From The Pirates of Penzance in 1978 to The Wizard of Oz in 2016, Fortwilliam Musical Society has been at the forefront of musical drama in Northern Ireland, delighting audiences for almost 40 years.

We were founded in 1977 by John Patterson, who sought to create a group that would help bring together people from all communities through music. With the help of many willing and talented hands, his idea was a success and since then we have flourished into a community based on values of hard work, inclusivity and friendship.

These values are at the heart of all of our productions and have helped produce many outstanding performances in over 70 musicals, light operas and annual concerts by our adult society and 12 productions by our highly accomplished Youth Group. Along the way we have received great acclaim, nurtured some star talent and even picked up an award or two. Our main focus however is always on providing great entertainment for our audiences and unforgettable experiences for our members.

One of our biggest strengths is our blend of experience, imagination and innovation. Under the expert guidance of leading lights such as our recently retired Musical Director, Billy Cairns, the Society has developed an unrivalled repertoire that encompasses everything from pop music to choral pieces and almost every style of musical theatre. This mix allows us to stage a wide variety of shows which not only attract audiences of all age groups and backgrounds but performers of all ages and backgrounds.  Indeed, in 2012’s production of Oliver! we had three generations of one family taking part.

We take particular pride in the dedication of our long-standing members, many of whom have been with us since we were founded. They have been vital in ensuring that our ethos has been sustained and have acted as valuable mentors to dozens of new members who join us each year.

We look forward to this season under the guidance of our new musical director, Aoibhean Lamb.

We are based in north Belfast but we have strong links to communities across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as a member of the Association of Irish Musical Societies (AIMS). Members come from towns all over the UK and Ireland and anyone who wishes to join us or contact us is very welcome.

Hilary McKee
Hon. Chairman


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