The Society marked the 50th anniversary of its it founding with a Black-Tie Ball, held on Saturday night, 17th November, in The Abbey Hotel, Roscommon. The approx. 120 attendees were treated to a sparkling wine reception upon arrival, before being seated for a celebratory meal in the main hotel function room.
A slide show of both photographs and video footage from musical productions over the past 50 years brought back many memories and sparked many conversations on the night. The Society was particularly delighted to see some past members in attendance, some who may not have caught up with the Society since a similar event held in 2009 to mark the staging of the Society's 40th show.
After-dinner speeches on the night began with the sharing, by Niall Heaney, of a small selection of congratulatory messages from some who were unable to attend the event. This was followed by some words from our Chairperson, Julie Mannion, who thanked everyone for attending, thanked the sub-committee for their work and spoke of the reach that the Society has had within the local community and beyond over 50 years.
The National President of the Association of Irish Musical Societies (AIMS), Seamus Power, who had travelled from Carrick-on-Suir to attend the Ball, also spoke. He congratulated the Society on reaching the landmark anniversary and spoke of the strong connection over the years between Castlerea Musical Society and AIMS. Following the recitation of an adapted poem, Seamus wished the Society the very best of luck for the next 50 years!
The final speaker on the night was Society President, and long-standing member, Christy Glynn. Christy shared a few memories of his time with the Society, he spoke of how he felt the Society had made such a positive impact on his life and he looked forward to seeing how younger members would benefit from their involvement with the Society into the future.
A presentation was made to former Society President and cast member of the Society's first show, The Long Ju Ju, in 1968, Barbera Roden, who made a very special effort to be in attendance on the night.
The party continued into the small hours, with the excellent The Wondertones providing the musical entertainment. Those with energy remaining rounded off the night with the now-traditional Musical Society sing-song!