Two years after the final curtain fell on the Melrose Amateur Operatic Society, the organisation has been officially dissolved.
While the loss of the annual fix of Gilbert and Sullivan’s iconic operettas will be a great sadness to many of the society’s fans, dwindling audience numbers and a lack of youngsters coming through the ranks meant that the company was finding it difficult to put on a show.
And, with 80 years of entertaining the public behind their belt, it’s a great loss to the artistic community of the town, not to mention the members of the society who have delighted in bringing the words and music of William Schwenck Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan to life at the Corn Exchange.
Administrator Lucy Smith said: “It is very sad indeed, but almost everybody agreed it was time to stop.
“It was not a decision that was taken easily, however.
“It has taken from the AGM in June 2015 to the end of 2016 to fulfil our constitutional requirements and the requirements of the charity regulator for dissolution to be satisfactorily completed, and therefore, with great sadness, I have to report the final demise of the Melrose Amateur Operatic Society.”
She added: “The balance that remained in the society’s accounts was distributed to the following organisations: Music in Hospitals (Scotland), the John Leishman Memorial Trust, Borders Youth Theatre, Gala Water Singers, Langlee Community Choir, Lauderdale Community Choir, Abbey Consort, Eildon Singers and Phoenix Singers.
“The society’s archives (minutes of meetings, accounts, programmes, photographs and other memorabilia) will eventually be held by the Heritage Hub in Hawick.”
“Finally, on behalf of the society, I wish to thank all those who have supported us over the years – musicians, patrons and public – for their loyalty.”