Friday, September 28, 2007

2007 Annual report

Registered Charity – number 1087848

Report of the Committee for the year ended 31 July 2007

Chairman – Simon Witcomb, Secretary - Janette MacPherson, Treasurer – Fiona Benjamin, Librarian - Ann Moore, Eleanor Brooks, Lynne Ellis, Xander Hough, Mel Poyda, Jean Rollinson

We have always been fortunate with our conductors, but none more so than with Robert Roscoe, who took over from September 2006, having just returned from a year in New Zealand. Robert is very well-known, having spent most of his career with the Berkshire Music Service. Apart from being an excellent conductor and musical inspiration, he also lives in Beenham.

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 39 paying members during the year. We rehearsed every Friday during term time from 7.45pm to 9.45pm in Beenham School Hall.

A copy of the accounts for the year to 31 July 2007 is attached. Our income exceeded our expenses by £587, which was £917 better than the budgeted deficit. In order to avoid a deficit, members were asked for a further £10 during the year, which contributed £500. In addition, the expenditure on music and copying was £500 less than expected, and we received more income from playing at fetes. Subscriptions for 2006/07 were £75 for the year or £27.50 per term, with concessions. It will be proposed at the AGM that subscriptions are increased to £85 and £30 respectively. Being a charity, we are able to recover income tax on subscriptions.

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.

Performances and events
17 September 2006 Cold Ash day
18 November 2006 Rhapsody in Blue, Corn Exchange
9 December 2006 Christmas meal
15 December 2006 Christmas concert
21 December 2006 Carols round the village
9/10 March 2007 Ufton Court weekend
17 March 2007 Artie Shaw in Thatcham
27 May 2006 Chapel Row Pentecost picnic
21 June 2007 Caversham
1 July 2007 Newbury Carnival
20 July 2007 Open air concert (flooded) in Beenham School
28 July 2007 Englefield Flower Show

Main concerts
Our November concert in the Corn Exchange was titled the Big Country, and featured Rhapsody in Blue with Bunny Thompson as the piano soloist. The attendance was well over 300, which was 50% up on our previous concerts. We were delighted to have an American guest conductor, Tom Verrier, who came over from the USA, especially for the concert, and conducted the Vaughan Williams Suite.

In March, Caroline Woodhouse played Artie Shaw’s Clarinet Concerto most spectacularly. She is a local girl, who is now at the Royal Academy of Music.

Unfortunately, the July concert due to be held on the Recreation Ground in Beenham was in the School Hall instead, because that was the day of the “floods”.

The BBQ was also cancelled because of the floods, but the Christmas meal was in the Six Bells at Beenham.

Marketing and publicity
The emphasis of the marketing and publicity work this year has been on refocusing the marketing strategy and rebranding the band. This started with the development of a new logo, which not only represents the band as it is now, but hopefully the band's aspirations as a serious, talented ensemble that is "going places". In synch with this the band's website ( was completely overhauled in terms of its design and content. The new site is easy to navigate and periodically updated with news and reviews. There has been a significant development in terms of adding value to the concert experience and additional articles and features have been added such as an interview with Caroline Woodhouse. A house style has been developed and applied to all concert promotional material and the generic logo has been used, as it was intended, in many different presentations such as the summer Beenham Band butterflies. Promotional material is now being produced at professional printing houses which allow the band to produce glossy and professional looking promotional material. In terms of press and publicity, the band is now producing and circulating press releases to the local media. Webmasters have been contacted to update and provide links for the new site and it is hoped that local web and print media listings will be secured in the next year. This overall increased profile resulted in record sales at both Corn Exchange 2006 and March 2007 concerts. An e-mail "friends" database has also been used to keep fans updated on major concerts and hopefully this will be expanded in the next year. A survey was completed by band members and analysed not only to understand the demographic and the feelings of band members, but to also understand our audience, which at the moment is made up mostly from friends and family of band members. This information has been used to feed into committee decisions and more work on understanding our audience will be undertaken in the next year.

Our main aim is to ensure that all members enjoy making good music, whilst meeting the objective of the charity.

Simon Witcomb – Chairman 28 September 2007