Saturday 1 October 2022 at the Acorn Centre, Inverurie
Present: James Beattie, Margaret Bremner (Secretary), Roy Bremner, Ian Clark, Phillip Cooke, John De Simone, Jean Fletcher, Alistair Massey, James Munro, Sylvia Munro (Chair), Lessel Rennie and Clair Scott
- Welcome and Apologies
Apologies were noted from Helen Anderson, John Hearne, Mike Radcliffe, Nora Radcliffe and Denys Wheatley.
- Minutes of Last Meeting
The minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 23 October 2021 were reviewed. Approval was given by those present with the addition of ‘Newton Stewart Music Club’ to the list of music clubs who collaborated to produce recorded recitals (page 2, para 2).
- Matters Arising
Sylvia indicated that there was no Treasurer in post on the board as Wilma Geddes had resigned in March 2022. This role has been covered by Sylvia and Margaret since that time but this was not ideal and she welcomed suggestions for someone who might wish to take on this role.
- Treasurer’s Report
The report for the year from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 was given by Sylvia. A summary of the accounts was tabled. The year began with a balance of £10,083 in the bank account, and ended with £9,202.15.
Inverurie Music (IM) Subscription 2021-22 was £45 for six concerts (free subscriptions for under 25s in full-time education and those receiving disability or low-income benefits – although the uptake for this is not good so far). Free single tickets are also available for this group and these have been more popular with more young people attending. Phillip commented that this increased inclusivity and was a helpful point to add when writing grant applications.
Musicians’ fees for 2021-22 IM Season totalled £3,650 (not including expenses):
Maharaj Degavino Duo (Tunnell Trust) – Expenses only
Gaia (Chamber Music Scotland sponsored tour) – £300
Cargill Piano Trio – £600
Lana Trotovšek and Maria Canyigueral – £1,000
Christopher Baxter – £650
Pelléas Ensemble – £1,100
A ‘pop-up’ concert was organised in collaboration with North East Scotland Classical Guitar Society in addition to 2021-22 IM Season.
JKL Duo (flute and classical guitar) – £250
The IM Workshop Programme 2021-22 included two Playing Days for Strings, led by Jean Fletcher; a day of Masterclasses and Workshops led by Lana Trotovšek (violin) and Maria Canyigueral (piano); and Masterclasses and Workshops led by the Pelléas Ensemble (flute/viola/harp). No funding was available for workshops last season from the core funders Chamber Music Scotland. Workshop fees were set at affordable levels, with reductions for under 25s and benefits recipients, resulting in a predicted shortfall of approximately £950. This was generously covered by an award from the David and June Gordon Memorial Trust. Sylvia said that the workshops ran at a slight loss of approximately £30-40.
IM Award 2021
Payments totalling £1,894 were made to recipients of IM Awards. The scheme was funded by donations from IM concert-goers and subscribers, and a benefit recital generously performed by Christopher Baxter in March 2022 at King’s College Chapel, University of Aberdeen. The venue was kindly arranged by Phillip. Judging from good feedback from the young musicians and their parents, the IM Award Scheme grows increasingly popular and is greatly appreciated by young musicians. Pupils from Meldrum Academy who received awards sent a Christmas card they had all signed and several parents have emailed to say how the award has benefited their children.
Chamber Music Scotland £3,000
Other Awards £1,300
The 2021-22 IM accounts have been verified by independent examiner Lessel Rennie: we are extremely grateful to Lessel for his input. As part of his review of the accounts, Lessel raised the question of gift aid. Sylvia said that this had not yet been claimed but that there were plans to do this once a new Treasurer has been found. Lessel said that he had been unhappy with this situation and that people who made donations expected this to happen. Margaret said that IM was now registered with HMRC and that, as a result of this, it had been necessary to complete a tax return. This had been done by an accountant for a reasonable fee and it may be that the accountant could also help with the claim for gift aid. Ian said that this was a reasonable course to take if the skills required are not available from within the board.
- Chairperson’s Report
Concert Season 2021-22
As noted above, the season included recitals by the Maharaj Degavino Duo, Gaia, the Cargill Piano Trio, Lana Trotovšek and Maria Canyigueral, Christopher Baxter and the Pelléas Ensemble. The 2021-22 season of six concerts went ahead as planned, the only hiccup having been a very late change of venue for the Cargill Trio due to a lapsed Public Entertainment Licence at the original venue. lronically, this recital attracted our largest audience of the Season.
The 2021-22 season offered a diverse programme of musical ensembles, with a number of new works in their programmes, and several pieces by female composers such as Grace-Evangeline Mason, Florence Price, Sally Beamish, Rebecca Clark and Ethel Smyth. Christopher Baxter included in his benefit concert programme a recent work, Four Pieces Based on Folk Tunes, by Phillip Cooke.
The JKL Duo (flute and classical guitar) featured a very attractive programme, conceived during Lockdown, of new settings of songs by Robert Burns. These were written by fellow musicians across the world, reflecting a variety of musical styles.
Attendance at these was good – especially at the Playing Days for Strings – despite worries it might fall off as a result of Lockdown. There was a small but notable increase in the number of young musicians attending the Masterclasses and Workshops in particular. One young musician requested the opportunity to give a short performance at the end of a workshop – this opportunity was taken up by all participants and has now become a feature of these events. The very talented nature of many young musicians participating in these events has been remarked upon by the professional musicians leading them.
lM Award Scheme
Awards totalling £1,894 were made to young musicians in four Donside schools. There were noticeably more applicants from some schools and fewer from others, which is disappointing. We hope all schools will encourage their young musicians to participate in future seasons. The four schools included in the scheme are Alford, Inverurie, Kemnay and Meldrum Academies.
It has been an encouraging season which has confirmed for us the wisdom of having continued (albeit in a different format) through Lockdown. We continue to look at offering a diversity of programming and excellent musical quality. We hope to further develop our programme of workshops to include more woodwind and brass and to continue to attract young musicians. We will look at new ideas for funding the lM Award Scheme, including house recitals and benefit concerts.
Ian suggested that fundraising could involve one or two local community orchestras (e.g. Inverurie or Deeside) who might be willing to give a benefit concert for the award scheme. Sylvia thanked Ian for this suggestion and said any fundraising ideas were welcome.
Sylvia was delighted to announce that we have been joined by three new colleagues – Professor Phillip Cooke (composer and senior lecturer at the University of Aberdeen), Clair Scott (violin teacher) and Dr John De Simone (composer and senior lecturer at the University of Aberdeen). The lM Treasurer stepped down in the Spring and we urgently need to fill this post. Margaret and Sylvia have shared the load in addition to their other tasks. Ian asked about the work taken on by the Treasurer, specifically the completion of CMS documents required to apply for funding. Sylvia said such work was once done by the Treasurer but she said it is now shared by other board members.
Sylvia gave sincere thanks to all who contribute to operating lM, including those on the board and all other individuals who provide help and support when required – e.g. Roy Bremner who has helped with publicity etc, lan Clark who has helped in the process of having the Town Hall piano repaired, and Lessel Rennie who has provided scrutiny of the accounts.
Lessel commented that thanks are also due to Sylvia and Margaret for their work for IM.
- Membership Subscriptions
Margaret indicated that the board suggested that subscriptions for the coming season of seven concerts and single tickets should be set at £56 and £13 respectively, and that free subscriptions and tickets should continue as before. This was agreed by those present with Lessel proposing approval and Sylvia seconding this.
Elections to the board proceeded with each board member proposed and seconded as follows:
Margaret Bremner – proposed by Sylvia and seconded by Jean
Phillip Cooke – proposed by Sylvia and seconded by Clair
Clair Scott – proposed by Sylvia and seconded by Jean
John De Simone – proposed by Sylvia and seconded by Margaret
John Hearne – proposed in his absence by Margaret and seconded by Ian
Sylvia Munro – proposed by Clair and seconded by Lessel
Jean indicated that Denys Wheatley had expressed a wish to withdraw from the board due to ill health and this news was met with sadness as all had hoped that Denys would be able to return to his former role.
- Close of Meeting: Sylvia thanked everyone for attending and declared the meeting closed.