Pippa Wills

Pippa Wills was Chair of the Society from 1997-98, presiding over that year's production of Pinafore.

Pippa Wills’ Chair’s Report

I’ll begin by plagiarising many previous chairs’ programme blurbs and saying that “it has been a busy and exciting year for the society”. So, here’s what has happened…

The year began with the JCM at which Val and Mhairi were elected and the new computer password was changed and immediately leaked to Mr. Bignell. After a rushed couple of rehearsals, we went to Goole for our annual concert and as always were lovingly looked after by Mr and Mrs Allen afterwards! This was followed by the film premiere of ‘The Mikado’ (where we realised just how short those skirts really looked!), so we all went off to the Willow.

After Easter we began working on our repertoire for concerts. In the first half of the term some admin things happened that need to be mentioned. Firstly, it was decided not to give any money to ‘Faust’, but support from the society was offered. There was a request made for full details for the society's income and expenditure to be given (as it hadn’t been at the AGM) and an EGM was called to do this. The charities’ officer on the committee resigned (Note: see the Jo Dubé Affair) and was replaced by Simon Offord at the same meeting.

Our first concert was in Osbaldwick church on the 12th June and despite the bad weather and taxi driver not knowing where to go, it was a good concert and an appreciative audience. Two days later we held a reunion to celebrate 25 years of the society. This consisted of rehearsals during the day and a concert in Heslington Church in the evening. Attendance from ex-members and audience were low, but everyone agreed it was a good concert and those who came seemed to enjoy themselves! Our final concert of the term was at the Merchant Adventurer’s Hall where we sang at a charity dinner. This was very well-received although whether this was due to our beautiful singing or the large amount of alcohol consumed by the audience, I don’t know. We were paid £50 for our services, however, so we can’t have been that bad! The term ended with a social in the Hole in the Wall and we all went home and had three months free from G&S.

Last term began with a very successful Freshers’ Fair in which we gained loads of lovely new members (and we beat Glee Club for once!) and people were signed up for auditions. At the first meeting we watched a video of HMS Pinafore to ‘inspire us and then got down to the real work of putting on the show. Auditions happened at the end of week two, and an amazingly brilliant cast was chosen. We had the read-through the following week where the principals realised just what they’d let themselves in for, the men wondered whether they’d look good in uniform and the girlies wondered why G&S never wrote anything decent for them to sing. Rehearsals continued and the show began to take shape and we held a cealidh for St. Andrew’s Day. More boring admin stuff happened. Rob Stephenson resigned as treasurer, another EGM was held (just to keep up the tradition of one a term) and Ruth was elected treasurer. It was also felt that an assistant treasurer was needed and Abi, our devoted stage manager was elected. The term ended with us singing carols at the Retreat, with the help of several Glee Club members, and was obviously much appreciated by those listening.

After the Christmas holidays, everyone realised just how near the show was and everything began happening very quickly. Rehearsals became twice weekly and with Mhairi’s cries of “watch me” and Val’s of “let’s just add this little dance”, as well as a lot of behind-the-scenes work by the production crew and committee, we managed to get the show in to Central Hall. The show ran from Thursday 12th to Saturday 14th February and was fab! I really hope everyone involved enjoyed themselves.

The show and the running of the society for the last year wouldn’t have been possible without the help of a few people. Can I take this opportunity to say a personal thanks to them.
Val- for all her hard work and commitment.
Mhairi- for being a brilliant MD and personal assistant to the chair.
Fiona- for being so organised and level-headed.
Ruth- for stepping in halfway through the year and doing a great job, and Abi for helping her.
Carrie and Christine- for being so cheerful, especially during show week.
Alexis and Liz- for putting up with cries of “my dress looks like a tent- do something!” all the way through show week.
Marcus, Helen, John- for being great at their jobs.
And Simon- for dragging hundreds of old ladies off the street and giving them a good time.
All the production crew and techies for all their hard work that often goes unnoticed.
And thanks to everyone for making my year so exciting!!!

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