The GUMS (Musical Society) Experience
The Musical Society (or GUMS as it is more commonly known) is a thriving, inclusive and ever popular mainstay of the societies scene in NUI Galway.
In their own words, "the Galway University Musical Society (GUMS) is known for being the only college musical society to let everyone take part. It doesn't matter if the closest thing to being on stage was your Junior Infant Nativity play - all that you need to have to be in GUMS is enthusiasm, a love of musicals (or at least to be prepared to love musicals) and a willingness to get involved".
Conor was kind enough to take some time out after finishing up their biggest event of the year to answer some questions, and give his experience of being part of the GUMS family.
Can you tell me a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you study here, etc.?
My name is Conor Duggan, I am from county Donegal. I am 22 years old and I study Physiology (final year) here in NUIG.
How would you explain Galway University Musical Society (GUMS) to somebody that has never heard of it before?
It sounds cheesy but it’s probably one of the best things to ever happen to me, it’s a wonderful society about inclusion, caring for each other and growing more confident in yourself, all hidden under some lovely singing and dancing.
You recently performed in The Producers, which was a fantastic success. What was it like to be part of something as big as this?
It was the most amazing experience. For someone who has never had any training and doesn’t call themselves an actor it was such a surprise to land a role in the biggest production produced by the student body. I have been involved in the GUMS show the past 2 years but always as a background worker (which is just as important, no matter what anyone tells you) but it was nice for my last show to be on the stage.
Can you tell me something you learned from being part of GUMS that has benefited you in a big way?
Don’t care what other people think, even if you’re a bit strange there is always a gang somewhere in the world that will love and respect you for who you are, and always keep that thought in your head.
What would you say to someone who is interested in joining GUMS, but is a bit apprehensive or nervous?
You could never meet a more inviting and inclusive group of people, it dosen’t matter if you are tone-deaf or have two-left feet, we’ll find a place for you, so just jump in!
Finally, could you describe your overall experience of your time in NUI Galway in one sentence?
My time here consisted of lots of tea, stress, parties and friends.