There was great excitement in Ballinrobe this weekend when the nominations were announced for the annual Association of Irish Musical Societies Awards. Ballinrobe have been nominated in eight categories, including the coveted Best Overall Show category, for their world amateur premiere of The Pirate Queen. Society stalwart John Hyland has also been nominated for a highly-regarded award which recognises people who contribute behind the scenes.
It is the Society’s second time to be nominated for Best Overall Show in the premier Gilbert Section of the awards scheme. “The list of eight nominations is almost unheard of in this awards scheme, and we feel is a fitting tribute to a memorable ten-night run of The Pirate Queen here in Ballinrobe,” said Society Chairman Pat Mc Govern.
“All aspects of the production are taken into account for an overall show nomination – lighting, singing, sound, music, production, stage and front of house management, acting, and everything else that goes into making a great show.
“To achieve this in a school auditorium is very significant, in view of the fact that we are competing with societies who have state-of-the-art facilities, unlimited resources, and populations many great times greater than Ballinrobe and its hinterland.
“Were it not for our loyal local sponsors, who in the current economic climate, still came up trumps, and a great sense of community, the show simply would not go on. Over 5,000 people enjoyed the show and thousands more were disappointed at not being able to secure tickets.
“It is a great tribute to the cast also. This was a most challenging undertaking for the Society and also represented an onerous responsibility. Having the show’s creators John Mc Colgan and Moya Doherty, along with the world’s foremost composer, Claude Michel Schonberg, present to witness our efforts was an unforgettable experience.”
John Hyland, who has been closely involved with the Society in a wide variety of roles since 1974, has been shortlisted by AIMS for the honour of Unsung Hero. This is an annual award which recognises long service and loyalty.
The full list of nominations is: Best Overall Show; Best Chorus; Best Musical Director (John Roe); Best Actress (Sinead Heneghan); Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Sandra Schalks); Best Technical (encompassing Lighting, Sound and Set); Best Stage Manager (Niall Heaney); Best Programme (Liam Horan and Pat Mc Govern); and Unsung Hero (John Hyland).
The awards ceremony will take place in the Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney, on Saturday, June 19th.