Doncaster Amateur Operatic Society set for a change

It is an organisation steeped in 100 years of history - but times are changing for a Doncaster threatre group.

Friday, 14th October 2016, 12:34 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 6:45 pm
Doncaster Stage Productions Janet foster , Tony Powell, Tony Lister and Frances Lister look over some old programmes of previous productions
Doncaster Stage Productions Janet foster , Tony Powell, Tony Lister and Frances Lister look over some old programmes of previous productions

The Doncaster Amateur Operatic Society is all set to change its name for the first time since it was first set up in the early 1900s.

The new name is yet to be announced, but the change will mark a historic milestone for the theatre group, who have been established for 107 years but never changed name before now.

It is part of a bid to attract a new wave of younger members to the group to help it keep going as a successful arts organisation well into the 21st century

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Frances Lister, the vice chairman and social chairman of the society, said: “It was a hard decision to make. The topic of our name kept coming up from time to time over the years, but now seems like the right time to do this.

She said members felt the name of the society had become outdated, as the group no longer provides operatic performances.

“It was also raised that including ‘amateur’ in the name may not be appropriate as all members work hard to deliver performances to a professional standard.

Frances, aged 67, added: “All of our members had a chance to suggest what our new name should be, and then decide on the best few which were put before the committee for a final decision. It took a few weeks.

“We toyed around with a few new names, but we wanted something that was a bit different to other groups and also summed up in just a few words what we were about.

“Everyone is supportive of the new name, we are all really excited and looking forward to the future.

“We hope this will help to attract new, younger members who can keep the society going for another hundred years.”

The new name of the society will be announced to members at an event on Monday at the Doncaster Golf Club, Bawtry Road, Besscarr, between 7.30pm and 9.30pm.

Anyone who is interested in joining the group is invited to attend.

E-mail Frances at [email protected] for more information.

The group was set up on February 4, 1909, in the long vanished and largely forgotten Glynn Hotel on Station Road.

By the end of the evening the Doncaster Amateur Operatic Society had been founded.

The Glynn Hotel stood next to the Grand, and 11 days after the inaugural meeting a deputation was sent to talk to the manager of the theatre, William Chapman, to discuss hiring the venue for a show in January 1910. Mr Chapman agreed – but said he would be expecting 35 per cent of box office takings. His healthy cut of the profits was duly paid. The first show went on with Wilfred Sanderson, a local musician and composer as the musical director.