AGM Chairman’s Report

For the last few years I have been happy to report what a successful year we had, and this year started well enough – but 2020 has proved to be something very different! I do hope that everyone has managed to avoid the Coronavirus, and if not that they had a mild version, and that other ills have stayed away!

Our Autumn term started happily, and culminated in a very successful Christmas concert in partnership with the Ashford Community Choir. Gill will probably comment on our performance, but I think we all enjoyed performing and the audience certainly seemed very appreciative. Together we raised over £1,000 for the Woodchurch Driving Group of Riding for the Disabled.

The New Year started with nothing worse than windy rehearsal evenings with the wind sounding the church bells and rattling the doors, but insidiously Coronavirus crept in and we had to cancel our concert and rehearsals from March 16th, and have not met again since.

We have been very fortunate in some ways though. Our lovely rehearsal venue’s management has been understanding and supportive from the beginning, and has not charged us since we stopped meeting, and has promised that we can return when safe to do so. Many thanks to Libby Varley and the Church of St Mary the Virgin.

We have had a couple of attempts at doing virtual performances, but this is not to everyone’s taste, and I think the message comes through that what we enjoy is meeting and making live music together.

Your committee met by Zoom and considered our options for an AGM. Plainly for safety’s sake and to abide by the Government’s guidelines we cannot meet together in person. We decided to recommend that we send out Finance, Chair and Music Director’s report by email (post if that is a problem for anyone), and that we ask our members to re-appoint the current committee (who are willing to continue) to run the Sinfonia until such time as we can safely call a General Meeting. This is an exceptional arrangement only because of the pandemic. If anyone has any concern or objection to this, please let any of the committee know.

We also considered how we could keep a little of the spirit of the club going, and had a few suggestions:

  • Strings could meet in groups of no more than six out of doors while the weather holds, wind/brass may be able to meet out of doors.
  • There may come a time when we can resume limited rehearsals with strings and percussion, and Gill may assist with parts where wind could join later.
  • We should encourage members to try to remain in contact through our news letters – and thanks to Doreen for collating and producing these.
  • We will publish our repertoire for when we do resume business to give people a chance to practice it in advance

Our committee currently consists of:

Roger Pinnock (Chair).

Gill Booker (Conductor and Music Director)

Doreen Titmuss (Secretary).

Annette Dove (Treasurer)

Carole Collins-Biggs (Librarian)

Stephanie Batchelor

and I am grateful to them all for running the Sinfonia over the year.

A happy note since last year’s AGM – as most of you will know already, Lise and Neil were delivered of baby Arthur on July 19th – he is now a year old! Congratulations to them both!

Finally, Susan Elkin has offered to stand as a candidate for Trustee position for Making Music, and the committee were very happy to support her.

With best wishes to you all


About rogerpinnock

Chairman of Ashford Sinfonia
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