DYMT stalwart calls it a day

Graham Davidson surrounded by members of Deeside Youth Musical Theatre
Graham Davidson surrounded by members of Deeside Youth Musical Theatre

For more than ten years Deeside Youth Musical Theatre has enjoyed the support and musical expertise of musical director, Graham Davidson.

However, the recent successful production of ‘Annie’ in March will be his last show with the group.

Graham joined DYMT in 2007 with the production of ‘Smike’ and since then he has gone on to produce many crowd pleasers such as ‘Hairspray’, ‘Grease’, ‘Fame’ and ‘Joseph’ in partnership with Nan Keen. His last show, the much-enjoyed production of ‘Annie’, was produced with director Sarah McKay.

Musical from an early age, Graham began learning the piano aged six and achieved Grade 8 prior to leaving school. At the age of 10 he saw a production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘The Gondoliers’ starring the Laird of Brodie castle, Ninian Brodie. This was an inspirational moment for him and subsequently led to a lifelong involvement in musical theatre.

Moving to Inverurie in the early 1980s, Graham joined the Garioch Musical Society.

He soon used his piano skills for the group, directing popular musical cabaret events in partnership with Judith Stephen, now director at Aberdeen Opera.

While in Inverurie, Graham started a youth musical society for youngsters up to the age of 14.

The group took on productions such as ‘Tin Pan Alley’ and ‘Annie’ and Graham derived a great deal of enjoyment watching cast members develop their acting and singing skills.

Moving to Aboyne in 1994 with wife Nancy, he continued his involvement in musical theatre joining the Deeside Musical Society.

Following a couple of seasons on the boards in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and ‘Oliver’, Graham was invited to take up the position of musical director in 1997 working alongside Nan Keen producing highly professional and enjoyable productions.

In 2007 he was asked to provide some musical support for the ‘Children’s Music Group’. The group was then taken on by Nan Keen and re-named, Deeside Youth Musical Theatre. Graham joined Nan as the group’s full time musical director, thus reforming the DMS production team.

Graham has thoroughly enjoyed working with the young people of Deeside. He is always astonished at their ability to progress from the first shaky attempts at the musical numbers through to the final assured performances on stage.

He said: “I am always amazed at what they can achieve in the end. Their team work and support for one another is what makes this group so special and I have always been impressed by their maturity and dedication.”

Graham’s life is now moving in a new direction. His son Richard has left the group and will shortly be leaving home to further his studies. Wife Nancy will be retiring in the autumn and the couple are hoping to devote more time to travel.

Graham will be very much missed by the group. He has devoted so much of his time to arranging musical scores and to coaxing some magical musical performances from the young people of Deeside many of whom have gone on to pursue careers in drama, musical theatre and technical stage production.

Deeside Youth Musical Theatre would like to thank Graham for his many years of support and dedication and wish him all the very best with his future plans.