Hello everybody and I trust you are keeping well.
This week I am going to dwell on more serious things than in recent weeks because I want to assure you that your Committee is not twiddling its thumbs during lockdown.
Many views have been expressed to committee members about how quickly we might start to rehearse again and so we have exchanged views on the options. On the one hand there are those that would be prepared to meet and practice as separate sections with social distancing. This would mean, for example, baritones meeting for an hour followed by basses for an hour. On the other hand there are those who are in the high risk category or live with someone at high risk who would be most reluctant to meet for fear of taking the virus home. Rehearsals would need the presence of at least an accompanist if not a conductor. With these difficulties in mind we will monitor the situation over the next three months and develop plans to suit the conditions that are most likely to prevail in September.
We have also had a look at on line practices but at the moment feel that without an MD and a reliable app. we cannot embark on this just now. However, some members are keeping an eye on progress and as soon as we feel on line rehearsals are possible we will advise you about it and see if you want to join in.
We feel that we cannot arrange concerts in the foreseeable future. The possibility of the government allowing gatherings of 50 people or more seems far away and I suspect many venues, performers and audiences will be very cautious about this. Some may even wish to have a vaccine available before opening their doors. In addition we will not achieve concert standard after such a long break without an MD or interim conductor and that is not in sight at the moment. Nevertheless, we have retained the Christmas concert at Goldsbro’ and one other early in 2021 in the diary and will see how we go. The sooner we are safely out there the better.
Elwyn has advised us that our available funds are not yet placing us in a difficult financial position but we need to focus on future funding. In normal circumstances we would all be paying our subs in the autumn but we might not be meeting until 2021. I would hope that members will agree to pay their full subs for the coming year. That would go some way to securing our future. We have to bear in mind that Patrick cost us very little and a new MD may charge several thousand pounds. If so, this will create a funding gap. A team led by Lawrie is looking at how we promote and market ourselves and recruit. This will involve participating increasingly in social media. We already have a YouTube and Facebook presence but there is room for expansion. Any one with experience of operating on social media should contact Lawrie and offer their help. It may well be that a younger member of your family might be willing to help. Lawrie’s team will also expand its role in to fundraising as this is going to be very important in the coming years.
Both Davids have advised me that they will be pleased to continue as accompanists and I am sure that makes us all feel a step closer to singing again. But what are we going to sing. Views vary across the choir and so I intend to ask the committee to give some thought to the composition and purpose of the music sub committee with a view to reforming it in September.
I want to assure you that the committee is constantly talking about ways in which we all can meet the challenges ahead. We are too good to drift away. We will not do so. We will regroup, rehearse and be once again the best male voice choir in Yorkshire