Executive Committee presents the ELEVENTH Annual Report with the
financial statements of the orchestra for the year ended 31st December
The last formal report was made in the year 2007, and during that
time there have been many changes, most importantly, a new musical
director and a change of name.
met regularly during the year to deal with the necessary business.
Ray Farr has
now completed his first year as musical director and he has
enthusiastically set about the task of consolidating and improving the
repertoire of the orchestra, and of maintaining and improving the
overall standard of performance. To this end, a number of workshops have
been held for the different sections of the orchestra, led by
professional musicians who are acknowledged experts in their respective
There were 43
Members and 3 Patrons.
relatively stable for a number of years, but this year showed an
increase. It was felt that there was a need to increase the size of the
orchestra and also to strengthen the numbers in the string and brass
sections. A recruiting campaign was organised, to commence in the New
One of our
Vice-Presidents, John Lennox, returned from working in Qatar, but has
since left again to teach in Kuwait for six months.
(violin), our membership secretary and his wife, Natalie, have a new
has now established a regular format for the annual programme of four
major concerts each year. An additional performance was given in July at
the Durham Town Hall as part of the Durham International Brass Festival.
The orchestra’s policy is to try and include some new music in each
programme, and the library was extended by the purchase of several new
concerts are expensive to stage – a suitable piano had to be hired in
for the Autumn concert, and several items of music also had to be hired,
because they were not available to purchase. The playing of violin,
tuba, trumpet and piano concertos were new ventures for the orchestra.
the main concerts were Meiko Kanno (Violin), Joe Cook (Tuba), Richard
Martin (Trumpet), Dr. Patrick Zuk (Piano) and Neil Turnbull (Baritone).
The Newcastle Cathedral Consort, with their musical director Michael
Stoddart were guests at the Christmas concert.
concert featured an arrangement of ‘O Holy Night’, specially arranged
for the orchestra and soloist by our musical director, Ray Farr.
Annual General Meeting - Wednesday 14th April
members attended the meeting.
(Chairman) and Sheila Brownlee (Treasurer) stood down from their
respective posts and were thanked for their work during the year. Neil
took on the position of Vice-Chairman.
and Kathleen Mills returned as Chairman and Treasurer respectively,
after a break of four years.
Special general meeting
An SGM was
arranged at the request of the AGM, and held on 26th May 2010 to approve
a change of name for the charity and to update the constitution in the
light of present day requirements. This was done for public relations
and marketing reasons. The name of ‘City of Sunderland Millennium
Orchestral Society (CoSMOS)’ was dropped in favour of ‘Sunderland
Symphony Orchestra.’ It was agreed that the original name be retained in
small print in the constitution and on programmes for historical record.
These changes were approved by The Charity Commission.
It was agreed
that a handbook for members be prepared containing the constitution,
names of officials and bylaws of the orchestra, and this was produced as
requested. The information was added to the web site and hard copies
were made available to any member upon request.
The orchestra's newsletter was re-introduced after a break of about two
years, with the publication of the 'Autumn' edition. It is intended to
produce a newsletter three or four times a year and these will be
distributed to interested parties who are not playing members.
Playing members can view the newsletter on the web site or on the
orchestra's notice board in the practice hall, and hard copies are
available at Wednesday rehearsals.
Membership fees and weekly subscriptions still did not cover the basic
running costs of the Society, there being a continuing need for
sponsorship, grants or donations to break even.
has tightened up accounting procedures and the committee approved a
Sunderland City Council continued to support the Society through the
Community Chest. Grants were received from the Sir James Knott Trust,
the Barber Trust, The Vardy Foundation, the Sunderland Lions Club and
Durham County Council.
generosity of many individuals and organisations in making donations and
grants was gratefully acknowledged.
The assets of
the orchestra had not been checked for several years and several items
of equipment and a number of instruments could not be accounted for.
Enquiries were instigated and are ongoing.
The orchestra's web site
of the web site was taken in-house and is updated on a regular basis.
of all performances and the orchestra’s newsletters are published as
soon as they become available. See
in the practice hall at West Park Church left a lot to be desired. The
Church provided carpet tiles to cover the floor and the orchestra paid
for heavy duty curtains to hang over all the walls. The acoustics are
now substantially improved. In view of the money spent by the orchestra,
the church waived a whole year’s rent, for which we are extremely
advice was obtained regarding the percussion instruments owned by the
orchestra, and the first stage of upgrading the instruments was financed
by the Sunderland Lions Club.
Echo did not give a great deal of publicity to the orchestra this year.
Details of all concerts were also published in the Newcastle Evening
once again extends grateful 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. Special thanks must be given to the
members of West Park Church for help given in many ways throughout the
MAJOR RISKS FACING THE CHARITY
revenue can never provide sufficient cash to provide for the essential
running costs of the charity, and so the orchestra remains dependent on
outside sources of revenue to remain solvent.
2 The long term
availability of the present rehearsal room and office/storeroom has
been in doubt for the last three to four years, and the issues
surrounding this have not yet been resolved.
STEPS TAKEN TO MITIGATE RISKS
orchestra continues to provide a varied and innovative programme of
concerts in order to attract as wide an audience as possible.
sources of funding are continually being approached.
contacts have been established in order to obtain alternative
accommodation, should the need arise. The Church has stated that, should
the building be sold sometime in the future, they will do all possible
to safeguard the interests of existing tenants.
It is intended
that the cash balance in the bank at the end of the financial year
(December 31st) should be at least one year’s (preferably two year’s)
anticipated expenditure. This was achieved this year.
At the Committee
meeting held on Tuesday 8th February 2010 Dr. Chris May was appointed
David E Mills, Neil Turnbull, Sue
Donna Checksfield, Peter Chapman,
Diana Hauber, Kathleen Mills.
here to return to Annual