A STALWART Saddleworth musician has been honoured with a prestigious award for her outstanding services to drama and theatre.
Sylvia Hoare received the coveted Laurence Roberts Trophy from the Greater Manchester Drama Federation Awards (GMDF) for her work through Saddleworth Musical Society.
Their submission to the GMDF read: “Sylvia has recently retired as accompanist of the Saddleworth Musical Society after nearly 60 years of dedicated and loyal service.
“The Committee is of the view that it is appropriate to ask the GMDF to consider making a special award to Sylvia in recognition of her outstanding service to theatre.”
Sylvia, now in her late 80s, has been the accompanist for the Society since it was set up in 1958 and she only retired earlier this year.
She has played at concerts, shows and rehearsals – chalking up more than 9,000 hours and always on a voluntary basis.
When the Society was established, Sylvia worked alongside Musical Director Barrie Williams to establish an annual programme.
It was Sylvia’s technical ability that enabled the Society to choose a varied range of shows and Choral concerts, including some very taxing Opera and Operetta scores and G&S music.
The submission added: “Sylvia has been an irreplaceable part of all the Society’s productions and she is unique for her longevity and ability.
“She always spotted, when both the MD and singers did not, all the little musical mistakes and nuances which she used to suggest with some steely determination had to be corrected.
“She is the only member of the Society who came to almost every rehearsal for both principal and full cast and she worked from the minute she sat down to the moment she went home.
“In addition, she had to do hours of homework each week to prepare for the next rehearsal, particularly on a score she was not familiar with. Sylvia’s contribution required considerable dedication, time, and loyalty.”
Carole Cressey, Chair of Saddleworth Musical Society, said: “We are proud and delighted that Sylvia has been honoured with this prestigious award in recognition of her unstinting dedication and commitment to SMS and for sharing her life-long love of music with us for so many years.”
Sylvia was also the long-standing accompanist for Saddleworth Male Voice Choir and she even found time to share her skills and expertise with students at the Oldham Music Centre.
Other members of Saddleworth Musical Society nominated for GMDF awards were Martin Bradbury for Best Actor in his role as Jekyll/Hyde and or Debbie Thew as for Best Actress for her role as Emma Carew in Jekyll and Hyde.