Executive Committee present their report with the financial statements
of the orchestra for the year ended 31st December 2011.
There were 41
Members and 4 Patrons.
members left during the year - Sophia Pearson (Cello), Catherine Small
(Bass), Brian Rogers (Oboe), Sandra Rodriguez (Violin), and Severine
Chanduloy (Violin) - to further their careers in other parts of the
country. We wish them well and thank them for their support and hard
work during their membership.
(Cello) and Stephen celebrated the birth of a son.
(violin) and Ian extended their family with a baby girl.
recruiting campaign was reasonably successful, and the Sunderland City
Library has continued to display our recruiting poster throughout the
year. Now, for the first time since the orchestra’s formation, all
instruments are represented at most rehearsals. However, there is
still room for additional players.
(Vice President) returned home from abroad and took part in the Proms
concert as narrator in ‘Henry V Suite'.
programmes continued to be imaginative and innovative, and once again
several items of music had to be hired, because they were not available
for purchase. The playing of a saxophone concerto in the Summer concert
was a new venture for the orchestra.
City library has been very helpful in obtaining
several pieces for us on
‘Inter Library Loan.’ This works out significantly
cheaper than hiring the scores commercially, when the facility is
were given during the year - ‘A night at the Opera,’ a ‘Summer Concert,’
‘Last Night of the Proms,’ and the ‘Christmas concert.’ Each
concert included music which had not previously been played by the
these concerts were all internationally known - Rachel Orr (Soprano),
Rob Buckland (Saxophone) and the Sunderland Monkwearmouth Songsters of
The Salvation Army.
Two of the
concerts featured well known pieces which had been arranged by Ray Farr
- ‘Riverdance’ and ‘Midnight Sleighride’ (an arrangement of ‘Troika’).
An encore of ‘Riverdance’ was demanded by the audience - a first for the
concert recorded the highest audience attendance to date - 155.
are extended to Calum Zuckert, Dylan Huw Thomas and Svein Oskar Smogeli
from Durham University who deputised for Ray Farr on separate occasions,
when conducting engagements elsewhere meant that he was unable to be
with us on Wednesday nights.
Annual General Meeting - Wednesday
members attended the meeting.
Election of officials
Lowther joined the committee as Secretary. Thanks were extended to Diana
Hauber for her work in this role for several years previously.
course of the year, Neil Turnbull resigned as Vice-Chairman, and Donna
Checksfield (now Watlen) resigned as Orchestra Manager. Thanks are
extended to both members for their past work. Brian Naisby agreed to
take over temporarily as Orchestra Manager.
Three editions of the orchestra's newsletter were produced during the
year. These were distributed to interested parties and were available
for viewing on the web site.
The new method
of allowing the annual subscription to be paid in three instalments was
reasonably successful. The Membership Secretary had a lot of unexpected
additional work, however, due to some members being very late with
Sunderland City Council continued to support the Society through the
received from the Sir James Knott Trust and Microsoft.
valuable violin on long term loan was requested back by the donor. After
three months of diligent investigative work an alternative instrument
was found and given to the donor. The donor now considers this matter
The orchestra’s web site
proved to be a popular source of information with the public, judging by
the number of queries received.
discovered that another musical charity in the town was making false
claims on some of its publicity regarding its relationship with the
orchestra. Solicitors took this matter up on our behalf, and brought the
matter to a satisfactory conclusion.
Sunderland Echo only gave one preview and no reviews during the year,
despite them being sent complimentary tickets and full details of all
concerts including photographs.
Publicity in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle ceased, with the
curtailment of the weekly column dealing with music (economy measure
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 has increased as the audience size has increased but can still
not 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 doubts
regarding the long term availability of the present rehearsal room,
office/storeroom and concert venue have been resolved for the
foreseeable future, with West Park and St. George’s churches having been
taken off the market.
STEPS TAKEN TO MITIGATE RISKS
1 The 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.
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 almost achieved this year.
David E Mills, Joy Lowther, Brian
Peter Chapman, Kathleen
A. Mills, Sue
here to return to Annual