David Botibol, Sandie Botibol, Sarah Leigh, John McKean, Mary McKean (Chair) Christine Moon, Paul Moore, Andrew Polmear, Margaret Polmear, Helen Simpson, Betty Skolnick
1 Chair’s welcome
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.
2 To receive the minutes of the ninth Annual General Meeting held on 13 February 2020
The minutes were accepted as a true record of the meeting.
Proposed: David Botibol
Seconded: Andrew Polmear
3 To receive the Annual Report of the Committee of Strings Attached
The report was received.
The Chair drew attention to the fact that three concerts had taken place in the course of the year despite the coronavirus pandemic – the January and February concerts of the 2019/20 season and the live-streamed concert in November 2020.
4 To receive the audited financial accounts for the year ended 31 December 2019
The audited financial accounts for the year ended 31 December 2020 were received.
It was noted that Strings Attached enjoys a healthy bank balance and is in a position to sponsor concerts once these are up and running.
5 To agree the annual subscription rate for 2021/22
It was proposed that the annual subscription for the year 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022 should remain unchanged at £10 (£5 for students). It was, however, suggested and agreed that membership should be free to students.
Proposed: John McKean
Seconded: Sarah Leigh
6 General Data Protection Regulation: data protection policy and proposed amendment to register of systems
The Chair explained that Strings Attached is required to present its data protection policy and register of systems for examination at each Annual General Meeting, the documents having been reviewed by the committee at its meeting prior to the AGM. The committee, she said, felt no changes were necessary other than including a reference in the register of systems, as suggested at the last AGM, to the sharing of a member’s bank details with the bank used by Strings Attached when a member’s subscription is paid by cheque. The proposed wording, which had been made available before the meeting, was read out and agreed to be appropriate.
Proposed: Paul Moore
Seconded: Betty Skolnick
7 To appoint members to the committee
The Chair announced that Euan Reid, who joined the committee last year, was stepping down for health reasons. He was warmly thanked for his contribution over the past twelve months, during which time strenuous efforts had been made to put on concerts in what had proved impossible circumstances, and for offering to lead for Strings Attached in its communications with Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival in putting together a chamber music weekend once the Corn Exchange is back in operation.
It was reported that all other members of the outgoing committee were willing to serve for a further year and they were duly appointed.
Proposed: Andrew Polmear
Seconded: Betty Skolnick
The Chair noted that nobody else had come forward to join the committee. Betty Skolnick, however, expressed an interest in joining subject to further discussion about what is involved. This will be arranged. In the meantime, she was thanked for her offer.
The committee was also thanked for its work on behalf of members over the past year.
8 Any further issues for consideration
a) The Chair drew attention to and thanked those who undertake work for Strings outside the committee as follows:
- David Botibol for his overall management of the Strings Attached website.
- Chris Darwin for his outstanding programme notes and also for managing various aspects of the Strings Attached website including the calendar of events.
- Andrew Polmear for the regular newsletters and his concert reviews.
It was noted that Andrew was stepping down from his role in reviewing concerts because of increasing hearing loss but that John Hawkins has agreed to take his place.
b) The Chair also thanked Andrew Comben and his team at Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival and the staff at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA) for their help in putting on concerts in the last year but especially to Andrew and his team who have worked tirelessly to make live music possible at all since the first coronavirus lockdown in March 2020.
c) The question was raised as to when coffee concerts might return to the refurbished Corn Exchange. The Chair explained that work on the Corn Exchange had continued throughout the pandemic when possible but that it was unlikely that concerts would resume there before 2022.
d) A further question was raised about the possibility of concerts being put on at ACCA in a socially-distanced manner with the possibility of a shorter programme being performed twice to enable more people to attend. The Chair said that she was in no doubt that, as soon as live concerts were once again a possibility, a plan would be drawn up for coffee concerts to be held either in a Covid-secure manner at ACCA or in the Brighton Dome Concert Hall until the Corn Exchange becomes available.
9 Closing remarks
The Chair again thanked everyone for attending the meeting and looked forward to seeing everyone in person as soon as possible.