Carol Bodey reported that it has been another busy year for the choir, who have sung a wide variety of music, both challenging and not so challenging but fun.
The main concert was in June, where we performed Hiawatha, which was a challenge we rose to. Various other, shorter items of English music were performed, some of which were well known and other newer ones have become favourites, such as the folk songs by Vaughan Williams and Holst.
At Christmas we performed as usual at Manchester Central Library, which was well received and one of our best performances there, and we also sang outside of Didsbury Library to raise money for Oxfam, raising £140, as well as enjoying ourselves.
Plans for 2019 include another café concert on 9th March, which will comprise music from 1920s – 1960s and end with some nibbles, and our main concert on 8th June, where we will perform 8 or 9 choruses from Haydn’s Creation.
Apart from preparing for performances, we have enjoyed complete relaxation times after concerts, as well as at the end of each evening rehearsal, and when we sing from Bill’s end of term “favourites lists”.
Warm-ups have proved to be useful and are appreciated, but Carol recognises that she has a limited number of ideas, so asked for people to consider volunteering to lead a session or two in order to provide more variety and share the role.
Tony Craven explained that, following the failure to break even during 2017, when a loss of £200 was incurred, the opening balance for 2018 stood at £620. The increase in subscription charged during 2018, together with costs being adequately contained, has resulted in a surplus of £15, giving a closing balance of £635.
The number of subscribing members during the year was 52, which is the same as during 2017.
As no sudden increases in cost are expected for this year, the annual subscription will remain at £60.
The number of members choosing to pay subscriptions in advance through bank transfer has continued to rise and this continues to aid the management of the Choir finances. The opportunity to pay subscriptions through six instalments of cash will, however, continue to be available during 2018.
A full statement of the Accounts for 2018 can be obtained from the Treasurer.
Natalie Marshall had very little voice, but thanked everyone, and noted that the Tenor soloist at our June concert had complimented the choir on their unaccompanied Vaughan Williams folk songs.
She also mentioned how well people sang outside Didsbury Library, watching her much more because they knew the words, and therefore suggested that we try to learn the words for much of Haydn’s Creation next June.
Election of Committee Members
Chair of Committee – Carol Bodey
Musical Director – Natalie Marshall
Librarian/Accompanist/Composer in Residence – Bill Birkhead
Treasurer – Tony Craven
Secretary – Elaine Wilkinson
Choir member – Tony Matthews
It would be helpful to have a ‘Publicity Team’ and someone to help maintain the website, so choir members were asked to consider this and see Carol if interested in joining the Committee.
John Eden gave a vote of thanks to Natalie and Bill, for their good choice of music and for Bill’s astounding versatility on the piano.
Carol mentioned how much we miss and remember with great affection two members of our choir who died this last year:
Margaret Hampson, at whose funeral many choir members sang
Alan Ingram, whose moving Quaker memorial was attended by a number of choir members, and where the recorder group, that he had been part of, provided the opening music.
Carol gave thanks to the following:
To all the Committee, for its continued commitment
To all choir members for coming every week, for their commitment and for helping to make our choir special, having heard that from several members recently – special in its inclusivity, its friendships and friendliness, its challenges as well as its fun-based activity
To Bill, for his amazing organisation, storing all the music (no mean feat), dealing with Henry Watson Library and writing new pieces just for us!
To Elaine for her organisation and efficient sending of emails
To Tony for his attention to detail and dealing with the accounts
To Natalie, without whom it wouldn’t happen! Thanks for all her hard work, and for coping with us and our noise, chatter, interruptions, and for living with the acoustics of the room
She made one request, due to the bad acoustic, that we should try to concentrate on listening during rehearsal time, rather than chatting, and asked that if anyone had a suggestion or an issue or suggestion for an improvement, then they should talk to Natalie or one of the Committee during the break. This way we would gain more singing time!
Natalie thanked Carol for making the committee meetings so enjoyable, and for carrying out her role as Chairperson so well.
Saturday 15th December 2018 Manchester Central Library 10.45 am
This year we are delighted to have been invited once again to give a free public performance at the Central Library. Our Christmas songs this year will be a mixture of old traditional favourites and some newer less well known carols. This performance will last 45 mins.
Saturday 9th March 2019 Didsbury Baptist Church 7.30 pm
We are planning a more informal style of concert than usual, with cafe-style tables, nibbles and drinks. The songs will principally be of the early 20th Century style, ie 20s and 30s.
There will be an admission fee for this concert, and the evening will last about 2 hours.
Saturday 8th June 2019Didsbury Baptist Church 7.30 pm
This will be our main concert for the year and will include solos and choruses from Haydn's Creation. There will be no admission fee for this concert, and the evening will last about 2 hours.