Report of the Committee Meeting held on Thursday 24 January 2019 at 7.00 pm at The Dell, Billingford

                                    HARLESTON CHORAL SOCIETY

Printable pdf file of meeting report January 2019 available here

Report of the Committee Meeting held on Thursday 24 January 2019 at 7.00 pm at The Dell, Billingford

Present: John Awty, Julia Awty, Joanna Barfield, Malcolm Butcher, Jo Curry, Carol Hammond, Jenny Hyams, Caroline Rodbourne

In attendance: Janette Ruocco

Choir member observers: Stella Brownsea, John Layton – welcomed by Jo

  1. Apologies for Absence – none
  2. Minutes of the last meeting (Thursday 20 September 2018)

Confirmed and signed as a correct record, subject to amendments to two typos.

  1. Matters arising

Data Protection: Joanna reported that all consent forms have now been returned.

  1. Committee resignations and [currently four]vacancies and implications thereof

It was noted that Jo, Jenny and Carol intend to resign from the Committee with effect from the 2019 AGM; and that Malcolm will only be available as Treasurer on a part-time basis from May 2019, for probably a year.

A wide-ranging discussion followed on how to deal with the pending vacancies, and their implications, and the following action was agreed:

  • EGM to be held on Monday 25 February, during choir practice, to make all choir members aware of the pending Committee resignations and the implications of a no-Chair scenario
  • Caroline will take on the day-to-day Treasurer’s responsibilities (cheques, banking, subs), as from May
  • Malcolm will continue to act as Treasurer with responsibility for the annual accounts and his report to the AGM
  • job descriptions for all Committee posts to be posted on the Members’ area of the website, once firmed up
  • programme, posters and tickets: as Heather Butcher will not be available from May to design posters and tickets, and to print the programme, a meeting will be arranged between Heather, Malcolm and Jenny to discuss alternative arrangements
  • keyboard and keys to the church: Richard Thomas has now resigned from the Committee. Jo will therefore appeal to choir members at choir practice on 28th for regular help with moving and setting up the keyboard prior to choir practices

Finally, it was noted that the choir could, in a worst case scenario, continue to function without charitable status. 

  1. Treasurer

(i)         current state of finances: Malcolm distributed copies of the Income & Expenditure report for the year ended 31 August 2019, and reported that because of the increased number of choir members and therefore of subs, and of income from Gift Aid, the choir’s finances are now in a healthier state. He drew attention to his Cash Forecast 1st September 2018 – 31st August 2020 and pointed out that mainly because of cheaper concerts, he anticipates that income and expenditure will break even by the end of the next [choir] year.

(ii)        funding application: the text has nearly been completed but the financial sections will require input from Malcolm

(iii)       Helen Lunnon’s offer re merchandise:  it was agreed to go ahead with Helen Lunnon’s offer to get tote bags with the HCS logo, and/or pencils and rubbers, to raise income for the choir. The tote bags would cost £2.21 each per 100 ordered; if sold to choir members for £4.00 each, there would be a potential return of £179.00.

  1. Christmas Concert, 8 December 2018

Janette congratulated the choir on a very successful concert, which had required a lot of hard work, and the Telemann was not easy. Jo reported on the positive feedback from the choir and audience, and especial thanks were expressed to Janette and to Karen, both of whose post-concert letters to the choir were much appreciated. There were however a few reservations expressed about the Soprano and Bass soloists, and their and the Ensemble’s lack of engagement with the choir, which Janette agreed to address.

  1. Summer Concert, 22 June 2019

Janette said that she is inviting two more soloists to take the parts of the Two Witches in Dido and Aeneas, who may well bring their own audience with them. Julia said that because of the increase in the number of choir members, she has ordered more scores from Norfolk Music Library, with whom it is important to maintain links.

  1. Christmas Concert, Saturday 14 December 2019

Janette explained that she has been having second thoughts about the content of this concert, and would like replace it by bringing forward her plans for the Christmas Concert, 5 December 2020, The First Nowell, with Vaughan Williams’ The First Nowell in the first half of the programme. This will require soprano and baritone soloists, strings and a keyboard.

  1. Acapella Concert

Janette reported that an Octet from Braintree Choral Society has recently given an acapella concert and raised £500.00. She wondered whether this might be something that HCS might think about. It could be a social occasion as well as a concert, and could be held on a Sunday afternoon, possibly with tea and cake.

  1. Website

The handover from Jenny to Joanna is now complete. Joanna outlined what she and Paul Cope (Website Manager) will be doing to keep the website up to date, and the plans which they have, including more clips from recent concerts. She will also put choir practice content on to the Members’ area on a weekly basis, so that absentees can catch up. 

  1. Quiz Evening, Saturday 30 March, St James Village Hall

A sub-committee was formed, to deal with the arrangements.

  1. Dates of next meetings

Monday 25 February: EGM, during choir practice

Wednesday 6 March, 4.00 pm: Quiz Evening sub-committee meeting

Thursday 7 March, 2.30 pm: Committee Meeting

Saturday 30 March, 7.00 pm: Quiz Evening, St James Village Hall

Saturday 13 July: choir summer garden party

Monday 23 September: AGM, during choir practice

  1. AOB

(i)         Sending out urgent phone messages to choir members:  arrangements were made for five Committee members to act as phone callers in the event of choir practice having to be cancelled because of eg the weather.

(ii)        Heating in London Road church: Jo to ask the caretaker if he could put the heaters on in the main room before 7.00 pm, to give the room time to heat up adequately during very cold weather.

(iii)       New choir members: Stella pointed out how difficult it is for new choir members to know everyone’s names and suggested some form of ID for all choir members.  The Committe agreed to ask Helen Lunnon if this is something which she might be able to help with, eg name badges/brooches; and it was further agreed that voice part leaders should be formalised, so that all choir members know who to approach when necessary.  A display of choir mug-shots was also suggested.