Saturday 25 October 2014

Magic of amateurs stays on song for 100 years

Published 17/01/2013 | 05:00

IT DATES as far back as the Dublin lockout – and launched many successful careers from Terry Wogan to actor David Kelly.

The Rathmines and Rathgar Musical Society is the only musical society in Europe to boast a century of unbroken performances – uninterrupted by political or economic turmoil, the birth of a nation, or two world wars.

Members of the Rathmines and Rathgar (R&R) Musical Society came together at the Mansion House in Dublin to mark their centenary year.

And with them came broadcaster and lifelong supporter Gay Byrne, who said he had enjoyed many an R&R performance.

"I admire them greatly – for their enthusiasm and for persuading God knows how many people to get up on stage," he said.

He and Pat Campbell, President of the Society, reminisced about the friendships facilitated down the years – and also many romances – acknowledging that "the smell of grease paint can be a dangerous thing".

Asked about the secret of the society's longevity, Mr Campbell believes it is because of its amateur status. "People do their ordinary jobs and then they go home and have a cup of tea and then come out to rehearsals. And that's when the magic begins," he said.

He revealed that the society's audiences are quite classical in their tastes, preferring old favourites like 'Oklahoma' and 'The Mikado' to newcomers like 'The Producers'.

Irish Independent

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