Musical Background - Paisley Musical and Operatic Society

Coats Memorial Church

Coats Memorial Church
- PMOS's rehearsal venue.

I joined Paisley Musical and Operatic Society (PMOS) in the summer of 1984, after seeing their productions of "The New Moon", "Show Boat" and a very impressive "Oklahoma!". I had a very enjoyable time for the next eight years during which my musical ability improved by way of a number of small principal parts and chorus work in the diverse Broadway shows which the Society performed.

PMOS rehearsed in Paisley, but performed every spring at the King's Theatre, Glasgow. This meant that they had a wider catchment area for their audience, and some shows were very popular as a result. The Society also provided special buses to take its elderly patrons from Paisley to the city theatre.

One of my favourite memories was playing to a full house of over 1200 on the Saturday evening of "My Fair Lady" in 1987. I also enjoyed my first show, "Gigi", when I played the part of the lawyer, Maitre Dufresne, in a sung-through scene depicting a legal contract negotiation.

PMOS Concert Party

PMOS Concert Party at Paisley Town Hall 1988

Additional valuable experience was gained through PMOS's Concert Party, whose purpose was to promote block booking sales for the annual production. I was welcomed into the 15 - 20 strong group almost immediately after joining the Society. Each year, a specially themed programme of six or seven sections was devised, ending with a selection from the forthcoming annual production. This was performed during the winter months to various organisations throughout Glasgow, Paisley and the surrounding area. Finding some of the venues could be a challenge in itself. The facilities for quick costume changes could be very limited, and sometimes production numbers had to be altered at short notice to deal with the confines of the stage - if there was one! As well as performing chorus numbers, we each teamed up with a partner to cover a number of solos or duets. Each of us would perform half of our allotted songs at one performance, and then swap to perform the other numbers at the next performance. When someone was absent, their partner would perform all of the songs. There were about 20 concerts between October and April each year, finishing with a couple of performances at Paisley Town Hall as part of the annual Paisley Festival.

Coats Memorial Church

Presentation of my 15 year NODA award from former PMOS Musical Director Arthur Brown

I performed in seven Concert Party seasons :

  • 1984/85 - "All At Sea"
  • 1985/86 - "A Night At The Movies"
  • 1986/87 - "It'll Be All Right On The Night"
  • 1987/88 - "The Grand Hotel"
  • 1988/89 - "Something For Everyone"
  • 1989/90 - "Happy Holidays"
  • 1990/91 - "We Did It Our Way"

PMOS were members of the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) and during my time as a member of the Society, I gained my 10 and 15 year long service NODA awards. I also attended the very popular NODA weekends at Peebles Hydro in 1989 and 1990 which gave me the opportunity to compare our Society with others from Scotland. PMOS also ran a number of its own social events throughout the year.

The current activities of the Society can be found at the Paisley Musical and Operatic Society web site.