Membership Awards 2019!

Following our AGM we are excited to announce the winners of the 2019 DMTC Membership Awards!

Mary Hamilton Award

Mary Hamilton was one of the stalwart members of DMTC when the company reformed in 1956. She played many lead soprano roles for the company and later sang in the chorus as well as being our Assistant Secretary for many years. She always encouraged younger members and this award was set up in her memory by her daughter.

This year’s recipient falls exactly into Mary’s ideals. He is a young man who joined DMTC for “Evita” with a couple of friends. When they dropped out of the show for various reasons, he persevered by himself and became a huge asset to the production. He was always willing to come along to rehearsals early and to stay late, to help in any way he could, especially helping Malcolm with his keyboard gear. At the same time, he was juggling his performing arts course at college and fitting in numerous auditions for next year. It is great news to hear that he will be going off to Drama School in September and we wish him every success in his theatrical pursuits.

We are delighted that the 2019 Mary Hamilton Award goes to Joe Casling.

Joe Casling receives the Mary Hamilton Award
Joe Casling receives the Mary Hamilton Award

Mary Robinson Award

Mary Robinson’s Award was set up as a way of honouring a long-serving member of DMTC. Mary herself is an example to us all of someone who has given selflessly to the needs of DMTC for over 60 years. She is still working on our behalf and we all owe her a huge debt of gratitude for all she continues to do for us.

This year’s recipient is someone who has been involved with DMTC for not quite as long as that, a mere 43 years! Her first contact with DMTC was not as a member of the company, but as a guest as part of Elsa Wilkens dance team, in 1976 for “King’s Rhapsody”. In 1978, we staged our first production of “Camelot” and she was asked to dance the role of Nimue. Her then boyfriend was also roped into the production when he appeared at one rehearsal just after another valued man had dropped out. They enjoyed the experience sufficiently to decide when they got married to move to Durham and join DMTC in time for the 1979 production of “My Fair Lady”.

We are talking of course of Janet & Mike Dixon. Janet gradually took on the role of choreographer for the company and she has choreographed over 40 productions – main shows, summer shows, pantomimes and concerts. Totally organised, she has given selflessly of her time both in rehearsals and often at her home, when people wanted some extra coaching in the terpsichorean arts. Nothing is ever too much for her. DMTC owes her a huge debt of gratitude for all she has done for us over these many years and we are therefore delighted to present the 2019 Mary Robinson Award to Janet Dixon.

Janet Dixon receives the Mary Robinson Award
Janet Dixon receives the Mary Robinson Award

Pauline Gilman Bowl

This is only the second year of presenting the Pauline Gilman Bowl. Pauline joined the company under our former guise of Durham Amateur Operatic Society and performed mainly in the chorus but she did also undertake a few small parts. The Pauline Gilman Bowl was set up by her husband last year to honour a devoted member of the chorus.

In many ways we are spoiled for choice in awarding this bowl as we are surrounded by a devoted chorus. That the discussions for this award were so short, speaks volumes about this year’s recipient. She has been a devoted member of DMTC for about 20 years and has partaken in all our activities both on stage and socially. She has always been one to throw herself into anything she has been asked to do, regardless of how outrageous it might have seemed. Never one to complain, she has performed recently on stage even though she has been in great pain. She always lights up rehearsals and is a delight to have around.

We are pleased to announce that the winner of the 2019 Pauline Gilman Bowl is our dear friend Liz Cairns.

Liz Cairns receives the Pauline Gilman Award
Liz Cairns receives the Pauline Gilman Award