was a success.

All Souls Church Concert – Churches Conservation Trust.

After an hours drive from Newmillerdam, and a brief look at the exhibition space at All Souls, we performed after the Punch and Judy Show! This time the concert was to close the event and was very well received, and helped the Churches Conservation Trust make use of the marvellous building.

Mikado Concert Version.

Many thanks to everyone who took part in our concert performance of the Mikado at Soothill last Saturday (15th May 2010). This was a new venture for the society, in that it was performed with most of the libretto and with the Principals in full costume, and with a 45 minute interval while the audience retired to another room to eat! Our efforts were well received – so much so that we have been asked to perform again next year! Another plus is that, unlike most shows, we did not make a loss!

Mikado Concert May 2010

Mikado Concert May 2010

Sad news

It was with great sadness that the Society received the news that Mr John Milner passed away on the 21st March. A very keen walker, John was preparing a charity walk in aid of The Wakefield Hospice when he collapsed from a heart attack. John and Diane have been great supporters of our Society for a number of years, and both attended our Gondoliers performance on the last night with John taking his usual place along side Richard and Gordon to thank the Society for its hard work. He is will be greatly missed.

The Gondoliers – March 2010

Information about the show and photos have now been added to the past productions page. If you have any pictures that you want to share, please let Amy know. DVDs of the show are also available.

Gondoliers Feedback

From Chris Ingram (NODA Councillor) : “Please could you pass on our congratulations to everyone involved with The Gondoliers for a most enjoyable evening of traditional G&S just as the Savoy Operas were designed to be by the authors. Great singing, from everyone, the principals, and the whole ensemble, with an excellent set and costumes. I was also pleased to see that you had a good audience tonight and I do hope that has been the same throughout the week. Thank you also for arranging for the hospitality we received – the society was well served by your host, Mark Briggs.” cachucha act 1

Society “New Year” Dinner – 19th February 2010

Having been postponed owing to the snow in January, we braved sub-zero temperatures to finally enjoy our annual dinner on the 19th February 2010 at the Three Houses, Sandal. It was well worth the wait, and although several key members sadly couldn’t make it, the rest of us still had a great time. It was a delicious meal in cosy surroundings with convivial company and everyone had a very pleasant evening. Many thanks are due to Margaret for her excellent organisation of the evening.

Carol singing – December 2009

The committee wish to thank all those who turned out to sing carols at Morrisons before Christmas. An amount of around £150 was collected so we were able to make a donation to the Hospice. Thanks also to Jen &∓ Jay for their hospitality at “the count”!

Concerts – September 2009

West Bretton

The West Bretton concert was extremely well received and was another good opportunity to showcase the talents of the society. Congratulations to everyone involved, and special thanks to Jen and Oliver.Bretton Concert September 2009

South Milford

Everyone seemed to enjoy the South Milford concert, possibly the participants even more so than the audience! Thank you and well done everyone, especially Neil who did brilliantly with not much time to rehearse, and Jen who once again succeeded in keeping us all up to scratch. Thanks are also due to Ernie for acting as compere (and for his homage to Eric Morecambe and Andre Previn!) South Milford concert programme

AGM – 21st July 2009

The AGM this year was held on the 21st July at College Grove. Thank you to everyone who came. Two new committee members were elected: Margaret and Ellie. Kath stood down, but happily for us, is still on the social committee. Ellie later decided not to take up her place on the committee and Beryl was co-opted. Unfortunately, the critical role of Business and Publicity Manager remained vacant all year, so Jane had to put in extra work (for which we are very grateful) to do the essentials alongside her official job as ticket secretary.

Society Barbecue – 18th July 2009

Very many thanks to Jen & Jay for their hospitality (especially the home-brew!) and to all members who attended and helped to make this a most enjoyable afternoon and evening. Miracle of miracles – the weather was kind, especially after the downpour of the previous day! Thanks to Kath, Peter and Gordon for the work they put into organising the pevent. Ernie won the putting competition with just 8 strokes for the five holes!

Theatre Trip – Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Great show at the Grand last night (June 30th 2009) – hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did! Such energy! Amazing choreography! It was great to see everyone coming out with smiles on their faces.

Walton Concert – 20th June 2009

December 2012

A big thank you to all who took part in this event. The concert went well and was enjoyed by a large audience. Feedback was excellent. In particular, thanks must go to Jen for her quiet but firm conducting which showed in the performances of the ensemble pieces, and also to Norman for his sympathetic playing. The low pitch of the piano posed challenges for some of the performers but all rose (or should that be sank?) to them magnificently. Thanks also to Margaret for her hospitality after the event which rounded off a most enjoyable evening.

Mikado programme photos

Photos from The Mikado are now available. There are more in the gallery on past productions page.Chorus of schoolgirls The Merry Widow – Leeds Grand Theatre – Friday 22nd October 2010
Great show at the Grand last night (June 30th 2009) – hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did! Such energy! Amazing choreography! It was great to see everyone coming out with smiles on their face

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