Chapeltown and District Amateur Operatic Society


Your story

Chapeltown Amateur Operatic Society, or CAOS for short is a not for profit amateur musical theatre group, based in the north of Sheffield, who perform several times a year at various theatres, halls around South Yorkshire.

Group introduction

We are one of Sheffield oldest amateur musical theatre groups. We have membership ranging from 8 to 84, across both our Academy which is for children aged 8 to 16 and our adult society aged 16+.

We are an inclusive community group and unlike many other amateur groups we do not have any sort of audition to become a member or perform with our society. Everyone is welcome regardless of their ability.

The Group is run by a committee of 9 people, who are all voted for by the membership as per our constitution, none of the committee receive any payment for this work and indeed if the society were to fold, would hold equal responsibility for any debts owed.

We help people realise their passion for the performing arts both on stage and behind the scenes. In 2009 launched our Academy for children ages 8-16 to help develop and grow our younger members confidence, providing them with skills in order to help them grow into confident young adults. At the age of 16 they then join our adult society to enable their journey to continue with our 16+ membership.

Our Academy mission statement is to:

Develop children's creative ability through musical theatre in a fun, friendly and safe environment.

CAOS Academy will pursue this objective on a non-profit basis.

As a society we are passionate about developing people of all ages and giving them new skills, which they can use in their everyday life.

When we perform our adult show each April. We have one performance where we invest in a signer to enable the local deaf community to access the show fully and get huge enjoyment as someone who wasn't hearing impaired. In addition, on one of our performances we proved audio commentary, again to support visually impaired people in order to give them a full and enriched experience.

We also hold regular social events organised by our Social secretary and Social Team for our entire membership such as BBQ's, Garden Parties, Christmas meals, buffets, evenings out ensuring that people never feel alone and not only spend time rehearsing and performing but forging long term friendships and in a few cases marriages.

How would this funding have an impact on your community?

As we know the Arts are completely underfunded so we see it as our responsibility to ensure that people of all ages have access to this.

With increasing costs of costume and theatre hire each year, the society makes a loss and without additional financial support from internal fundraising from our social events, our society would simply not be here. Even with this fundraising, one show which doesn't sell could lead to the folding of the society and it would be our membership who would lose what they gain form being part of the society.

We would use the money to invest in better quality costumes for our shows, particularly our Academy shows which we have spent the past 8 years progressing the children members who have moved from performing in a church hall to a theatre, which holds just 80 people. We would like to continue this journey for our children and perform at a larger theatre, which will not only ensure that the journey they are on continues, but continues to step up in terms of quality, again this is at a cost of the larger theatre and the higher the costs associated with this.

To put this into some context, last year June 16 to May 18, we lost around 4 thousand pounds over the year even with us raising almost 3 thousand pounds through our social committee, adverts in our program and raffles at rehearsal. With a society which has just over ten thousand pounds in the bank without additional funding our 93 year history will simply be wiped out.

Our adult society currently has 40 members and our Academy has 27 members with a waiting list of 10 at present, because of the size of stage e play due to cost we aren't able to increase our academy numbers any higher and the amount of children simply won't fit, with additional funding we will be able to source a bigger theatre and increase our membership.

We have within the society 2 lots of 3 generations of members, and we want to continue this to well past our 100 year anniversary and beyond ensuring that we continue to support and develop people of all ages and abilities in realising their full potential whatever that may be.

"I am happy to quote myself - Lee Hilton-Brammer Chairman.

"We are delighted to be awarded a grant from Grassroots Giving - as many people know the arts is so poor funded but gives people of all ages new skills and confidence which they will use in the immediate and take forward into their future lives. With increased costs, without the support of grants like this, we would not be able continue in the work we do and giving people the opportunities that they receive.""

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