Angela Harding Montgomery.
Voluntary choreographer and Project Worker
Fortwilliam Musical Society and Barnardo's Northern Ireland.
Angela has been involved in the Northern Ireland musical scene for over 20 years and has voluntarily choreographed many musicals in that time. She has also worked with various other musical societies in Northern Ireland.
She is currently in rehearsals for Fortwilliam Musical Society’s March production of Thoroughly Modern Millie, which will run March 18-22 at Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey, go to www.fortwilliammusicalsociety.co.uk/www.theatreatthemill.com.
Angela also works full time with Barnardo’s Northern Ireland as a project worker. Her role there involves working alongside young people in a time of transition to semi-independent living, supporting them to fulfil their potential living in the community.
I am awoken by my lovely husband David with a fresh cup of coffee.
I hasten to add that I am not a morning person. David is a morning person and we therefore have a good balance in the morning.
I am now in full Mummy mode. I wake my two boys, Daniel who is eight years old and Andrew who is seven, and then mayhem commences.
Whilst driving my children to school they are forced to listen to the sound track from what ever musical I am working on — currently it’s Thoroughly Modern Millie for Fortwilliam Musical Society.
The musical tells the story of Millie Dumont, a small town girl turned flapper in pursuit of her dreams in the Big Apple. The film featured Julie Andrews and it was a Tony Award winner for Best Musical in 2002.
The boys are dropped off at school and I move into work mode.
I work for Barnardo’s Northern Ireland and my role involves working with vulnerable young people aged 16–23.
I enjoy my job and the young people I work with.
Formal meeting with my manager to review and plan my work for the week, including any forthcoming projects.
Liaise with a variety of outside agencies in relation to the young people I work with. This includes; Housing Executive, PSNI, Social Services, GP, Training and Employment Agencies and DHSS.
Meeting with a young person to provide them with information and insight into what project I am involved in and advise them on the type of support we offer.
A sandwich and a coffee.
Work with a young person on their focus for the week.
Attend a prize giving event awarding young people’s specific achievements.
Meet with another group of young people to organise and discuss group activities. These could be a variation of events such as talks on relationships, safety in the home, safety in the community.
I have a great working relationship with the young people and when I am involved in a musical production they would come to the Theatre to see it.
I leave work to collect my boys from school and depending on what day it is take them to their respective activities.
Yet again they are subjected to my CD of Thoroughly Modern Millie in the car, at this stage they are now singing along with it and have their favourites.
Homework and prepare for dinner.
David comes home from work and takes over homework duty whilst I take 30mins to recap on what I have planned to choreograph at rehearsal that evening.
On Saturdays, whilst my children are at their respective activities, I would plan and prepare routines for the show.
Off to rehearsals. I have been choreographing for Fortwilliam Musical Society for seven years.
Throughout this time I have been involved in numerous shows, My Fair Lady, Hello Dolly, Meet Me in St Louis, Oliver, Calamity Jane, Crazy For You and Oliver. Fortwilliam Musical Society is a pleasure to work with.
I would describe them as a homely company. My role means I get to work with a range of ages from 16-year-olds to 70-year-olds.
We are currently rehearsing the love scenes between the two leads — Millie and Jimmy. One of the songs is called I Turned a Corner and also features some of the lead dancers.
I really enjoy choreographing duets but equally enjoy the ensemble pieces. Thoroughly Modern Millie has lots of fantastic show stoppers such as Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life and the era, 1920s, gives me the opportunity to really jazz up the dance sequences.
All our performers are volunteers and do it for the love of musical theatre. We have a lot of incredible talent, who could easily turn professional. Their approach to every production is of a very high standard.
Finish rehearsals and off home.
I am still in choreographing mode so I am still listening to songs from Thoroughly Modern Millie and working out the plans for the next rehearsal.
Some quality time with David who gets all the latest on rehearsals, and then its off to bed.