As of the date of this report we have 72 members, plus 32 whose direct debits have not yet matured, making a total of 105 year’ total was 122 (of whom 19 were silver members). It seems likely that the drop in renewals, which happen throughout the year, is related to the Pandemic and the fact that there have been no concerts since March 2020. We will make contact with the small number who have not yet renewed and keep them informed whenever a mailing is sent out.
As always our database has been an important marketing tool and continues to enable us to reach our potential audience very quickly. In the last seven months as we have all struggled with the ever changing demands of lockdown and social distancing, it has been invaluable in maintaining contact with our members and keeping them abreast of what we are hoping to be able to present in the future. At the present moment, as I write this report, the winter months are looking somewhat bleak, certainly in terms of any live performances. We have not produced a brochure for the forthcoming season as yet, as we simply cannot predict what will be possible in the foreseeable future. Our committee is exploring ways of making you aware of the various possibilities of watching chamber music which is being streamed live, and is similar to what we had planned to present. Some of these events may be performed by artists we have had in the Wye Valley in the past, or were hoping to have this coming year. We are very aware of the difficulties professional artists are experiencing in generating an income, and subscribing to streamed performances is one way of helping them. Committee members have been meeting regularly on Zoom to assess the current and future situation in terms of re-starting live performance. Mike Haines is in touch with the artists we were hoping to welcome and exploring ways that we may be able to hear them in coming months.
Our Chairman, Martin Fenn-Smith has announced his intention to step down as Chair and we will be electing his successor at the AGM. Martin has worked tirelessly for the Society for the last 6 years and his vision for its future, together with his ability to attract new members to the committee who have brought a range of very useful skills has been invaluable. In many ways it has ensured that our membership numbers have been sustained and that we have been able to continue to engage artists of a high calibre because of the funding that we have secured through various grants and donations. He also led the thinking on sustainability that led to our innovative work with schools and the Royal Welsh College, which has been very successful. We are delighted that he will remain as a committee member and extend our sincere thanks for the drive and expertise with which he has led the society forward.
Our part time administrator, Linda Day ended her association with us in August, as her other work has expanded significantly in recent months. She has been a huge help to the committee in supporting the day to day liaison between ourselves and the artists and in overseeing the production of the brochure as well as communication with the many local societies, media and venues that are all an essential part of ensuring the concerts run smoothly and are well advertised. We wish her well in the future and extend our thanks for all she has done.
The piano was last tuned by Philip Kennedy ahead of the concert in March and is in good condition, giving no cause for concern.
As we have said in previous years, we are always on the lookout for new committee members and would ask you to consider whether you could help in any way, or know of someone who might be interested.
13th October 2020