REPORT of the Committee Meeting held on Thursday 12 September 2019 at 11.30 am at Church Farm, All Saints IP19 0PB

Present:  John Awty, Julia Awty, Joanna Barfield, Stella Brownsea, Jo Curry, Carol Hammond, Jenny Hyams, John Layton

In attendance:  Janette Ruocco, Sue Foster

Welcome:  Jo welcomed Sue to the meeting and thanked her for attending.

1. Apologies for Absence – received from Malcolm Butcher, Kate Peacher and Caroline Rodbourne

2. Minutes of the last meeting (Thursday 19 June 2019)

Confirmed and signed as a correct record.

3. Matters arising which do not appear elsewhere on the agenda

(i) Acapella Concert:  Janette will liaise with her singers, to try and find a mutually convenient date on a Sunday after Easter 2020.

(ii) May Bank Holiday practices:  it was agreed that as 4 May 2020 is reinstated as a practice – because the early May Bank Holiday moves to Friday 8 May – it will not be necessary to hold an all-day workshop in May.  However it was agreed that an extra half hour in the run-up to the Summer Concert would be extremely useful, dependent on how the choir is doing at the time. It was further agreed that another Open Rehearsal, at the start of the Spring Term 2020, would also be a good idea.

(iv) Singing at other events and venues:  Nigel Tuffnell has asked HCS to take part in St John’s pre-Christmas event on Tuesday 10 December.  Janette suggested carols from ‘100 Carols for Choirs’, which could be sung without an accompanist.

4. Treasurer

(i) Report:  Malcolm did not submit a report for this meeting, but the full audited accounts will be presented in his absence at the AGM.

(ii) Hire of grand piano for Summer Concert 2020:  Janette reported on the progress to date for a second player for Songs and Cries of London Town, and reiterated that she does not feel that the HCS keyboard is really good enough for this concert, but that the additional cost of hiring a grand piano would be well worthwhile.

(iii) future grant applications:  Jo and Jenny said that these would obviously be up to the new Committee, but in the meantime they suggested that grant applications should be the responsibility of one (or more) Committee member, whom they would be happy to help if necessary.  HCS has received an anonymous donation of £2000, which is hugely appreciated, as is HCS’s Patron’s generous donation.

(iv) crowd-funding:  Janette said that this might be an option for the new Committee to consider, but pointed out that crowd-funding is usually more successful for one small item at a time, eg one piano key per person.

5. Summer Concert, 22 June:  there were very few responses from choir members to Jo’s email asking for feedback on the concert.  However, feedback from the audience was very positive and appreciative. Stella suggested that more practice on standing/sitting would have made the concert go more smoothly.  John A suggested that for future concerts it would be better to leave taking down the staging until the audience has dispersed, and added that it is really essential to have more than three helpers after the concerts to help load the trailer.

6. Future concerts

(i) Christmas Concert, 14 December 2019:  King George Hall and St John’s are booked.  Janette said that there will be eight musicians (strings), who will do one item on their own, plus Karen.  Jo Westaway will do the Soprano solo, and Gary Griffiths the bass solo. Julia will do teas for the musicians and soloists, as usual, and the Committee thanked her very much for her continued delicious catering.

(ii) Summer Concert, 20 June 2020:  considerable discussion ensued on the pros and cons of involving local school children in this concert.  It was agreed that the children would sing in both halves of the programme; and that it would be preferable to recruit local-to-Harleston children, rather than going further afield, so that the concert is a Harleston event.  The various options for recruitment will be explored by Julia and Janette.

7. AGM:  everything is in place for 8.30 pm on 23rd.  Nathaniel Gee, our Patron, will be there.  Stella will take over as HCS Chair as from the AGM.  Kate will take on the role of Publicity Secretary, and will possibly compile the concert programmes.  Sue Foster will take over as Minutes Secretary. Fiona Bartlett has offered to take on the role of Friends Co-ordinator.  Jo thanked all of them very much for effectively saving the future of the choir.

8. Website

(i) update:  because of adverse personal circumstances, Paul Cope has not been able to update the website, but will do so as soon as possible.  Joanna will take back giving Paul necessary website updates when circumstances allow her to do so.

(ii) Linda Barden’s photos:  it was agreed that these, together with Eleanor Usher’s and Jo’s, will  

be selected by Paul to put on the Members’ area of the website, under the heading ‘We Do Have Fun Too !’

(iii) Members database:  John A has agreed to be the ‘back stop’ for those occasions when Joanna may be out of action and when choir members need to be contacted.  The Committee thanked both for making this contingency arrangement.

(iv) music clips:  Janette said that she made a recording of the Summer Concert and would like Paul to put some clips on to the website, to replace gradually some of the now very out of date clips.

9. Friends:  Carol suggested that Friends recruitment needs looking at again.  Numbers are dwindling – currently nine, plus one Honorary Friend – and most of those remaining have been Friends for twenty years.  Previously, the Committee agreed that Friends’ recruitment should cease, but Carol emphasised the importance of good will and supporting our supporters.  However, she also drew attention to the problem of cost-effectiveness, ie Friends’ annual sub v. HCS’s current ticket prices. On behalf of the Committee, Jo thanked Carol for her hard work and commitment to the Friends.

10. Dates

(i) AGM: Monday 23 September 2019, during choir practic

(ii) next Committee Meeting:  Wednesday 16 October, 11.00 am.  Venue TBC.

(iii) end of Autumn Term 2019:  Saturday 14 December

(iv) start of Spring Term 2020:  Monday 13 January

(v) Quiz Evening:  Saturday 21 March.  

(vi) end of Spring Term 2020:  Monday 30 March

(vii) start of Summer Term 2020:  Monday 20 April

(viii) end of Summer Term 2020:   Saturday 20 June

11. AOB:  None