Incredibly, Jim Goodman has been involved with the Londonderry Musical Society (LMS) for almost 50 years.
Jim’s passion for the Society is evident, and he himself is astonished at the length of his involvement.
Speaking this week he said: “I’m staggered to look back and see that I first joined in 1966 as part of the orchestra. But I have always been involved with music, from my childhood right through to my retirement, and I’m now enjoying teaching my grandchildren.”
His credentials are certainly top class, and his years at the Society (formerly the Londonderry Amateur Operatic Society) have included being the Musical Director of 20 shows, additionally completing nine in the orchestra and eight in the chorus, as well as being Chairman of Committee for seven years and 23 years as Musical Director of Showstoppers concerts.
Jim has also been playing the trumpet since he was a boy, and his family are well known across the city for their musical ability.
He jokes: “It’s fair to say music is in my blood.”
There was a period of nine years when he stepped away from his involvement of the annual LMS show but following his retirement as a Biology teacher at Foyle College, the lure of the bright lights of the stage were too much to resist.
And at the end of this month he continues in his role as Musical Director, which he took back up in 2012, as the group produce the modern musical, Jekyll & Hyde.
“It’s a fast-moving show, with plenty of musical numbers that invoke romance, pathos and humour, with a superb dancing cast and brilliant choral singing.
“The show is also unique in that it’s currently showing on Broadway. Generally, we cannot get a licence to perform a show while it’s still in production so it’s great to be bringing it to the city.
“We have three great lead roles this year. Damian Kivlehan plays Jekyll and Hyde superbly. He has a powerful voice that needs heard to be believed, and is quite a presence on stage. We also have two excellent female leads, with Shonagh Lyons playing Emma and the role of Lucy being played by Katie Patton.”
This year, the group make a move across the river into the Waterside Theatre. “It’s a great theatre with fabulous facilities but the truth of the matter is, the cost of using the Millennium Forum simply became too much for am amateur group like ours.
“But tickets are selling well and we’re hoping that our loyal supporters and theatre-goers will support us in the new venue.”
Jim also felt that the City of Culture, while great for bringing in the bigger acts and shows, didn’t showcase enough local choirs and groups. “I simply feel there was more scope to involve local talent, and it wasn’t utilised. It’s those smaller groups that will keep the culture legacy going into the future.”
Jekyll and Hyde will be showing from Monday 31st March to Saturday 5th April at the Waterside Theatre, Tel: (028) 71314000.