Inverurie Music Annual General Meeting
Saturday 28th September 2019 at 6.45pm Acorn Centre, Inverurie
Present: Margaret Bremner, Roy Bremner, Lesley Bromby, Ian Clark, Alistair Massey, Sylvia
Munro, Mike Radcliffe, Nora Radcliffe, Lessel Rennie, Denys Wheatley
1. Welcome and Apologies:
Apologies were received from John Hearne (and retrospectively from Clare Alexander, Ian Alexander and Dione Macmorran). Sylvia welcomed all present to the meeting.
2. Minutes of Last Meeting:
Approval of the minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 22nd September 2018 was proposed by Ian, seconded by Mike, and agreed by those present with no amendments.
3. Matters Arising: No matters arising were raised.
4. Treasurer’s Report:
Ian presented the Treasurer’s Report dated 24th September 2019 and the accounts to year end 30th June 2019 (tabled at the meeting) as outlined below.
The income from major grant-givers contributed to the large amount, Åí6109, carried forward from 2017-18. Further grant income swelled the coffers to give us a wide margin of viability which has allowed some development. We received a large grant (Åí3575) from Awards for All at the end of year 2017-18 which was to provide for activities in 2018-19. Other grant income this year is noted in the accounts. Bodies to whom applications were en train at the year end are listed along with the Foyle Foundation. We continue to use a proportion of the grant from the Foyle Foundation (Åí2500 awarded in 2017) each year to support our increased expenditure on more professional advertising. This grant has another two years to run and is subsumed in the general fund. Ticket income this year has been much improved with an 80% increase in attendances and a big uptake of membership subscriptions to 26. The effect of these increases can be seen in the accounts. We finished the year with a balance of £7391.24 and an operating surplus of £1281.88. Although a higher sum than last year this is a bit misleading as the Foundation Scotland grant of £1950 was received last year and no equivalent grant is expected this coming year. This is to some extent mitigated by the fact that there will be no one-off anniversary event cost, there will be the first award in the schools’ scheme however. The accounts demonstrate some significant increases in costs, e.g. performers’ fees and travel costs. Advertising costs continue to be high. Venue costs have also gone up but this figure reflects the increased use of venues for workshops. Looking ahead we will need to apply again for larger grants as a downturn in ticket sales and/or further cost increases would present a significant challenge. We moved to electronic banking half way through the year and this has streamlined the processes of payment to artists and venues and has made accounting much less arduous.
Thanks are due to fellow trustees and to Lessel Rennie, Independent Examiner.
Ian spoke to his report and some points were raised from those present. He indicated that it had been a positive year financially, that there had been several large grants secured, and that venue costs and fees for musicians had increased. Some of this increase is due to an expansion in the workshop programme and it was suggested that the costs for the two streams of work be recorded separately in the accounts. Ian was asked whether income to Inverurie Music covered costs incurred. Ian said that audience numbers would need to increase to around 120 per concert for concert series to ‘break even’ without support from grants. The core funding comes from Enterprise Music Scotland (EMS) and hopefully this will continue. EMS has given positive feedback to Inverurie Music and is pleased with the workshop developments. The range of support from EMS has changed in that a ‘guarantee against loss’ is no longer offered. EMS also have indicated that they would prefer more artists to be based in Scotland, perhaps to reduce travel costs and the carbon footprint associated with the programmes provided with funds.
Intergenerational concerts are currently a focus for EMS and the board will discuss how this might be funded. The amount of funds spent on publicity has increased and there was some discussion about whether this is an effective use of money. As with any business advertising, it is difficult to be certain how effective this is. Surveying the audience about where they heard about the events might help but also could cause irritation. In general, people are impressed by a good ‘brand’ which the professionally printed posters bring. There may be a need to spend on advertising in the local press as press releases are less likely to be printed if the organisation does not purchase advertising. The P&J publish a list of forthcoming events on Thursdays which is free of charge and could be used. Facebook and the Inverurie Music website are also useful for publicity. Margaret is involved in maintaining the website which is funded by Denys, and Ian maintains and funds the Facebook account. All three were thanked for their input.
Approval of the accounts for the year to 30th June 2019 was proposed by Ian and seconded by Lessel, and this was agreed by those present.
5. Chairperson’s Report:
Sylvia presented the Chairperson’s Report which began with a review of the 2018-2019 season – the 20th anniversary season – which she said had been an amazing season. It began with a concert and two workshops given by Allan Neave (classical guitar) and Robert Irvine (cello) in September 2018, followed by the Maxwell Quartet in October 2018. She mentioned that there is a hope that the Maxwell Quartet will return in season 2020-2021. Ivan Ilić gave a piano recital and two school workshops in November 2018. He has a long association with Inverurie Music and will be in the area in November 2019 to give a recital at the University of Aberdeen. There were performances from the Korca Ensemble in Kemnay in February 2019, and the Pelleas Ensemble in Inverurie in March 2019. The season ended with Lana Trotovšek (Violin) and Maria Canyigueral (piano) who gave a lovely recital at the Town Hall, Inverurie as well as school workshops at the end of March 2019. In addition to the season of concerts, there were two ‘popup’ concerts – in January 2019 Escocia Duo in association with the North East Scotland Classical Guitar Society (NESCGS) and in July 2019, the Thistle Quartet who are all employed at the Big Noise project in Torry.
In April 2019, the 20th Anniversary Celebration was held at the Garioch Heritage Centre. Sylvia thanked Nora for her help in organising this event. The celebration included performances from young musicians and the launch of the Inverurie Music Award Scheme. The Award Scheme aims to provide financial support for young musicians at four local Academies (Alford, Inverurie, Kemnay and Meldrum). Sylvia thanked Alistair and Margaret for their work on this development.
The scheme had the support of Nicola Benedetti who kindly provided a short video to express her support.
Educational activities have increased in the last year with ten workshops organised by Ian.
These have included four school workshops, a cello workshop, a guitar workshop (in association with NESCGS), two string ensemble days, a chamber music day, and a masterclass for strings.
Sylvia thanked Ian for his hard work on this programme. Ian then thanked Sylvia for her work as Chairperson and for her care and skill in her liaison with the artists who come to give concerts.
Sylvia outlined ticket prices for this season – £10 for a standard single ticket, £1 for a student/child single ticket and £45 for a standard season ticket/membership, £4 for a student/child season ticket. There are now no other concessionary prices. These prices were agreed by those present. It was suggested that members could be given some complimentary tickets to allow them to bring guests as this may help in building audience numbers.
All Board members stood down and indicated their willingness to stand for re-election. All were re-elected by general consent. Ian indicated that Wilma Geddes had expressed interest in becoming a board member and he suggested that she might be co-opted to the board in due course. Denys said he was also willing to assist with the work of the board.
7. Close of Meeting:
Sylvia thanked all for attending and declared the meeting closed at 7.30pm.