Following our AGM we are excited to announce the winners of the 2023 DMTC Membership Awards!
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 serving as our Assistant Secretary for many years. She always encouraged younger members and this award was set up in her memory by her daughter. The future of the Company is in the hands of these youngsters. When we add this year’s recipient to the list, I think you’ll agree that the future is in safe hands.
The award this year goes to a relative newcomer to the Company, having joined DMTC in 2019 for our production of “Chess”, in which he gave a stand-out performance as the Arbiter. In our latest production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, he was the all singing, all dancing King of the Gypsies, Clopin. Knowing the entire script by heart, he was often seen lip-syncing to the other principals as they went through their lib. He has shown enormous talent and commitment to the shows he has been involved with. We are delighted therefore that the 2023 Mary Hamilton Award goes to Michael Taphouse.
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 68 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. Again, I think it worth while to list the previous recipients of this award – as you can see, these members have all contributed enormously to the success of the Company and this year’s winner is no exception.
The award this year goes to a Company member who has always dedicated himself wholeheartedly to the show in hand, often performing in the chorus while taking on various cameo roles. His absolute commitment to DMTC saw him set up our first website, which became the envy of other groups around. He eventually relinquished this to Nicky, as he felt it was time for a new approach. He has always helped enormously with publicity in taking publicity photos and using his photoshopping skills to make them and us look so good. We owe him such a debt of gratitude and are therefore extremely pleased to present the 2023 Mary Robinson Award to Derek Smith.
This is only the fourth time that the Pauline Gilman Bowl has been awarded, being instigated in 2018. 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 roles. The Pauline Gilman Bowl was set up by her husband in 2018 to honour a devoted member of the chorus. The winners are all long serving members of the Company. These long-serving chorus members really are the backbone of the Company, who have shown great loyalty over many years.
This year’s recipient has also been with DMTC for many years and joined us, like Pauline, when we were operating under our former name of Durham Amateur Operatic Society. It was almost an accident that he and our paths crossed. He accompanied our then choreographer to a rehearsal, at which there was a spare place, as someone had dropped out. This was our first production of “Camelot” in 1978. Fred asked him to stand in for the absentee and the rest as they say is history. He went on to appear in most of our shows, sometimes taking parts especially in his beloved pantomimes, often though in the chorus. He served on committee and became our longest serving Chairman of 24 years. I am therefore thrilled to announce that the winner of the 2023 Pauline Gilman Bowl is our good friend Mike Dixon.