Willie’s enthusiasm for Gilbert and Sullivan dates from his teenage years, when he got to know most of the operas through listening to recordings and playing from the scores. His first real involvement with a G&S performance had to wait until he conducted a performance of Trial by Jury when he was Principal Teacher of Music in a Glasgow secondary school. He has actually conducted “Trial” on two further occasions; a church choir concert version in the 1980s, and our 2004 summer concert. He also conducted the Inverness Opera Company’s 1991 production of The Gondoliers in Inverness’s Eden Court Theatre, and Sullivan’s The Zoo in our 2005 summer concert.
Gilbert and Sullivan remained on the back-burner until he moved to Dunfermline and saw the company’s 2003 performance of Iolanthe; he was impressed, and he and his wife, Joy, have been members of the chorus since. The part of the Carpenter’s Mate, Bob Becket, in the 2008 performance of HMS Pinafore was Willie’s first solo role with the company, and this year he is playing First Yeoman.
An organist since the age of 16, perhaps the best-known church he has worked in was the famous Round Church in Bowmore, Isle of Islay. Willie is now Deputy Organist at Dunfermline Abbey, and he greatly enjoys accompanying Limelight concert group, some of whose singers feature in the gallery of Dunfermline G&S stars. Willie also plays for principals’ rehearsals, and is a past Chairman of the Society.
Appearances with Dunfermline Gilbert & Sullivan Society
|The Yeomen of the Guard
|Bob Becket (Carpenters Mate)
|The Pirates of Penzance
|Trial by Jury