It all started in 1971, when a group of people came together to discuss an idea mooted by Billy Cannon.
They met on Good Friday in the Library in Glencullen. At the meeting with Billy was Kevin Donnelly, Seamus and Ann Keane. They didn’t know exactly what they were getting in to, some wanted drama (which came later) but they eventually agreed on a choral society!
Billy had a friend in Balally called Eamonn Keeley who was an amazing man with four and six piece harmony and musical direction. He agreed to direct us in choral singing and harmony. At this stage we had about 30 members. Kevin Donnelly being the original Arthur Daly managed to source an upright piano and also managed to get a lady callled Maria Smith to play the keyboard for practice.
The first few years consisted of harmony singing and we went on the road to sing at all the popular venues at that time- The Hitching Post Leixlip, The Embankment Tallaght, The Golden Ball Kilternan and Foxes Pub Glencullen to name but a few. They sang a mixture of Irish, English and American songs. After a couple of years, we decided to try a musical and the rest is history.
The first musical we put on was in 1974 and it was The Pirates of Penzance, Iolanthe was next in 1975,The Mikado in 1976, all by Gilbert and Sullivan, these were all produced by Frank Porter. We then changed direction and put on The Desert Song which was produced by Frank Gormley. South Pacific, My Fair Lady and many more followed that.
In between the musicals, it was decided to put on some drama to offset the soaring cost of musical productions. Our first play was Sive by J. B. Keane and it was put on in the back lounge of Foxes Pub. The following plays were put on in St. Olaf’s and St.Tiernan’s which were Many Young Men of Twenty, Juno, The Paycock and many many more and now plays are as much of GDMDS as musicals.
At some stage after South Pacific, some of the members split and formed Dundrum Musical society and wanted to take the name of the society (Glencullen) with them but we held onto it because there was a grand association with the name. We got the show back on the road and Billy Cannon stayed with the society Until 1980/1981.
Margaret Byrne came on the scene and was a great asset to the society. She was a great singer, actor and producer. Due to work commitments and family the reigns were handed over and the society has never looked back.
Ever since then we have performed musicals and plays yearly. We moved from our home in St. Tiernan’s into the Dlr Mill Theatre from when it opened but continue to rehearse in St. Tiernan’s school along with Balally Scouts Den. In 2013, we changed the name of the society to Glencullen Dundrum MDS to reflect the range of members we had in our society.
Over 50 years on; we are delighted to have the membership, audience members and community support we have. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without some of the core people along the way and that we are very grateful for. We hope we can continue for another 50 years entertaining the community and continuing to perform plays and musicals and community fundraiser events.