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Year Ending 31st December 2005

City of Sunderland Millennium Orchestral Society

Established October 1999. Charity Registration Number 1082431

  The Executive Committee has great pleasure in presenting the SIXTH Annual Report of the Society.

  The Committee met regularly during the year to deal with the necessary business.

  Diana Hauber and Diane Scott-McGrath were co-opted to the Committee.

Membership matters

   There were 50 Members, 7 Patrons and 2 Friends.

   There was an increase in membership this year, which more than compensated for losses due to re-location etc.


   The Society gave  six concerts during the year; four in West Park Church and two in Holy Trinity. The October performance at Holy Trinity was part of an eighteenth century pageant to celebrate 200 years of Trafalgar.

   The May concert had a smaller than usual audience due to a clash of dates with another major musical event in the town. The September and Christmas concerts were both played to a full house.

   Members again provided the pit orchestra (Variety Orchestra) for the Youth Musical Spectacular (this year in July) at the Empire Theatre; they also provided a ‘Palm Court Orchestra’ for the Summer Strawberry Tea at Holy Trinity, played at a concert in Holy Trinity to celebrate the Battle of Camperdown, and played Christmas Carols  in The Bridges Shopping Centre in Sunderland just before Christmas (Late night shopping).

   A major outdoor musical spectacular planned for May in Holy Trinity Gardens, to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of VE Day, had to be ‘re-arranged’ at the last minute, due to inclement weather. Much of the programme was cancelled, but the orchestra gave a performance in the Church building, albeit to a small audience.

   An outdoor concert in Mowbray Park, Sunderland, to celebrate VJ day in August had to be cancelled two days previously due to torrential rain waterlogging the area and other problems which arose at the last minute, which would have resulted in a huge financial loss.

   Soloists at the five main concerts were Katrina Campbell (Soprano), Vera Vincent (Soprano), Rachel Orr (Soprano), Sean Wilkinson (Counter tenor) and Rupert Hanson (Bass-baritone) together with accompanist Gordon Trewhitt (Piano). The East End Sing-a-long Chorus participated on two occasions.

   Instrumental solos at the concerts were performed by Cathy Donnelly (Cello), David McCourt (Violin), Paul Judson & Tony Hedley (Bassoons).

   Gary Nichol (French Horn) conducted ‘Jupiter’ from ‘The Planets’ at the September concert.

   The September concert also premièred part of a composition by Sid Ross (Violin) - one of our own members - ‘The Simonside Hills’.

   Associate conductor Gregory Pullen undertook an increasingly important rôle during the year.

   During the year, it became an insurance requirement that children aged between three and ten years were no longer to be allowed in the upstairs balcony of West Park Church. This was for safety reasons.


   Cathy Donnelly (Cello) left us to go and live in Norway, Gary Nichol (French Horn) to further his career in the USA, and Sid Ross (Violin) retired. We wish them all the very best in their new situations.

Annual General Meeting - Wednesday 9th March

   Twenty one members attended the meeting.

   Election of officials  Diane Scott-McGrath stood down as Orchestra Manager and her place was taken by Brian Naisby.

   Membership fees

   Membership fees remained the same for a further year.

   The Constitution was amended to include the membership categories of President and Vice-President. Agreed to invite John Lennox to the position of Vice-President. John subsequently accepted the position.

Financial matters

   Thanks are extended to Rev. Peter Jordan of West Park Church for independently checking the accounts. Peter is a member of The Institute of Bankers and was previously in international banking.

   Membership fees and weekly subscriptions are now almost covering the basic running costs of the Society, but there is still a need for sponsorship, grants or donations to guarantee breaking even.

   The financial year ended satisfactorily with two year's anticipated expenditure in an investment account. This was due to careful control of expenditure and the generosity of a number of organisations and individuals. The account is currently producing an annual income of just over £200.00 interest.

   Other than the donations and Community Chest grant mentioned below, no external funding was obtained for the Society or for the orchestra during the year, and there was no major expenditure on music or instruments.

   All concerts broke even due to the generosity of Music for All and The North Eastern Co-operative Society.

   The Sunderland City Council continued to support the Society through the Community Chest.

   The Society continued to administer the funds for ‘Music for All’ but steps had to be taken to prevent the inappropriate use of the CoSMOS charity registration number.

Gift Aid

   A tax rebate for £1083.00 was received from the Inland Revenue in respect of Gift Aid for the last five years. The money was placed in the investment account.

CoSMOS notice board

   The notice board was updated with the new web site address.

   Thanks go to Nigel Pearch of Fulwell for printing the A2 size posters for the notice board.


   There was very little pre-concert publicity this year and no published photographs. The Sunderland Echo printed reviews of the three major concerts.

   ‘The History of CoSMOS - The First Four Years’ and ‘CoSMOS and The Sunderland Symphony Orchestra in Print’ were amalgamated and updated to form ‘The History of CoSMOS - The First Five Years.’ Some copies were sold, but most were used for advertising and as support material for grant applications.


   The Society once again extends grateful thanks to all the people and groups who have supported its activities over the past year, and in particular to the members of West Park Church for their help in running concerts. However, volunteer help is needed in many areas, particularly in ‘front of house’ duties at concerts.


David E. Mills, Rupert W Hanson, Heather E. Wear (née Peel),

Kathleen A. Mills, Diane Scott-McGrath, Diana Hauber, Brian Naisby.

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Copyright © 2010 D E Mills