Macclesfield Male Voice Choir. 


Minutes of a committee meeting held at Macclesfield Methodist Church on 22nd August  2019 at 7.30pm. 

  1. In attendance: H. Newton, J. Robinson, R. Jenner, G. Waters, D. Collins, K. Jones, G. Jones-David, J. Wilkin.

  2. Apologies for absence: F. Furmage, D. Hyde.

  3. The minutes of the meeting held 13th June 2019 were approved and duly signed by the Chairman.

  4. There were no matters arising from 3 above.

  5. Financial Update from the Treasurer:

“The Balance at 21/8/19 is £14,280.82. This includes c£4500 held on account for the Isle of Man trip so realistically it is more like c£9700. 

We have not received an invoice for URC for Chapel concert (£200) and can expect the remaining subscription uplift from 6 choristers, totalling £300.

Depending on the number of rehearsals between now and end of year, and assuming we will cease rehearsals after the Langley Concert, our commitments for the remainder of the year are c£5000 to cover rehearsals and concert fees for the Music Team (only Wilmslow and Flint have been considered because Isle of Man, Langley are covered by fees etc). 

I have made no provision for Remembrance as I have no information to work on other than agreements on venue, profit distribution etc. but it is probably reasonable to assume that we will cover all costs. So, with no account of any proceeds from Wilmslow our end of year balance should be c£4700. 

The first two months of operation in 2020 will incur c£2500 costs so our running balance is sound through to the next significant inflow of revenue.”

It was felt that a complete break after Langley on 6th Dec was too long and that the whole issue of Rehearsals, after Langley and throughout 2020 will be discussed with Robert on 26th August.

The outcome would then enable the Treasurer to give a more accurate estimate of how much future Annual Subscriptions should be. He will do so in November to allow for final discussion prior to the next AGM.

  1. The Llandudno Concert made a profit of some £400. J. Wilkin remarked that for the amount of time and effort put into making it a success £400 wasn’t much. The Chairman recorded a vote of thanks to all involved. However, the feedback from local hoteliers, businesses, audience, the venue were all extremely positive. It was by far the best attended Choir performance this year. In the opinion of a member of the Welsh Arts Council who attended, we were the best sounding MVC this year and our rendition of Gwahoddiad was spot-on.

Additionally, it was strongly felt that making a weekend of it was an excellent ‘bonding exercise’ and that we should repeat it next year. Those members who stayed in Llandudno believed that now we are known, the admin and preparation would be a lot easier if we did it again next year. 

In light of all these positives the question of whether we should go to Bridlington or Llandudno next year was raised. All those present were convinced that the Llandudno experience was far superior in respect of travelling, location, accommodation, enjoyment. After further discussion on the relative merits of both venues and that the proposed trip to Bridlington in June 2020 was unconfirmed, it was agreed that Section Reps should ask their members for their opinion. J. Robinson would also discuss with D. Hyde. G. Jones-David requested that this be done urgently so that bookings can be made asap.

On the critical side – it was accepted that our rehearsal was embarrassing and Robert had every right to be annoyed, there was an air of ‘end-of-term’ about our attitude prior to the rehearsal, our entry number ‘Take me Home’ needs to be worked on if we are to do that again and finally we need to consider purchasing a portable p.a.system so that our comperes can be heard.

  1. Section Reps:

T1 – D. Collins reported that his section nearly all believed that having Wednesday rehearsals on a regular basis was counterproductive and was adversely affecting attendance and enthusiasm. They would prefer Wednesdays to be only as required. However, the sessions dedicated to T2&T1 only were very useful and were willingly attended.

Other Section Reps said that their members were attending Wednesdays regularly and were generally accepting. But it was agreed that Wednesdays held to focus on specific sections were very much favoured and productive and this system should be used more often.

T2 reported that 2 rehearsals were not an imposition however the same focus as mentioned above would be beneficial.

B1 & B2 – no reports.

  1. AOB

a) RJ- “What Charity”. although interesting it was agreed this was not a cost-effective thing to get involved in.

b) DH- David sent a written request asking, “What is the process for choosing the new uniform?”. After considering the question it became clear that there was still a great deal of confusion surrounding the whole subject of “new uniforms”. Of particularconcern was the realisation that a large number of members still believed that they were going to be asked to directly contribute to the cost of purchase and that this was definitely influencing their choice of what we should go for.

Therefore, it was agreed that before we can proceed, the Chairman should write to everyone clearly explaining:

i)- The initial and future cost of any new uniform will come exclusively from Choir Funds. No individual contribution from choristers. 

ii) The Grant from the Town is ring-fenced to the new uniform project

iii) Members’ decisions as to style must therefore not be based on cost.

iv) Although the objective is to move quickly, the decision should not be rushed to meet any deadlines. It is too important. There is no time limit imposed on the Grant.

v) in light of this we will ask members to vote again through their Section Reps who will then submit the results to the Committee.

 c) RJ- the 6 points he raised concerned Mervyn Lovatt’s ‘Musings’ and he will reply to Mervyn Lovatt.

d) RJ/GW – ‘Ownership’ of Events. Now that the Event Spreadsheets and Debrief documents are being used it was agreed to try a system of control where Sections take it in turn to ‘Own’ an Event.

The Wilmslow Concert in June is already being controlled by DC and KJ.

J. Wilkin, on behalf of B1, will take ownership of the October Concert in Flint.

GW is controlling the IoM Festival.

T1 [RJ] will control the November Chester concert.

Remembrance and Langley - TBC.

e) GW- After Finance, the most important issue facing any organisation like ours is Recruitment of new blood. By our very nature and the average age of MVCs in general, we are going to constantly be faced with a reduction in membership. GW believes as a matter of urgency we should appoint a Recruitment Secretary/Manager who is a member of the management team and is allocated a budget. This was approved in principal and it was suggested that brain-storming session be arranged one Wednesday soon. 

K. Jones reminded the meeting that internal Succession-Planning to ensure continuity was as important.

Date of next meeting: 7th November 2019 / Macclesfield Methodist Church / 7:30pm

The chairman thanked everyone for their attendance and closed the meeting at 21:40.

Signed: H. Newton


30th Sept. 2019