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CENTENARY CONCERT

100th Birthday!
Pickering Musical Society is planning to celebrate its 100th birthday later this month with a two night concert showcasing music from shows it has performed over the last century.

Officially formed in 1919, Pickering had a vibrant musical scene before the 1st World War and plans for forming an official musical society had been around since 1914. With the war came the departure of many men from Pickering and the surrounding area so it wasn’t until 1919 that the society was formally created.

Formed by music lovers of the town including Mrs Kirk of Houndgate Hall, the society performed its first production in the summer of 1919, the operetta “Cupid & the Ogre”. Following the great success of the production the society then began to plan more concerts and operas. The years that followed saw the society stage nearly all Gilbert & Sullivan’s famous works and the first pantomime followed in 1922 in the newly opened Memorial Hall.

The larger performances of operettas, musicals and pantomimes then took a break during the Second World War and Pickering Musical Society did its bit by performing smaller musical revues and concerts raising funds for the war effort.

Heading into the fifties the society began to perform more musicals and pantomimes which were performed annually at the Memorial Hall. This post war period of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s saw the audiences and membership grow considerably and pantomimes were performed to full houses of over 300 for more than two weeks.

Coincidentally this year also marks the 40th anniversary of the Kirk Theatre the home of Pickering Musical Society. The former Methodist Chapel on Hungate was purchased in 1979 and work started immediately converting the chapel into a theatre. From 1981 when the first production was performed the musical society and Kirk Theatre has gone from strength to strength.

The later part of the 20th century saw the NYMR introduce the Railway at War Weekend and this formed the basis of a third annual production for the Musical Society - a revue of music from the wartime period.

Now in our 100th year we are all so very proud that we have managed to make this historic milestone and we invite the people of Pickering and the surrounding area together with members and friends past and present to come along to our birthday concert A Centenary of Song on Friday 28th & Saturday 29th June. The concert will feature both members of Pickering Musical Society, our Youth group and members of the Sarah Louise Ashworth School of Dance.