Celebrations have begun in earnest in Clonmel this week for St. Mary’s Choral Society which has scooped two prestigious awards at the annual Association of Irish Musical Societies Awards.
St. Mary’s Diarmuid Vaughan, who had been nominated on three previous occasions, won the Best Actor Award for his performance as Judas in the society’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar and Ruth Butler, Programme Editor for many years, won the Best Programme Award.
This is the fifth time Clonmel’s programme has been nominated in this category, the last time the society won this award was for Show Boat in 2006.
The society was runner-up in two further categories. Maureen Walsh, director of Jesus Christ Superstar, was pipped at the post for the Director’s award which went to Tralee’s Oliver Hurley, director of Michael Collins the Musical which captured the Overall Show Award. The society was also runner-up for the Best Ensemble Award and Keith Greene who played King Herod in the production collected the nomination on behalf of the society.
Society Chairperson George Barry, who attended the awards ceremony together with 35 members of the Clonmel society, said that the society was thrilled to have won two awards. To be nominated was in itself a huge achievement and he said that the society was justifiably proud of both the awards and nominations. He said that the society was overwhelmed by all the texts and messages of congratulations and good wishes that had been coming in the lead-up to and since the awards ceremony on Saturday night and he thanked the people of Clonmel and surrounding area for all their support.
Other winners on the night from the Premier County were Erica Flanagan from Nenagh Choral Society who won the Best Female Singer Award for her performance as Katisha in the Hot Mikado and Gerry Slevin, also from Nenagh Choral Society, who was awarded the Mary Kelly Unsung Hero Award.
The Awards Ceremony was held in Killarney and was attended by over 1000 members of musical societies from all over the country. Hosting the ceremony was Shay Byrne from RTE.