What do I need to become a member?
Mostly you need enthusiasm, plus a willingness to dress up, apply make-up, and generally be an idiot on stage! The only time you get asked to show what you can do on your own (the webmaster’s definition of ‘audition’) is when you ask to be chosen for a principal role in a show or to sing solo at a concert
You also need time, though some members manage to ‘double’ at the Kirkcaldy and Edinburgh Societies! Most years rehearsals for our main show in February start in late August, and we start preparing in mid-March for a summer, which is mainly for raising funds, but also gives solo opportunities to a wider range of members. [Because of holidays and work commitments, not every member sings at both show and concert, but we try and encourage this]
What experience do I need?
We have members of all ages, and with a wide variety of experience from almost nothing to 40+ years. So there is no problem about not having been on stage before, or not being much (or indeed anything) of a sight-reader, provided that you are prepared to practice and to stay concentrated on what you are doing. At the end of the day, however, being able to remember your lines and movements, and still sing your own part, helps enormously! But that is what rehearsals are for, and G&S is a ‘team sport’ where we all try to help each other.
What does membership involve?
Mostly it involves being there when needed! Chorus rehearsals are in Dunfermline on Wednesday evenings, with rehearsals on Monday evenings for principals: most run from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. However, during the month or six weeks before a show, rehearsals are also held on Sunday afternoons from 2.00/2.30pm to 5.00/5.30pm. We take it in turns to help serve interval refreshments – opportunity for a blether as well as a rest.
For most shows and concerts we start with a “cunning plan”, an example of which is at this link, but this is adapted to meet circumstances, so you need to be a bit flexible and to keep in touch. We appreciate that not everyone can get to every rehearsal, but we do ask members to advise the production team of any unavoidable absence.
We are a friendly group, with a fair number of extroverts, so don’t expect to stay a ‘wallflower’ for long if you don’t want to! Some members take refreshment at a local hostelry after evening rehearsals, but this isn’t obligatory. During Show Week we usually have a mid-week theatre supper and a post-show party, and throughout the year there are usually other opportunities to have fun.
Of course, being a member means that you can get stuck into the many jobs that need doing to make sure that the show runs smoothly, you can vote at our May AGM, and you can even join the committee!
What does it cost?
The membership subscription for 2019–20 is £120, when paid as a single payment by 31 October 2019, but we try to encourage members to pay the subscription by standing order in twelve monthly instalments of £10 between May 2019 and April 2020. (There are concessions for students and the unemployed) Our Treasurer, Anne Dolbear, will be delighted to supply you with the appropriate form or details for on-line banking.
Whichever way you look at it, membership is a bargain at under £2.50 per week, including refreshments at rehearsals.
When can I join?
For performing members, music rehearsals for the main show start in late August, and production rehearsals typically start in late October, so the ‘window of opportunity’ effectively closes in early October. For the summer concert, there is a second ‘window’ between mid-March and the end of April. Details of rehearsal start dates are posted on the Members page.
The way forward
The best way to explore whether our Society is for you is to come along to our next rehearsal. We meet on Wednesdays at the Whitefield Day Hospital in Dunfermline: the location and some directions are at http://tinyurl.com/ctayy9. To make sure of a welcome, do please introduce yourself to our Chair, Morag Riley.
What do I need to bring?
For your first sessions, nothing! If you already possess a copy of the vocal score for the current show, do bring it. If you don’t have one, copies are available for hire or purchase at the beginning of each season.
For further information, please email our Chair.