Tuesday, September 9, 2003

Annual report 2003

Registered Charity – number 1087848

Report of the Committee for the year ended 31 July 2003

Chairperson – Eleanor Brooks, Secretary - Janette MacPherson, Treasurer – Fiona Benjamin, Librarian - Ann Moore, Publicity - Mike Cooney, Events – Lis Allen, Friends and members – Simon Witcomb, Kathryn Moore

Mike Smethurst-Evans has now been with us for four years, and has brought the band on from humble beginnings to a playing force to be reckoned with! He feels that now is probably the right moment to “retire”, and regain his Friday evenings (not to say all the other evenings of planning rehearsals and concerts, and turning out at weekends to wave the baton in the most unlikely and uncomfortable places). His farewell concert will be on 13 December 2003, and we hope that this will be a suitable platform at which the members and our audience can thank him properly for all his hard work and inspiration.

Constitution and object
The band is a registered charity, and its constitution is available to all members. The object of the band is to advance the education of the public by raising the aesthetic taste through the performance of music.

Membership and rehearsals
We have had 37 paying members throughout the year, and our average attendance at rehearsals is about 28 (76%). We rehearse every Friday during term time from 7.30pm to 9.30pm in Beenham School Hall.

We are building a library of music comprising arrangements of popular tunes and marches, music from shows and films, and light classical music, as well as pieces written specifically for wind band.

7 September 2002 Fete at Dunston Park, Thatcham
23 November 2002 Concert in the Corn Exchange, Newbury
16 December 2002 Carols at Beenham
29 March 2003 Concert at St Mary’s Church, Thatcham
18 May 2003 Young Farmers’ Show, Theale
5 July 2003 Fete at Beenham School
28 June 2003 Newbury Summer Show
6 July 2002 Newbury Carnival
18 July 2003 Open air concert in Beenham

Corn Exchange concert
Our first concert in the Newbury Corn Exchange was in November 2002. The programme featured vocal solos by Gail Hendrickx, and the premiere of The Six Bells. This piece was commissioned by the band, and conducted by the composer, Torbjorn Hultmark. The band was augmented for this concert, by some additional players, including the members of Chaconne Brass. We are very grateful to them, and to Grundon, whose sponsorship enabled us to put on the concert.

Music weekend
The weekend of music on 7 and 8 February 2003, at Ufton Court, was enjoyed by all. Robert Roscoe and Trevor Defferd were our guest conductors, and we took pleasure in learning new pieces, as well as good company and the amazing environment. We hope that we have now established the weekend as a regular part of our calendar.

French visitors
Perhaps the most amazing episode in the year was the visit by the band from Dinan in France. They were in the area, but were let down by their intended hosts. They contacted us via the internet, and joined us for a rehearsal on 2 May 2003. There were 27 musicians, plus a few supporters, and we played some of their music as well as some of ours. Together we filled the hall, and just about swamped the Six Bells afterwards, but hopefully, they enjoyed our company as much as we enjoyed theirs. We shall keep in touch, and hope to arrange a return visit.

26 members of the band, including family and friends, enjoyed a lively Christmas meal with excellent food in the Victory Hall, Beenham in December 2002; 12 members and friends were treated to an evening’s archery by Eleanor Brooks at Ufton Court in March; and Fiona Benjamin hosted a BBQ at her house in July 2003.

The web site (http://www.beenhamband.org.uk/) has been designed and is maintained by Mike Cooney. This is kept up to date with copies of newsletters, music and performances, and provides members, prospective members and concert organisers with information about the band. We have a logo, and excellent stand banners have been produced by Ann Moore.

A copy of the accounts for the year to 31 July 2003 is attached. We are very grateful for the continued support of Beenham Parish Council, which allows us to use the Beenham School Hall for rehearsals. Subscriptions for 2002/03 were £35 for the year or £13 per term. It will be proposed at the AGM that the subscriptions for 2003/04 are increased to £60 per year or £25 per term, to cover the cost of new conductors. Being a charity, we are able to recover income tax on subscriptions.

Our main aim is to ensure that all members enjoy their music making, whilst meeting the objective of the charity. The long-term plan for the band was developed in 2001, and reviewed last year. It will be reviewed again in 2004, with our new conductor.

Eleanor Brooks - chairman
9 September 2003