Report of the Committee Meeting 23 May

Click here to download this report as a printable pdf file.

Present: John Awty, Joanna Barfield, Stella Brownsea, Malcolm Butcher, Jo Curry, Carol Hammond, Jenny Hyams, John Layton, Kate Peacher, Caroline Rodbourne
In attendance: Janette Ruocco

  1. Apologies for Absence – received from Julia Awty.
  2. Minutes of the last meeting (Thursday 7 March 2019)

Confirmed and signed as a correct record, subject to amending the time of that meeting to 2.30 pm.

  1. Matters arising

(i) Quiz Evening: it was agreed that this was a big success, with a profit of £529.00 which included over £100.00 of raffle tickets sold by Fiona Bartlett. Jo thanked everyone who had helped and contributed to the evening, including the East of England Co-op which donated £20.00.
(ii) Acapella Concert: Janette is seeing her Acapella group shortly and will then be able to fix a date for a concert in mid-September.
(iii) Voice part leaders: Janette reiterated the benefits of having voice part leaders as a first point of contact for choir members, especially for newcomers. Jo will ask again for volunteers at choir practice on Monday 3 June, with a fuller explanation of why voice part leaders are needed; this will also be posted on the Members’ area of the website.
(iv) funding application to Garfield Weston Foundation: Jo confirmed that the application to GWF, for £5,000 revenue funding, has now been acknowledged, but there could be up to five months before the outcome is known. As Jo and Jenny will be retiring from the Committee at the AGM, responsibility for grant applications in the future will need to be considered.
(v) ‘Come and Sing with Us’: it was agreed to hold an open practice on Monday 16 September, with an extra half hour to orientate potential new members. This will be included in the July/August publicity and on the website. Current choir members will be encouraged to ‘bring a friend’.
(vi) Barclays sponsorship: Stella reported that she has approached Barclays in Harleston to see if they would sponsor HCS, but was told that the bank no longer does local sponsorships.

  1. Treasurer’s Report
    Malcolm distributed copies of the Income & Expenditure for the year ended 31 August 2019, and the Cash Budget (previously called the Cash Forecast) 1 September 2018 – 31 August 2020. He said that that it is disappointing that the surge in choir numbers at the beginning of the Autumn term has now reduced, with a subsequent drop in subs; and six members have not yet paid their subs for this term. £350.00 is still to come from Gift Aid. The closing cash balances show that HCS does need funding from GWF, and from other sources, if it is to survive financially.
  2. Summer Concert, 22 June 2019
    Janette’s dress rehearsal schedule and the concert running order is now on the members’ area of the website. Janette confirmed that there will be three additional Basses for the concert; that some of the professional Sopranos will join the choir Sopranos; and that she is thinking about asking Mitesh Khatri to join the Tenors. Further action was confirmed re the evening rehearsal on 21 June: extra chairs for the concert on 22nd (now that the pews in St John’s have been removed); front-of-house arrangements; the concert programme; staging; the musicians’ tea; and the concert poster.
  3. Future Concerts
    (i) Christmas Concert, 14 December 2019, ‘The First Nowell’
    Janette distributed copies of her updated plan for this concert, and reported that Julia has sourced the music for The First Nowell. Janette has been in touch with the OUP re the music for a reduced orchestra, and has made tentative bookings for the Soprano and the Bass and the string quartet. The carols in the second half of the programme are all in ‘100 Carols for Choirs’, of which HCS has sufficient copies. Jenny will check for accuracy the dates on Janette’s plan, and will let Malcolm know dates so that he can book and pay for the London Road Church for 2020 choir practices.
    (ii) Summer Concert, 20 June 2020, ‘Songs and Cries’
    Janette distributed copies of her revised plan for this concert, which will require only one soloist, a second pianist, and the hire of a grand piano. Janette will approach the local primary schools[s] in September re the possibility of recruiting a children’s choir, which she would personally coach, for the ‘Songs and Cries’ and school choir items in the programme. The Committee agreed that involving local school children is an ideal opportunity to engage with the local community and to recruit new choir members. Jo thanked Janette for her very helpful future planning.
  4. Bank Holiday practices
    Janette said that she has been thinking about the possibility of abandoning choir practices on the two May Bank Holidays, and replacing these with an all-day workshop/social on a Saturday in May; this could then become part of the normal choir schedule. The proposal was welcomed by the Committee, and a date will now be arranged.
  5. HCS 20th anniversary
    It was agreed that the Summer Concert 2020 should be called a ’20th Anniversary Concert’, and referred to as such in publicity, on posters and on the website. It was further agreed to discuss this, and the possibility of holding a celebratory summer party, early in the New Year.
  6. Roles of Chair and Publicity & Minutes Secretary post-AGM
    Jo once again pointed out the urgency of finding replacements for her especially, and for Jenny. If no-one has stepped up to the role of Chair by the AGM, the choir will have to be dissolved under the Charity Commission’s regulations (its protocol for a charity’s dissolution is on the CC website). The only alternative would be for the choir to abandon its charity status and go it alone, which would also mean that it would lose vital income, and that any cash balance would have to be distributed to other charities.
  7. Website
    Joanna thanked Jenny for taking back this part of her job for the time being. After considerable discussion, and bearing in mind the average hourly rate for website managers, and the possible further depletion of HCS funds, it was unanimously agreed that Paul Cope should be given an annual retainer, from May this year, and that this should be reviewed annually. It was agreed that a future Committee might consider using Facebook, and linking on line with other local choirs.
  8. Summer Garden Party, Saturday 13 July
    John Awty said that help with setting up would be much appreciated, which everyone present agreed to. On the specifics, those who offered will bring/set up gazebos, folding chairs, tables, and garden games. A sub-committee was formed to co-ordinate the arrangements. Joanna will email current choir non-attenders, to invite them to the Garden Party; Jo will ask at choir practice for numbers planning to come, and for pudding volunteers; the Committee will provide savouries.
  9. Calendar for 2020
    Jenny will give all confirmed dates to Paul for the website.
  10. Dates of next meetings
    (i) pre-concert check list meeting, Monday 17 June, 7.00 pm
    (ii) next Committee Meeting: Wednesday 19 June, 2.30 pm
    (iii) Summer Garden Party, Saturday 13 July
    (iv) AGM: Monday 23 September, during choir practice
  11. AOB
    (i) Elsie White: Jo will attend Elsie’s funeral on Thursday 30 May, on behalf of HCS, and to say thank you for Elsie’s 20 years of commitment to HCS and – until recently – the provision of juice for choir practices.
    (ii) Dido and Aeneas: attention was drawn to forthcoming local-ish productions:
    Cantamus choir, Friday 31 March 2019, 7.00 pm, Holy Trinity West Runton Church NR27 9QT
    Bury Bach Choir, Saturday 15 June 2019, 7.30 pm, The Apex, Bury St Edmunds