Dungannon Choral Society to mark 80 years with Burnavon show

Dungannon Choral Society will celebrate its 80th anniversary with an event in the Burnavon Cookstown on March 27
Dungannon Choral Society will celebrate its 80th anniversary with an event in the Burnavon Cookstown on March 27

It is 80 years since Dungannon Choral Society first performed on stage, and to celebrate its special birthday it has booked the Burnavon Theatre Cookstown on 27 March for a concert of its favourite music.

Much of the programme will be well known and greatly loved songs from modern films and musicals.

Feet will tap as the choir sings melodies from Richard Rodgers’ ‘Sound of Music’ – tunes like Do-Re-Mi, June is Bustin’ out all Over, Oklahoma and You’ll never Walk Alone.

The haunting song ‘Ashokan Farewell’ from the film ‘The Civil War’, and ‘Hushabye Mountain’, will contrast with the lively theme from ‘New York, New York’, and the meditative ‘So Deep the night’ based on Chopin’s lovely music. And there is lots more! Gemma Prince, well known for her lovely soprano voice, and Owen Lucas, an up-and-coming Oboist from Coagh will also be performing.

The choir will be singing under their Conductor Meta Bell, MBE DL, who has been with Dungannon Choral Society as a choir member, soloist since 1981, and conductor since 2001.

Meta was the daughter of a music teacher, and studied singing under Mary Johnston.

She was a member of Belfast Philharmonic Society, and as a Mezzo Soprano competed successfully at music festivals throughout Northern Ireland.

Meta achieved the Trinity College London Performer’s Certificate in Singing, and now teaches singing in the Cookstown area. She is no newcomer to the Burnavon Theatre having produced the Young Performers’ Concerts there, and her Cookstown Youth Choir for many years.

She is the Trinity College London Representative for Music Examinations in the Cookstown area and in recognition of her work in promoting music in the area over many years, Meta was awarded the MBE in 2008, and last year was honoured as Deputy Lieutenant for Tyrone.

The Accompanist, Susan Stewart was appointed in 2001.

Susan is an accomplished pianist and organist who learnt to play the piano under the tuition of the late Hilda Robinson, who herself was the Society’s accompanist for many years.

She also learnt to play the organ in St Anne’s, when her father, the late Canon O’Connor was Rector of Drumglass Parish.

All the soloists in previous years have commended her skills as a musician and accompanist, and the choir value her great sense of humour allied, to her acute sense of hearing! She and Meta really complement each other!

Tickets for the 80th anniversary celebration are only available through the Theatre, by telephone at 028 8676 9949, or online at www.burnavon.com