Welcome to the Mountain District Musical Society Inc, we bring theatre to life in Melbourne’s leafy Outer-Eastern suburbs.
Mountain District Musical Society is an amateur musical theatre group in the outer Eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
We perform full scale musicals, smaller shows and concerts. We also get together as a choral group to sing carols in hospitals around Melbourne at Christmas.
MDMS prides itself, not only on the quality of its performances, but on its community atmosphere. Many performers join the group to hone their theatrical skills, but also to have fun, meet new people and be part of a community.
The Society began in the 1940′s as a CWA (Country Women’s Association) choir, concentrating on choral works. There was also at that time, a CWA male choir who later combined with the ladies and formed the Mountain District Choral Society.
The group then added concert versions of Gilbert & Sullivan operettas and excerpts from popular shows to the repertoire. In 1977, under the musical direction of Val Kewish, assisted by the late Margaret Proctor, the company staged its first G&S, Trial by Jury. These performances became an annual event. Early venues included school and community halls in Ferntree Gully, Emerald, Upwey and Boronia.
In 1984, the Karralyka Theatre, Ringwood, become the home of our stage productions which so far have taken place mid-year since then. The society also performs annual concerts in spring. Traditionally these have been a choral type performance with many oratorio, contatas and classical works performed over the years.
In 1997, the company changed its name to MOUNTAIN DISTRICT MUSICAL SOCIETY and is commonly known today as “MDMS”. The society currently performs a one-off concert in Autumn, a musical mid-year, a staged variety performance or small musical in Spring and carols at Christmas time.
Like many amateur theatre companies, we have faced adversity – in 2009 we lost our storage space and were forced to get rid of many of our assets and amalgamate what was left with a neighbouring theatre group. However, instead of seeing this as a loss, we instead embraced the opportunity to collaborate with the companies around us, forging alliances that help everyone in what is a rather competitive time in Melbourne amateur theatre.
It is this community spirit that defines MDMS. We have many and varied people passing through our doors, but our big claim to fame is the warmth with which the company is regarded by those who perform with us. Many members are keen to ‘return’ after an absence from MDMS and new members often comment on our friendliness when they first become involved with the company.
MDMS stands not only for community spirit, but for the spirit of fun, and the encouragement of theatrical talent.