Operatic Society

 

A brief history of the Quarry Bank Operatic Society

      Dr Kate Rogers, Dudley Councillor, upon completion of the new Quarry Bank Community Centre, approached Mr Edgar Cartwright, who had been accompanist for the original Cradley Forge Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society which disbanded in 1957, with a view to a new Society being formed to perform shows and reviews at the new Community Centre.

      Edgar Cartwright approached members of the original Cradley Forge Amateur and Dramatic Society and a meeting was called at the new Community Centre, together with Dr Kate Rogers and officials of the centre.

      It was agreed that a new Operatic Society would be formed.

      Founder members of the new society who attended this meeting were: Mr Edgar Cartwright, Mrs Bessie Cartwright, Mr Tom Genner, Mrs Sybil Genner, Mrs Vera Dunn, Miss Joyce Capewell, Mrs Doreen Nicklin and Mr Brian Clark.

      From that meeting and through the founder members, the Quarry Bank Community Centre Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society was formed.

      The society had no funds, and facilities at the Community Centre were not suitable for large stage productions, so the first production was 'Midsummer Madness', a revue staged in June of 1960, followed by 'A Grand Night for Singing' in November 1961.

      These initial revues were a huge success and the then Chairman, Mr Brian Genner, soon realised that the society had the potential to move forward. Under his guidance, the society switched to the more suitable venue of Netherton Arts Centre where it staged 'Oklahoma' in September 1963. The society still enjoys a September date at Netherton Arts Centre each year for its annual production.

      In December 1963, the society returned to its roots of the Quarry Bank Community Centre to stage 'Christmas Crackers', another revue show which proved another huge success.

      1963 not only marks the 1st fully staged musical production by the society, but is also the year when it was decided to change its name to the Quarry Bank Amateur Operatic Society. From 1963 to 1975, when Edgar Cartwright served as the Societies first Musical Director, a Hammond Organ was hired each year as accompaniment to the fully staged Musical shows.

      This was followed in 1976 where a full theatre orchestra was hired for the Societies production of 'Camelot' which has continued for each subsequent annual production.

      The society has, through the years, staged many musical shows from Oklahoma in 1963 through to Me and My Girl in 2004, and has also been fortunate enough to stage Midlands Amateur Premieres such as Camelot in 1976, The Sound of Music in 1977, Showtune in 2005 and Wonderful Town in 2005.

      One of the aims of the society when it was formed in 1962 was to donate funds raised from annual productions and revues to local charities. Over the years, we have been fortunate enough to be able to donate to many local charities - details of which can be seen on the QBOS site.

     

     Midsummer Madness    June 1962

     Fiddler on the Roof    September 2011

     The Pirates of Penzance    September 2012

 

         Quarry Bank

     ©  M.P.L.H.G.  2011