Saturday 23 October 2021 at St Andrews Church, Inverurie
Present: Sylvia Munro, Wilma Geddes, Ian Clark, Alistair Massey, Denys Wheatley, Lessel Rennie
Welcome and Apologies: Apologies were noted from Margaret Bremner, Nora and Mike Radcliffe and John Hearne.
Minutes of Last Meeting: The minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 28 October 2020 were reviewed. Approval was given by those present, with no amendments.
Matters Arising: No matters were raised.
Sylvia mentioned the lack of numbers at this AGM, and the fact we need some new Board members.
Treasurer’s Report: This report is for the year from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021:
The year began with £6696 in the bank account, and ended with £10083.
Although there were no live concerts during this unusual financial year, IM were pleased to be able to support musicians and provide some recitals, online. We did this in collaboration with various other music clubs within Scotland. Without normal subscriptions and ticket sales, and after some discussion, we settled on offering a subscription at £20 per subscriber, based on the hope that we would manage to put on 3 concerts. These concerts might be live or online, or a combination. If more than 3 concerts were provided, then donations would always be welcome. Thirty-four subscribers took up this £20 offer, bringing in £680.
Fees totalling £2200 paid out to musicians were as follows:
Maxwell Quartet £650
Craig Ogden £600
Lana Trotovsek & Maria Canyigueral £400
Clova Quartet £400
Kowalski-Reyes Duo £150
The Young Musicians Award Scheme went ahead again in late 2020, with a total of almost £1600 being paid out to 17 young people, thanks to donations of over £1000, topped up by general IM funds.
Fortunately, we managed to obtain several pots of funding from various grant-giving bodies, totalling £5680. This breaks down as follows:
Foundation Scotland (Baillie Gifford) £1000
David & June Gordon Memorial Trust £1450
Turcan Connell/Hugh Fraser Foundation £1000
The completed accounts have been scrutinised by the independent examiner and we are grateful to Lessel Rennie for doing this for us.
Ian Clark congratulated IM for flourishing in a difficult year and ending it in such a good financial position.
A subscription series of seven concerts had been planned – Cargill Piano Trio, Maxwell String Quartet, classical guitarist Craig Ogden, Duo Arnicans (cello/piano), the Wallace Collection (brass septet), Lana Trotovsek and Maria Canyigueral (violin/piano) and Janusz Piotrowicz (solo piano).
In the circumstances, the 2020-21 live concert season had to be put on hold, although we were determined to offer something, both to our music-loving concert goers and the talented musicians we work with. IM produced three recorded recitals – the Maxwell Quartet at Guardswell Farm in October 2020; Craig Ogden at the Moorish Pavillion, Kingham Lodge, Cotswolds in November 2020; and Lana Trotovsek/Maria Canyigueral at Hinde St Methodist Church, London’s West End in April 2021. IM was fortunate to have the support of a number of other Music Clubs, including Aberdeen Chamber Music Club, Newton Stewart Music Club, musicinverness and Aboyne Arts and Theatre Development Group in producing these recordings. A model was developed whereby the financial contribution made by each club reduced and the total fee to the musicians increased as the number of clubs increased. A win-win for all concerned and clubs received exclusive recordings.
IM subscribers were offered a minimum of three recitals for their 2020-21 £20 subscription. As it transpired, additional recorded concerts became available: a CMS supported recording by the Kowalski-Reyes Duo (cello/piano) in April 2021; a live-streamed concert from St Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh by the Wallace Collection brass septet, sponsored by the Historic Brass Society and New York Council on the Arts in May 2021; and a recorded concert by the Clova Quartet arranged by Aberdeen Chamber Music Club and co-sponsored by IM and others in June 2021.
In July 2021 IM held an outdoor concert at Castle Fraser: this was a lovely relaxed bring your own blanket and picnic event attracting in excess of 150 people. It allowed us to showcase the talents of four of our 2020 IM Award winners, after which we were entertained by the excellent ACO String Quartet. This was a new venture which proved extremely popular.
We were fortunately able to continue as planned with the IM Awards, granting a total of £1,600 to 17 young musicians in our four Donside Academies. Interest in the scheme has grown as word spreads. IM is extremely grateful to those supporters who have donated to the scheme (as are the young recipients). The IM Award Scheme was endorsed when launched by violinist Nicola Benedetti and we have been fortunate also to have the support of some of our professional musicians who have helped us raise funds via House Recitals – Canadian pianist Sandra Mogensen in 2019; with a further House Recital to be offered by Scots pianist Chris Baxter in March 2022.
The planned 2020-21 IM Workshop Programme for local amateur and semi-professional musicians had to be cancelled but we plan to reinstate the programme during 2021-22. Watch this space….
Despite the problems posed by the pandemic and lockdown, IM continued to develop and flourish during 2020-21. Believing as we do in the power of music, we adapted and in doing so developed new skills: recorded concerts, outdoor events, collaboration with other clubs, supporting professional musicians during Lockdown, celebrating and showcasing IM Award Winners. We have made new friendships and strengthened existing ones – other music clubs, talented videographer Boris Bijak, NTS at Castle Fraser, local Kemnay Scout Group, etc. In addition, we have benefitted from the help of several supportive individuals who have helped out when it was needed.
Looking forward to the 2021-22 Season and beyond, we hope that live events can go ahead as planned; that the IM Award Scheme continues to benefit young musicians; that the IM Workshop Programme can be reinstated and further developed to include wind and brass musicians. We have altered ticket pricing and subscription rates to make them more inclusive.
I want to give my sincerest thanks to the talented Trustees on the IM Board and to those individuals who offered us their help. I am acutely aware that, in terms of numbers, the Board is working at minimum capacity and that we would not manage should numbers reduce. I just want to say that any offers of help, either casual or as Board members would be welcomed with open arms – none of us is an expert, we simply learned as we went along!
A standard single ticket will be £12, and tickets will be free for those in full-time education under 25, as well as for those receiving disability or low-income benefits. A season ticket, covering all 6 concerts, costs £45, a saving of £27. These ticket prices went through unopposed. It was noted that most people pay their subscriptions by BACS, with very few cheques being received now.
All Board members stood down and all indicated their willingness to stand for re-election.
Wilma was nominated as Treasurer, by Sylvia, and seconded by Ian. Wilma nominated Margaret as Secretary and Denys seconded this. Sylvia was nominated as Chair, by Wilma, and this was seconded by Alistair. Sylvia nominated Denys as a Board member, and Alistair seconded this.
Ian Clark mentioned that he is still happy to help out with things occasionally, including assistance with organising workshops, but not to commit to being a Board member.
Sylvia said that we were lucky to have quite a number of folk willing to help with specific tasks, but who are not able to commit to full Board membership and attendance at meetings.
Denys then added that it would be good to have general members co-opted on to the Board, who don’t have particular responsibilities.
Close of Meeting: Sylvia thanked everyone for attending and declared the meeting closed.