The Cecilian Society was formed at 3.30pm on Saturday 18th October 1952 with the following words:
At a provisional Committee meeting at which the following were present, Sidney Mellick, Hugh Gould, Nancy Thomson, Denise Croall, Mark Boyle and John S. Boyle it was decided to form a University Society for the promotion of interests in all fields of music among Glasgow Students.
Various activities which the Society could perform were proposed and debated and it was decided that there was sufficient material for such a society to work on and that it stood a reasonable chance of success.
The activities suggested included:
a) Lectures -illustrated or otherwise – by musicians and others on topics of musical interest.
b) Concerts – by groups of amateurs or even professionals (if they were willing) – to be sponsored by the Society in either the Union or the Q.M.
c) Discussion and Debates on musical questions. An interesting debate was visualized with the Progressive Music Society.
d) Gramophone concerts – A quite respectable collection to choose from could be gathered.
e) Supporting Concerts, Opera and Ballet, etc. in the City. A ticket agency could be formed for members. The Committee would have a duty to find out about all forthcoming musical events forth-coming and have someone on duty – first in the queue?
(f) Outings to the Edinburgh Festival – by hired bus?
(g) Visits to the B.B.C. Studios – If it can be wangled!
(h) Introductory lectures, illustrated by gramophone and piano, to the regular Scottish National Concerts. It was decided to see about the possibility of an informal tea after meetings, etc.
Given the time that has now elapsed since that meeting, it’s probably fair to say that the Committee of the day were correct when they decided that their new Society stood a reasonable chance of success!
Over the years the Society grew to have a number of groups all organising different sorts of activities – for example the choral group – but one of particular note is the opera group, who, in 1955, staged the first Cecilian production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance.
The Cecilian opera group flourished, to the extent that the Cecilian Society of the present day is a producer of musical theatre by and for the students of the University of Glasgow. The aforementioned Hugh Gould is now our current Honorary President.
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