David Botibol, Sandie Botibol, Chris Darwin (from item 3), Muriel Hart (from item 9), John McKean, Christine Moon (Acting Chair), Andrew Polmear, Margaret Polmear, Guy Richardson, Helen Simpson
Geoffrey Hatcher, David Harrison, Mary McKean
1 Acting Chair’s welcome
The Acting Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained that she was standing in for Mary McKean who was indisposed. Mary was wished a speedy recovery.
It was noted that the meeting would not be quorate until the arrival of Chris Darwin.
2 To receive the minutes of the seventh Annual General Meeting held on 1 March 2018
The minutes were accepted as a true record of the meeting.
Proposed: Andrew Polmear
Seconded: David Botibol
The Acting Chair noted that comments on the 2017/18 season had been sought, as at the end of the previous season, through the Strings Attached newsletter but that none had been received. She suggested that this be taken as a positive reaction to the season.
3 To receive the Annual Report of the Committee of Strings Attached
The report was received.
The Acting Chair drew attention to the following:
- The additional concert held in April 2018 generously sponsored by Tina Gee and dedicated to the memory of Caroline Brown had been particularly splendid though not as well attended as other concerts in the season. It was felt this was because it had been advertised separately from the rest of the coffee concerts.
- It is uncertain whether the refurbished Corn Exchange will be ready for use by the start of the 2019/20 coffee concert season. In this context it was acknowledged that some coffee concert goers have expressed the wish that all future coffee concerts take place at the Attenborough Centre in preference to returning to the Corn Exchange. It was thought that some people might not fully understand the extent of the refurbishment taking place and the benefits that will ensue. John McKean suggested we include a link in a future newsletter to a YouTube video about the refurbishment with commentary by the architect and this was agreed. David Botibol undertook to put a link to the video on the Strings Attached website.
The Acting Chair also drew attention to and thanked those who undertake work for Strings Attached outside the committee as follows:
- Chris Darwin for his outstanding programme notes and also for managing various aspects of the Strings Attached website including the calendar of events.
- David Botibol for his overall management of the Strings Attached website and his work on the new website launched in April 2018.
- Andrew Polmear for the regular newsletters and his reviews of concerts.
4 To receive the audited financial accounts for the year ended 31 December 2018
The audited financial accounts for the year ended 31 December 2018 were received.
It was noted that Strings Attached enjoys a very healthy bank balance, some of which will be used to make a one-off donation to Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival to offset the extra costs involved in holding the coffee concerts at the Attenborough Centre. The rest is likely to be swallowed up should the idea of a chamber music weekend come to fruition (see item 8 below).
5 To agree the annual subscription rate for 2019/20
It was proposed and agreed that the annual subscription for the year 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020 should remain unchanged at £10 (£5 for students).
Proposed: Andrew Polmear
Seconded: David Botibol
6 GDPR: data protection policy and register of systems
The Strings Attached data protection policy and register of systems were received.
It was noted that the vast majority of people on the Strings Attached database contacted in connection with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) wished to continue to receive information, and in particular the newsletter, from Strings Attached. Those who did not reply or requested not to remain in touch have been removed from the database.
It was suggested that Strings Attached newsletters should be posted on the Strings Attached website and made available either to everyone or to members only. It was agreed that this would be considered by the committee.
7 To appoint members to the committee
The Acting Chair reported that all members of the outgoing committee were willing to serve for a further year and they were duly appointed.
Proposed: John McKean
Seconded: Chris Darwin
8 Sponsorship and a possible chamber music weekend
The Acting Chair reported that, thanks to the significant sponsorship already received and reflected in the Strings Attached bank balance plus further sponsorship already promised, initial discussions have taken place with Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival, about the possibility of organising a chamber music weekend sponsored by Strings Attached to launch the return of the coffee concerts to the Corn Exchange. Such an event, it was hoped, would include significant opportunities to interact with the performers.
The idea was very positively received though it was recognised that it would take a great deal of thought and work to achieve.
The matter will be discussed further by the committee and taken forward with colleagues at Brighton Dome.
9 Any further issues for consideration
It was noted that printing AGM papers from the website had been less than easy.
David Botibol asked that he be informed when requested to post papers such as the annual report on the website if they might subsequently need to be printed off.
10 Closing remarks
The Acting Chair again thanked everyone for attending the meeting and invited them to stay for the refreshments provided.
Andrew and Margaret Polmear were thanked for hosting the meeting and organising the lunch.
Thanks were also extended to Andrew Comben and his colleagues at Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival for the continued high standard of the coffee concerts and their support and co-operation throughout the year and to the staff at the Attenborough Centre for their help at the concerts.
John McKean thanked the committee for their work throughout the year.