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Minutes of St Briavels Music Society Annual General Meeting 

17th October, 2021 

St Briavels Church

 

Present: Corinna Arnold (Chair) Margaret Ralph (Secretary) David Rees (Treasurer) Mike Haines (Programme Secretary) Martin Fenn-Smith, Michael Bradley
 

Members present: Committee members (as above), Jenny Clifford, Gill Wright, Judy Craven, Mike Topp, Alice Hogge, Jean Prandy, Ken Prandy, Tony Green, Lesley Green, Richard Jones, Joanna Bradley
 

Non-members present: None
 

Welcome The Notice of AGM dated 17th September 2021 gave the 21 days notice required under the Constitution.

There were 17 attendees in total which, being more than 10 or 10% of the present membership of the Society, constitutes a quorum under the provisions of the Constitution.
 

1. Apologies

Keith and Sue Norman, Maggie Biss
 

2.  Minutes of 2020 AGM held on October 28th 2020

These were made available at the start of the meeting. There were no Matters Arising.

Adoption of the minutes: Proposed by Judy Craven; seconded by Martin Fenn-Smith.  Agreed unanimously.
 

3. Chairman’s Report

Corinna said that Wye Valley Music had moved from online concerts during lockdown held jointly with other music organisations such as the Hay Music Trust, to, more recently, live events beginning in June. These live events have been short, back-to-back, one-hour concerts with socially distanced seating and are now finally beginning full length concerts again, though still at limited capacity. This has had an impact on our finances, which saw a drop in income but with a corresponding drop in expenses, leaving us still in the black.

 

Corinna then spoke briefly about the two outreach programmes:

  • WVM in Schools:  work in local schools began again in May this year, with concert pianist Clare Hammond visiting 3 schools in the Forest of Dean. while in November classical music duo Travelling by Tuba will present workshops in a further 5 schools.  The Lark Trust provided a generous £3,500 to enable this work to continue earlier this year.  Future plans include helping too to establish choirs in several local schools, using a local pianist, who will also be working with WVMiM.
  • WVM in Mind was planned during lockdown, seed financing was secured in the early months of the year and launched in July. It is run by a WVM sub-committee of Alice Hogge, who has a long-time background in the arts; Joanna Bradley, a former registered nurse, and Dr Melanie Mackintosh, a retired GP with experience in working with people with dementia.  WVMiM has held a series of interactive music sessions with a Chepstow Care Home and will launch a Music Memory Café in St Briavels in the New Year. To date, they have raised a total of £5,763, which includes a grant from the St Briavels Parish Council and a local charitable fund.

These programmes embed what WVM considers vital--bringing classical chamber music to a broad audience while providing opportunities for musicians—particularly young ones—to perform in public. Working with the very young as well as with people with dementia, using music, expands our reach into our local community.

The outreach programmes must be self-sustaining and cannot and do not depend on WVM for funding. Corinna said that if anybody was interested in donating to these projects or had any ideas about where to look for financing, then to please let the committee know.

 

Committee membership is unchanged from last year. Alice Hogge will formally join the Committee next year as a representative of WVMiM.

 

In conclusion Corinna thanked all the members of the committee for their generous help and support over the past year.

 

There was one comment – ‘Congratulations’ from Judy Craven, but no questions. The report was duly accepted.

 

4. Secretary’s Report

The secretary reported that there are currently 119 members, of whom 24 are silver members. Last year’s total was 118, with 18 silver members.
 

Margaret referred to our online events as well as the recent reintroduction of live performances, albeit socially distanced and with reduced audience numbers. She welcomed Alice Hogge to the Committee as a co-opted member; Alice will stand for formal membership at next year’s AGM, where she will represent WVMiM. The piano was recently tuned by Philip Kennedy and is in good condition, giving no cause for concern. Margaret also mentioned the donation of an additional asset, an electronic piano keyboard, which will be used for WVMiS. The assessed value will be provided at next year’s AGM. Margaret asked for all to consider whether they could help in any way with Wye Valley Music, or knew of someone who might be interested and if so, to let the committee know by email or in person.
 

There were no questions and the secretary’s report was unanimously accepted by those present.
 

5. Treasurers Report

Copies of unaudited accounts were made available at the start of the AGM.

 

Income and expenditure are both down on last year: Total income for 2019/20 was £15,795 while total expenditure for 2019/20 was £14,350.  Therefore for 2019/20 overall income minus expenditure was £1,445. In 2020/21, by contrast, total income for 2020/21 was £10,032 while total expenditure for 2020/21 was £5,100, leaving WVM with income minus expenditure of £4,932 for the year.
 

Membership subscriptions have stayed stable. Available cash is £12,238 while cash assets stand at £4,950.
 

Questions/comments: Judy Craven asked for an email reminder when membership renewal is due.
 

Approval of accounts: Proposer: Judy Craven; Seconder: Michael Bradley. Approval of accounts accepted unanimously.

 

6. Election of Officers and Committee

There were no changes to the Officers and Committee from last year. Alice Hogge was co-opted onto committee as a representative of Wye Valley Music in Mind; she will formally stand for election to the Committee at the next General Meeting.
 

7. Appointment of Independent Examiner

WVM accounts were reviewed by an independent examiner and it is proposed to do the same for 2022’s accounts.

Proposed by Alice Hogge; seconded by Margaret Ralph.  Unanimously agreed by all those present.
 

8. Proposal to amend the Constitution

Constitutional amendments regarding wording that will make reference to the WVM’s two outreach programmes will be put forward at next year’s AGM. Prior to this, approval for such a change will be sought from the Charity Commission.
 

9. Programme Manager’s Report

Mike Haines referred to WVM’s online concert collaboration with Hay Music Trust during lockdown as a successful exploration of new approaches but no replacement for live events. The backlog of concerts that were postponed from March 2020 meant a glut of concerts over the summer. WVM’s current live monthly programme is set through to June 2022. The programme has a good balance of new music and traditional music, with a mix of soloists, duos, trios and quartets. The Christmas concert will be by choral group Hexad and it is hoped that relaxation of Covid restrictions will allow a full church. Next April pianist Clare Hammond will do a Family Concert open to all, especially those she has worked with in schools. WVM’s concerts are approximately half in St Briavels and half in Monmouth, with the occasional concert in Chepstow too. WVM welcomes feedback about the programme as well as the move to have more afternoon concerts.
 

10. Outreach Programme Reports
 

Wye Valley Music in Schools report by Margaret Ralph
  • For a third consecutive year, Wye Valley Music (WVM) received funding from the Lark Trust to provide young people with the opportunity to hear or perform music in the Wye Valley area. It has also benefitted from the generosity of several WVM member donations. In May, Clare Hammond conducted 3 days’ work with schools in the Forest: Parkend, Ellwood and St. Whites, Cinderford. Feedback from the schools was overwhelmingly positive. In November, Travelling by Tuba will return to spend two days in Chepstow with Thornwell and Pembroke Primary Schools and a third day with a federation of three very small primary schools in the Forest:  Pillowell, Blakeney and Walmore Hill.  These schools are new to WVMiS and are very excited to become part of the work we are planning for the coming year. WVMiS and WVMiM are working very closely together and this has led to a sharing of young talent. Students/recent graduates from the RWCMD and a local young graduate of RNCM have met with Mike Haines and Margaret Ralph to plan a programme of visits to schools between January and July 2022. Olivia Dance (piano) will be working with children and their teachers in several primaries helping to establish choirs and supporting teachers in securing their sustainability.  This will be a longer term project across 2022.  Nikkila Thomas (voice) and Cerys Rees (harp) will be working with a number of schools from January onwards, offering a half day performance cum workshop in each. WVMiS has received two unexpected but hugely welcome gifts in the form of an upright piano and a good quality portable keyboard.  The piano has been very gratefully accepted by Redbrook school, whose own piano was falling apart, while Olivia will use the keyboard when working with schools who don’t have a piano while starting her choirs. WVMiS is exploring additional sources of funding in order to expand the number of schools we work with. Margaret reiterated that we remain hugely grateful to The Lark Trust and a number of private sponsors who have made the current programme possible.
Wye Valley Music in Mind report by Alice Hogge
  • Following the launch of a new national campaign by the Music for Dementia initiative, which challenged organisations at every level to make music an everyday part of dementia care, Wye Valley Music decided to rise to that challenge, launching a new outreach project, “Wye Valley Music in Mind”.  The pilot-scheme took place in August and September, in partnership with a local authority dementia care home in Chepstow, using a music therapist and two students from the Royal Welsh College.  For the residents, people who are normally non-verbal sang along with the musicians and recalled childhood memories when chatting with them afterwards.  One of the performers now has a new job on the strength of the programme and the other wrote: “I have really enjoyed every moment of it and it has confirmed to me that I would like to continue working within outreach and with the elderly.  I have been very proud when I have told people what I have been doing this summer.” WVMiM will be back at the care home in early 2022 for a follow-up programme and with the aim to start working with day-care groups across Monmouthshire too. In Jan 22 WVMiM is opening a Music Memory Café in St Briavels.  This will be a monthly event, featuring live music, refreshments and a chance for people to chat and reminisce.  It will be for people concerned about memory loss or living with a diagnosis of dementia or other brain disorder, along with their family members and carers.  It is also intended to serve as a community hub for dementia support, providing information and advice in a relaxed and friendly environment. Alice invited anyone who would like to find out more to get in touch and also said there would be regular updates on the WVM website and in the Village News. Alice concluded by describing the musicians involved in the project. They are a team of six young people: three current Masters students at RWC, two very recent graduates from music college, and the sixth is local flautist Sarah Waycott, who has performed for Wye Valley Music in the past. As well as being delighted to be working with them WVMiM is in awe of the professionalism and compassion that they are bringing to this project.

11.  Items for discussion.

There were no additional items for discussion raised or submitted prior to the meeting.
 

The Chair thanked everyone who had attended and the meeting closed at 16.45.

Wye Valley Music

Founded 1967
Registered Charity 1092645

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