Show postponement

The rehearsals for Princess Ida have been really enjoyable, and all the participants have been looking forward to the show taking place in February. However, with Covid infection rates still increasing and Government advice being that no more than three households should mix socially, it doesn’t seem sensible to continue face-to-face rehearsals. Having to miss an unknown number of rehearsals at such a critical stage in the show’s preparation – only seven weeks to opening night – means that there would be a real risk of the show not reaching peak performance standard so, regretfully, the Committee have decided that we should postpone the show scheduled for 18–19 February 2022.

Our production director has been tasked with negotiating alternative dates with Carnegie Hall, so please watch this website for news of the new date for our production of Princess Ida and a revised schedule for rehearsals.

RIP Geoff

We were saddened at a recent rehearsal to learn of the sudden and unexpected death on 29 November 2021, aged 76, of Geoff Strong, a long-standing member who was one of our Princess Ida team. Our chair, Morag Riley, writes:

Geoff Strong joined DGASS in 1990 and his first performance was HMS Pinafore. Since then he has sung in every show the society has put on, as well as many concerts and carol-singing. He was truly a chorus man, putting his heart and soul into every performance. His stage presence was exuberant, to say the least.

But Geoff was more than that. As Publicity Manager, he was the face of DGASS throughout the years from the days when we would take part in the annual Hobbies Exhibition in the Glen Pavilion, to more recent promotions around Dunfermline, including at the Kingsgate shopping centre. So many people have been delighted to be serenaded by Geoff as he was publicising our latest show. Many were won over by his infectious good humour and encouraged to buy tickets, or even to join the society.

Actually, Geoff was liable to burst into song at the slightest provocation, not only G&S, but maybe something from The Desert Song. He would do this in any location from street to church. This is a memory common even to people who had only recently met him.

If you were new to the Society, Geoff would be the first to greet you and introduce you around. You never felt a stranger when he was there. He was interested in people, and always made a point of finding out about you, remembering your story too. Even those whose only interaction with Geoff was over Zoom were charmed with his quirky show-related artefacts.

Geoff will be missed by us all, and he has left a hole that will be difficult to fill. So many members have fond memories of being on stage with him. He was a one off. Just being around him made you feel happy. I’d like to think that being around us made him happy too. RIP Geoff – we will miss you.

The headline image comes from our 2020 show programme. Here are some more images of Geoff:

Rehearsal cancellation

From our Secretary:

NODA advice is to cancel rehearsals that are this side of Christmas so we, in common with many other groups, are reluctantly cancelling this evening’s rehearsal. Sorry about the short notice!

We intend to return to rehearsal on Wednesday 5 January, but you will receive further updates. Meantime look at Rae’s videos on Facebook. Please practise all your moves. Get your vocal score out and practise the music too. Principals practise your dialogue!

Meanwhile, have a lovely Christmas and New Year! Stay safe and protect your loved ones.

Recovering connections

Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society, Fife’s Community Orchestra, is very much still in business despite the pandemic, and working towards its Christmas concert at 3.00pm on Saturday 12 December  in the Orchestra’s home, the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy. You’ll be able to enjoy a pleasant Christmas-themed programme, for which John Gourlay (who plays oboe in the DGASS orchestra in normal times, so not 2022!) has written a specially-commissioned work – “We Wish You a Merry Fugue”.

Note that this year, because of understandable nervousness about large numbers, there is just one concert, rather than the usual two, and there will be no choir, no narration and no communal singing. Just music!  Important to note is that there are limited numbers of tickets available, and these have to be pre-booked, so buy your tickets now from Ellen Patrick!

Further details on the poster linked to the image.

Music on Sundays

The Dunfermline Arts Guild series of chamber music concerts – “Music on Sundays” – has been a casualty of COVID-19, but we’re delighted that there’s a special concert at 7:30pm on Sunday 14 November. Their usual venue at the Carnegie Hall Studio is currently closed, so the concert will take place in nearby Viewfield Baptist Church.

GAIA are an award-winning violin and cello duo, combining two of Scotland’s most distinguished chamber musicians – Katrina Lee and Alice Allen. GAIA are winners of Chamber Music Scotland’s highly competitive and prestigious two-year residency, and the Arts Guild have been fortunate to secure a date on their tour of Scotland. The programme combines well-known pieces by Corelli and Ravel with interesting compositions by an overlooked female composer and a new commission from Sally Beamish. Bring your facemask and £12 and be prepared to enjoy a stimulating evening. Better still, book in advance. All the details you need are at this link.

Sociability is back!

The BIG news is that from Wednesday 13 October we’ll be able to have a cuppa before the rehearsal. From 7.00pm, if you bring your own cup, we’ll have the tea/coffee/milk. A chance to catch up, without the rush at half-time.

We also hope that there will be a Christmas meal out at the Pitbauchlie on Friday 10 DecemberJack Archibald will have copies of the menu available for perusal at the next rehearsal, so please take a look, and let Jack know if you are interested, so that he can get this organised.

Princess Ida team announced

We were greatly encouraged to hear at last night’s rehearsal that, with the exception of one minor part, we now have a complete cast of principals for Princess Ida.

You’ll see from the cast list at this link that several principals who have previously performed with the Society are back after a period of absence, and we are delighted to welcome new faces and fresh voices, many from across the Forth. It promises to be a very well-sung show!

Rae will be finalising the chorus placements in the very near future so, if you or your friends are hesitating about joining in the fun, you need to make that decision very soon, and make contact with Rae today.

Next appearance

Pirates 2023

Your next chance to see the Society on stage will be on 16–18 February 2023, when we are back at Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline, for our twice-delayed 50th anniversary production of The Pirates of Penzance.

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