The Executive Committee has great
pleasure in presenting the FOURTH Annual Report of the Society.
The Committee met seven times during
Diana Hauber was co-opted to the
Committee for the year.
There were 35 Members, 7 Patrons and 2
Although numbers were similar to those
of last year and we gained some new members, there were losses due to
several members leaving to go to University etc.
At the start of October, our
Vice-Chairman, John Lennox, went to work in Qatar for a year. We wish him
well and look forward to his return. Among other things, John was
responsible for the production of most of our flyers, posters, tickets and
During the year the Committee had to
invoke paragraph 5.7 of the constitution and require a member to resign.
This was due to that member’s behaviour and intentions being seen to be
harmful to CoSMOS.
As a result of comments made at the
last A G M, the Committee made a policy decision that all main concerts in
the future would be held in West Park Church. The Empire Theatre was too
expensive and too large for our usual audiences.
Eight performances were given during
Members once again provided the ‘Pit
Orchestra’ for the Youth Music Spectacular at the Empire Theatre in
The St. Andrew’s Operatic Society
joined with CoSMOS members for the Gilbert & Sullivan evening on February
The Sunderland branch of the
Musician’s Union organised a two day Sunderland MUsic Festival on Saturday
and Sunday the 4th and 5th July. Twenty-three CoSMOS
members played a ‘Last Night of the Proms’ concert as the closing
performance on the Sunday in the marquee at Ashbrooke Sports Ground.
Twenty-eight members went to Rookhope,
near Stanhope to give an afternoon concert in the village hall, on Sunday
28th September. The hall was full & standing. A coach was
provided to transport our members and tea was provided afterwards.
Members of the Usworth Youth Orchestra
joined with CoSMOS for the Christmas Carol Concert on Sunday 14th
December. The audience at this event was one of the largest to attend a
Soloists at the three main concerts
were Gregory Pullen (Cello), Gemma Busfield (Soprano), Irada Akhundova
(Soprano), Miles Hanson (Bass-Baritone), and Kath Ireland (Mezzo-Soprano)
together with her accompanist Gordon Trewhitt.
Annual General Meeting
- Wednesday 5th March
Twenty members attended the meeting.
A number of amendments to the constitution were agreed. Subsequently, one
amendment did not meet with The Charity Commissioners approval, but they
suggested a way round the problem, which the Committee acted upon. The
remainder were incorporated into the constitution.
Membership fees were kept
at the same level as for last year.
It was agreed that all playing members
pay £1.00 per night towards the cost of room hire on Wednesdays, this
figure to include free tea/coffee and biscuits.
The Society’s finances improved during
the year, but there was still a need for additional income. Membership
fees and weekly subscriptions did not cover the basic running costs of the
Society, the shortfall being made up with donations.
Symphony concert ticket money
increased, but these concerts still required sponsorship, grants or
donations to almost break even.
The generosity of many individuals and
organisations in making donations and grants is gratefully acknowledged.
The Sunderland City Council continued
to support the Society through the Community Chest and the Lifelong
Learning Community Development Fund.
The Community Foundation gave a grant
a) to purchase musical instruments and b) to underwrite the tutor expenses
for the first seventeen weeks of a new Youth Music Club being formed by
Rupert at West Park Church. The club offered musical tuition, song, dance
& games. The Church agreed not to charge any rent for the use of the
premises for these first seventeen weeks since the initial stated
intention was for the club to be a CHURCH youth club. It soon became
apparent that this would not be the case and funding for rent would be
needed if the project were to continue. The project was a success with
about twenty members enrolled. The name of the group was changed to The
Sunderland Youth Music Club and it was hoped that if the group continued,
it would form a stepping stone to the orchestra. Funding has not yet been
An orchestral glockenspiel and an oboe
were purchased, together with three acoustic guitars and an amplifier. The
musical instruments became the property of CoSMOS upon the completion of
the seventeen week project.
Grants for an orchestra or society are
extremely difficult to obtain. Monies are available for work in the
community, in specified geographical areas and for work with specified
groups of people. Many of these grants are given to individual persons to
be used at a location of their choice, and with staff of their choice. The
funds have to be administered by a properly constituted body in accordance
with the conditions of the grant making organisation.
Rupert obtained funding of this type
from two bodies, a) The Lifelong Learning Community Development Fund and
b) The Scarman Trust (Can Do) through the Community Millennium Award
Scheme; both of these grants were towards Rupert’s ‘Music for All’
programme which included the ‘Sound Rhythm and Soul’ percussion group held
on Thursday nights. Valerie Hanson also obtained a grant from The Scarman
Trust as part of this programme.
Fifteen members enrolled for the ‘SRS
Experience’ and then took part in the September Promenade Concert and in
the concert at Rookhope.
The Committee agreed to act as the
fundholders and administrators for these funds on the understanding that
CoSMOS gained benefit from so doing.
The Microsoft Corporation donated a
copy of the computer programme ‘Front Page’ to the Society.
The Rotary Club supported the
September Promenade Concert with a financial donation.
More than 1000 carpet tiles were given
to the Society by George Craig, Founder and Honorary President of The
Lazarus Centre. These had been given to Mr. Craig by a town centre store
for onward distribution to deserving causes. The tiles have been used to
carpet the orchestra room at the Church, and also to cover much of the
wooden floor of the Church itself. This has helped greatly to improve
As in previous years, several
anonymous donations were received from individuals, both in cash and in
kind. The Sanctuary area of the Church was re-carpeted during the Summer
and the opportunity was taken by CoSMOS to provide carpeting for the stage
extensions used by the orchestra. Most of the cost of the carpet was met
by the auditor, the web site maintainer and one orchestra member who
donated their fees or expenses for this purpose.
Orchestra rehearsal area
All the windows in the Church Hall,
and the tiles on the roof of the hall were repaired by the Church
Authorities during the year, so the Society can look forward to warm and
dry rehearsals in the future.
Formation of Social Committee
The Committee gave permission for
Chris Brown and Sarah White to form a Social Committee. The first function
to be held was an evening meal at a local restaurant.
The Sunderland Echo once again
provided good coverage of our concerts and published some excellent
A limited edition booklet entitled
‘History of CoSMOS and the Sunderland Symphony Orchestra - The First Four
Years’ was produced by the Chairman. This is due to be published at the
Anniversary Concert on 28th February 2004, priced £4.00.
The Society once again extends its
thanks to all the people and groups who have supported its activities over
the past year. The volunteer help given by so many is greatly appreciated.
David E. Mills, Rupert W Hanson,
Heather E Peel,
Kathleen A Mills,
John A Lennox, Diane Scott-McGrath
here to return to Annual