Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New awards for singers

Traditionally the Choir awards Life Membership for those who have given exceptional service, usually in its administration, and we thought it timely in this celebratory year to recognise long membership too.

We are introducing the George R. West award for 40 years membership, and the G.M. Thomson award for 20 years membership. The choir archives include badges for all members (not specific awards) to be worn on the lapel; the new awards are clutch pins, and will be worn on the lapels of our formal uniform.

George R. West Award for 40 years membership

George R. West was involved in the founding of many of Dunedin’s early musical institutions, including City Choir Dunedin’s first incarnation – The Dunedin Philharmonic Society – in 1863. Having begun as its Secretary, West was conductor from 1864 to 1866; the Society lasted little more than a year after his resignation. West resurrected the Society – now known as the ‘Dunedin Choral Society’ – in 1871, and was its conductor until 1873, when he resigned to take on the running of the Society’s orchestra. Although the
orchestra soon became a separate organisation, West continued to be involved with the Choral Society until
at least 1880, including another stint as conductor in 1879-80.

G.M. Thomson Award for 20 years membership

G.M. Thomson joined the Dunedin Choral Society as a tenor soon after its foundation in 1871, and was a member of the committee by 1876. Although the Choral Society collapsed in 1887, the success of the ad hoc choir for the 1889 NZ Exhibition in Dunedin prompted Thomson to restart it (as the Dunedin Musical Association) in 1891, and after a further period of chaos and inactivity, more successfully – again as the ‘Dunedin Choral Society’ – in 1897. Thomson served as committee member, secretary, vice-president and president from this date until his death in 1933.

The inaugural presentation ceremony will be held at the Nature’s Bounty concert on 23 March, Knox Church. The recipients are:

George R. West Award
Wendy Coppin (43)
Glennie Jamieson (51)
Gillian Watson (43)

G.M. Thomson Award
John Bähr (30)
Natalie Baylis (34)
Tree Cocks (20)
Brian Cox (36)
Lyn Dowsett (25)
Ken Drew (24)
Colin Gibson (27)
Gwenda Glendining (29)
Isla Griffin (32)
Carol Kempton (35)
Clare Kennelly (24)
Ann Knight (29)
Julia Lawson (26)
Polly Mason (26)
Jeanette McQuillan (35)
Carol Montgomery (37)
Bren Moore (38)
Maggie Peake (21)
Judy Russell (28)
Graham Shirley (33)
Roland Storm (33)
Warren Tate (22)
Judy Tucker (21)
Loraine Whitwell (25)
Annette Winter (24)

The number in brackets is the total number of years, to 2012, that the singer has been a member of the Choir. Congratulations to you all; we commend your dedication and tenacity!

Photos of the awards presentation are now available!

No comments: