Waiheke Island Choral Society

Annual General Meeting Minutes, 28 February 2017

Meeting called to order by the President at 7:00PM at Whittaker’s Music Museum.

Present: Dee Austring, Alex Balfour, Anthony Blaom, Eileen Boghurst, Jeanine Clarkin, Norma Cross, Nika Dyblenko, Jane Griffith, Elizabeth Haylock, Paul Healy, Nic Herren, Saskia Herren, Mark James, Lyn Kemeys, Joan Kirk, Kayla Mackenzie-Kopp, Pam Manktelow, Moira McGuinness, Jeanne Mellamphy, Richard Melville, Kara Nelson, Denny Reid, Elke Rosendahl, Maya Spence, Hiromi Stewart, Philip Symonds, Susan Triggs, Flynn Washington, Nora West, Anne Willmann, Willi Willmann

Apologies: Mary Batten, Nassai Herren, Irene Hodson, Andy Spence

In the absence of the Secretary, Mark James was appointed to take the meeting notes.

President’s and Conductor’s Report

Richard Melville, as both President and Conductor, gave the following combined report:

Waiheke High School has decided to offer, during its end-of-year prize-giving ceremonies, a Choral Cup for the best choral performance at the school each year. They have suggested that the Choral Society sponsor the award, at the one-off expense of $100 to purchase the cup itself.

The meeting approved the suggestion and the purchase by acclamation.

Richard divided the rest of his report into a Looking Back and a Looking Forward section.

Looking Back: The highlight of the past year has obviously been our production of The Sound of Music last May and June. Richard complimented the cast for its breadth of quality – “all parts were well-played”; the choir for its fine choral singing; the orchestra for its precise accompaniment; the Waiheke community for its huge response to the show; and most especially Andy and Maya Spence for the deep devotion they displayed for all aspects of the production, and Anne Willmann and Janneke Visser for their tireless commitment to the music rehearsals.

As always on Waiheke, the small size of the Artworks venue required that we put on a large number of performances in order to recover costs. Richard suggested that, for future shows, we consider a tactic used by some drama societies in town (and also by Kathy Ogletree’s group) to have a break of a week or two in between two sets of shows.

Looking Forward: After long preparation we shall at last perform Carmina Burana in conjunction with Kathy Ogletree’s dancers over the weekend of 7 and 8 April 2017, at the Te Huruhi School auditorium. There will be three performances (one on Friday evening, and then matinee and evening shows on Saturday). There will be no Sunday performance due to soloist unavailability.

The Pakuranga Choral Society has invited us to join them in a pair of concerts over the weekend of 20 and 21 May, performing excerpts from Carmina Burana and other works. One of the first tasks of the new committee will be to decide whether to proceed with this invitation.

Sadly, there is one more thing to Look Forward to. In an announcement that brought both speaker and audience to tear-choked emotion, Richard advised that he would not seek reappointment as our President or our Conductor. After 24 years at the helm of the Choral Society, he felt that it was time to step aside and give priority to other aspects of his life. He will stay on for the Carmina Burana production, and for the Pakuranga collaboration if we decide to go forward with that. He did not rule out a future role with specific Choral Society concerts or shows. He suggested that we might consider the model that the Pakuranga Choral Society uses, which is to appoint a different music director for each project.

After an appropriate moment of stunned silence, the meeting rose in a long and thunderous standing ovation to express its love and thanks to the man who has given our Society a quarter century of patient leadership, inspiration, and personal sacrifice. Every one of us can point to personal and collective achievements that would never have been possible without Richard’s musical knowledge, teaching ability, and human understanding. The high points of our performances, those moments that remain vivid in the memories of singers and audiences alike, are too numerous to count. If there is an incarnation of the love of singing, Richard Melville is it, and we are lucky to have had him for as long as we did.

Treasurer’s Report

Mark James reported a profit of $13,064 for the 2016 calendar year. This more than erased the loss of $9700 during 2015, that being due to large up-front costs for The Sound of Music. We took a big financial gamble with that show, and it paid off handsomely. Mark congratulated all who had made the show such a success.

We are therefore heading into Carmina Burana and the uncertain waters thereafter with a healthy war chest.

He also noted a drop in subscription income last year, which he ascribed to his own lack of diligence in getting members to pay up – a laxity which he promised to remedy this year.

Mark moved, and the meeting approved, keeping the subscription rate at $30 for an adult member, $50 for a couple, and $10 for a child under 18. Subscriptions for the current year are thereby now due, and can be paid either by electronic banking (to account 12-3114-0089828-00, using your name in one of the reference fields), or simply by bringing the money to a rehearsal.

Mark moved, and the meeting approved, retaining Rocky A. Rhodes as independent financial reviewer for the coming year.

Finally, Mark distributed copies of the full 2016 financial report as reviewed by Rocky Rhodes.

Election of Officers

In view of the sudden vacuum in the offices of President and Conductor, Dee Austring moved that the conduct of the affairs of the Choral Society be vested temporarily in a Steering Committee that shall have the power to decide on our future direction and to nominate officers in accordance with that decision. The election of the officers shall be the responsibility of a future Special General Meeting, to be called by the Steering Committee for that purpose.

Nominations were sought for such a Steering Committee, and the following persons came forward: Dee Austring, Saskia Herren, Mark James, Maya Spence, Philip Symonds, Susan Triggs, Nora West, and Anne Willmann.

The meeting approved the motion and the membership of the Steering Committee.

The meeting adjourned at 7:35PM.