The Executive Committee has great
pleasure in presenting the SECOND Annual Report of the Society.
Membership was slightly down this
year, there being 7 Patrons (5 last year) and 30 members (38 last year), but there were
several changes of face; this was partly due to younger members who were students joining
and/or leaving the area. The change of practice night to Wednesdays also had some
effect upon the number of playing members; some were lost, some new ones came in.
Discussions were held regarding the desirability of returning to a Monday night for
practice, but the consensus was to stay with Wednesdays. This year practices continued
throughout the Summer without a break, which proved satisfactory.
General Meeting - Wednesday 21st March
Twenty five members attended the
A.G.M. John Lennox was appointed Vice-Chairman, but the posts of Secretary, Fund-Raiser
and Orchestra Manager remained unfilled. It was good to note that some of the younger
members contributed to the lively discussions. The Chairman was requested to take up the
matter of the unsatisfactory heating in the practice hall with the Church Authorities.
This was done, and new heaters were due to be installed during January 2002.
A smaller number of performances were
given this year (eleven, compared to twenty three last year); this was partly due to the
dates requested being unsuitable for some of our key players. A new venture was providing
background music for a charity fund-raising coffee morning in West Park Church. The 'Opera
for All' and Christmas Concerts were very well attended.
For the first concert by the full
orchestra in April 2001, additional staging was hired to provide a large enough area for
the seating of musicians in the Sanctuary of the Church. It was clear that to do this for
all major concerts would prove to be uneconomic, so the Society arranged to purchase
materials to build their own staging. This was designed and built by two members of the
West Park Church, John Shipley and Ken Smith, to whom we extend our grateful thanks. A
second tier is at the design stage. When completed, this will enable the musicians seated
at the back to be elevated in relation to those at the front.
The Academy did not operate this year,
due to staffing and financing problems. However, it is hoped to start again in the New
Year under the title of Musical Tuition.
During the year, four groups
affiliated to the Society.
The Sunderland Ladies Choir
The Sunderland Arts Club
The Usworth Youth Chorale
The Usworth Youth Orchestra
'Awards for All'
A new application to 'Awards for All'
was successful, a grant of £4047.00 being received for the purchase of two timpani, for
the purchase of a notice board to be affixed to the wall outside West Park Church, for the
creation of a web-site, and for a computer system. It was a condition of accepting the
'Awards for All' grant that the Society uses the 'Awards for All' logo in its publicity
material. The 'Sunderland Echo' gave good coverage regarding the formal presentation of
the award to the Society by Colin Anderson, Leader of the Sunderland City Council.
A number of donations, many anonymous,
were received during the year. The Society gratefully acknowledges these, and would draw
special attention to the following:
Messrs. Microsoft who donated a
considerable package of software to the Society, for use with the computer system, through
their 'Microsoft Giving' Charity Programme.
Mr. John Lennox who donated the
programmes and publicity materials for the two major concerts.
This was a difficult year financially,
since the Society failed to attract any sponsorship towards the presentation of concerts.
Sponsorship was anticipated from Ford North-East Dealers, as last year, but unfortunately
Ford North-East Dealers as a group was dissolved during the early part of the year, so
money from this source was not forthcoming. A substantial fee had been negotiated for a
concert to be performed in May on Durham Riverside, in connection with a visit by Steve
Redgrave. It was then decided to fund the April concert partially from the fee to be
received from the May concert. However the May concert had to be cancelled due to the foot
and mouth disease problem. The Sunderland City Council came to the rescue and made a grant
of £1000.00, which covered the deficit on the April concert. The Society wishes to
express its sincere gratitude to the Council for this help. The concert held in the Empire
Theatre in September did not attract as many listeners as was hoped for, but the publicity
and goodwill gained more than compensated for the financial loss.
There was a reduction in income from
'New Deals', due to this organization needing reduced use of the West Park facilities.
There was a considerable saving on secretarial expenses.
The Sunderland City Council once again supported the Society through the Community Chest,
providing capital for the purchase of music, to create a revenue stream for rent of
facilities and to pay for part of the second tier of staging.
The Society has been successful in
obtaining approval from the City Council for the use of the central part of the City's
Coat of Arms (the shield) in publicity material.
The Society has received a great
amount of help and support during the year from many people, particularly the Elders and
Members of West Park Church. A number of musicians, who although not members of CoSMOS,
have given their time and talents by playing in various concerts. To all these people the
Society extends its grateful thanks.
David E. Mills, Rupert W. Hanson,
Heather E. Peel, Kathleen A. Mills, John A. Lennox
here to return to Annual