June each year, ‘Come hell or high water,’ dozens of Ireland’s top musical societies make their annual pilgrimage down to the capital of the Kerry kingdom, to Killarney, to the highly coveted Association of Irish Musical Societies awards (AIMS). Why not, afterall this event is the Oscars of Irish Amateur Musical theatre, embracing the thirty two counties of this green and present land.
This year was to be no different, with winners of the AIMS/HB awards being announced on Saturday last, June 18th, in the Gleneagle Hotel, with some nine hundred amateur performers waiting eagerly in attendance.
As ever, Tipperary’s most talented thespians held their own and came up trumps at this years, 2011, award ceremony. Thurles Musical Society, St. Mary’s Choral Society Clonmel and Nenagh Choral Society, were among the top nominees on the night, with a further strong Tipperary representation spread out among the bevy of other worthy societies.
Clonmel and Nenagh scored individual wins on the night, with former AIMS winners Thurles Musical Society just very unlucky not to come away with a win for their much deserved “Best Visual,” and “Best Stage Management,” nominations.
The night however belonged to Tralee Musical Society and Dublin’s new National Youth Musical Theatre-Ireland, both winning ‘Best Overall Show,’ in their respective categories for the musicals “Michael Collins,” and “Spring Awakening.”
This best show victory for “Spring Awakening,” in the Sullivan Section, is the latter’s second such win, since last September, having already won the International Festival of Light Opera in Waterford, just last November.
Particular congratulations must go out to Tipperary native Spring Awakening cast members Ed Leamy (Roscrea), Shane Willoughby (Thurles) and Chris Britton (Clonmel). You’ve done your local Musical Societies in this Premier County very proud folks.
Congratulations to everyone involved with AIMS 2011, and here’s to another fantastic year of musical theatrics.