Board Minutes for 8/21/2011

John Dunne's picture
Sunday, August 21, 2011

Rain City Symphony

2nd Annual Board Retreat

August 20, 2011



The Retreat was chaired by Alan Shaw, Vice President, since the President, Marie Akiyama, was not able to attend.  Doug Potter, Treasurer, John Dunne, Secretary, Ginnie Winkler, Carol Horowitz, Cari Sutton, Cheri Paulin and Teresa Metzger Howe attended the retreat, hosted by Cheri Paulin at her home near Poulsbo.

AS reviewed the agenda for the retreat.

We reviewed the outcome of last year’s one year action plan:

1.     Review of governance led to rewriting and revising the bylaws by DP.

2.     Inquiry into possible funding from Boeing revealed that RCS was too small an organization to be supported by Boeing.

3.     Efforts to increase funding sources by JD located two additional potential donors, after reviewing ~20 local foundations.  However, the two potential donors wanted to see a greater level of individual support for the orchestra.

4.     The year-end survey strongly favored continuing the Wednesday evening concert schedule.

5.     TMH reviewed the opportunities for summer music reading.

6.     Efforts to recruit new percussionists: Betsy Brennan is interested and Ginnie Winkler will follow up.

7.     Improving publicity: publicity has definitely improved.  CP is designing a new cover for the concert brochures.  She will put ads on Craig’s List and in NW Herald and will contact retirement centers to invite their residents.

8.     Review concerts: TMH noted that short concerts of about an hour were a positive factor.  The benefit concert for the University Churchs  Emergency Fund was a good source for bringing in a larger audience.  A corps of volunteers is needed to man the front of the house.

9.     Formalizing the chamber ensembles: TMH will discuss expectations with ensembles interested in performing at future RCS concerts.

DP reviewed the proposed revisions of the by-laws.  He noted that there were two major changes proposed: Board members would be elected for two year terms on a staggered basis and the Board members, rather than the orchestra, would elect the officers of the Board.  Also the number of Board members would increase to nine.  There were some changes to the wording proposed and accepted.  GW moved and JD seconded that the amended proposed by-laws be accepted for presentation to the orchestra members for their approval.  Passed unanimously.

Review of performance venues by GW.  University Christian was selected as a permanent venue for the concerts.  She raised a question about paying for the use of the parking lot across the street for the audience but this was rejected as too costly.  However, an alternate proposal was to reimburse any percussionists and set-up crew who arrive too early for the free evening parking, which was favorably received.  We discussed the need for a “social director” to develop a corps of volunteers to act as concert ushers, help solicit contributions, assist with the pot luck reception, and refreshments at rehearsals.  She reviewed the problems of finding available retirement homes for our preview concerts.  Hearthstone has adequate space but only 45 armless chairs.   Skyline is very interested and may be willing to purchase armless chairs for the orchestra’s use.  Park Shore in not interested.  Bayview Manor is very interested, has enough space but not enough armless chairs.  Christa is outside the city limits, although still in King County, and has enough space and chairs.  The Board agreed using Christa and that for Hearthstone and Bayview Manor performances orchestra members could supply the needed extra folding chairs.

Discussion of instrumentation:  CP will advertise for percussionists and string basses on Craig’s List.  We also need another trumpet, following the death of Gordon Crandall.  We may need a 5th horn so that one can function as the principal assistant.  TMH will talk to the percussion section that the timpani parts are to be rotated among section members who have timpani experience and training.  There was further clarification that only the music director would decide which positions will be filled with invited players who would not have to pay dues.  Chris Piddington indicated that he would not be able to play this concert season because of other commitments.  JD will clarify with him about his interest in rejoining the orchestra next year.  JD will then contact other trombonists to fill that position, at least for the fall cycle.

The timpani fund currently has $3534.  JD indicated that it may be unrealistic to raise the $7500 needed from individual donations to qualify us for a grant from the Nesholm Family Foundation.  He suggested pursuing the purchase of a used set either locally or from eBay, noting that shipping costs would be roughly $750 in addition to the purchase price.  JD was authorized to commit up to $5000 to purchase a set of used timpani, understanding that shipping costs would be in addition.  Any cost greater than $5000 would require additional Board authorization.

Music library issues: CS discussed problems with accessing the music in the storage room because of the instruments on top of the music files.  DP will talk with the church and Rainbow City Band about the division of the space and the equity of the rent.

We discussed options to memorialize Gordon Crandall and agreed to dedicate the fall concert to Gordon and to invite his family members to the concert.

We discussed the sectional coaching for the year.  The question of a single coach for the year or rotating coaches for the brass sections, depending on the musical needs for that cycle, was discussed.  AS will send an email to the brass section to survey them about this question.

AS will form a nominating committee from members of the orchestra to develop a slate of nominees for the Board election in November.

Advertising concerts: NW Herald, invitations to retirement homes, and a notice in the King FM website.  KUOW FM may also do spot announcements of our concerts.

Kathie Lillie was suggested as the “social director”, although a better name for this role is clearly needed.  This person would be responsible for organizing and overseeing the House manager and volunteers, the pot luck reception after the last concert of the year, and the refreshments during rehearsals.

Barb Phalen has not been active as the strings coordinator.  GW will contact her to see if she is still interested in being active in that role.

We discussed the possibility of increasing dues to meet increasing budget needs.  DP noted that last year there was ~ $1200 in one time percussion purchase expenses.  We agreed to keep dues at $50 this year.

Re-examination of Five Year Goals:

We discussed the development of musical quality and the approach to improving.  TMH wants to continue to serve those musicians who are not able to handle a more demanding schedule or more demanding music.

We don’t need a larger rehearsal space even if the orchestra adds additional players.  However, a space with lower rent would be advantageous.

We need a donation table and someone to man it at each concert, although all donations from the benefit concert would go to the UCEF.  We agreed that we should also have an email sign-up sheet for those interested in being notified about upcoming concerts.

We agreed to remove weekend concerts from the five years goals because the results of the member survey did not support that change.

We discussed the utility of belonging to the American Chamber Music Players Association to get assistance with coaching for the ensembles.  However, the Board concluded that that information should just be made available to the ensembles and request that each ensemble have at least one coached rehearsal as a requirement for performing in a concert.

Having a CD library of orchestral repertoire is no longer desirable because the parts and scores are now available online through the International Music Score Library Project.

We discussed the desirability of performing new, contemporary or less well known orchestra pieces.  We decided against soliciting new works from the Composers Workshop because it would involve too much work to screen the submissions.

The summer reading program would be very loose but require a lot of work to organize.  We agreed to look for other programs that are already in existence, e.g. the Music Center of the NW which already has a summer string reading program.

There was strong interest expressed in performing works with vocalists, perhaps jointly with Joann Christian’s Women’s Chorus. 

One Year Action Plan

1.     Recruitment of players

Ginnie will send invitations to all string bass players who have played with RCS in the past.

Cheri will advertise for string bass, percussion and trumpet on Craig’s List.

Alan will call Joel Dial and Rick Hudson to inquire about their interest in playing with RCS.

John will check with Chris Piddington about his plans and then contact David Kavanagh, Tom Hampton and Dean Henderson about one of them filling in for Chris this year.

Ginnie will put an announcement on the MMR Facebook page about our instrumentalist needs.

2.     Teresa will announce the new requirement for having at least one coached session for ensembles requesting to perform with the orchestra.  She will also announce that ACMPA and Music Center of the NW are resources for finding coaches.

3.     The Board (Aki?) will solicit a volunteer coordinator (“social director”) who would organize and oversee the volunteers for the front of the house ushering, pot luck reception after the final concert, and rehearsal refreshments.  These functions could be delegated.  Kathie Lillie’s and Dana Rosenblatt’s names were suggested.

4.     Alan will survey the brass players about their preferences for sectional coaching.

5.     Ginnie will contact Barb Phalen to discuss her level of interest in continuing as string coordinator.

6.     Teresa will contact the Music Center of the NW about their summer reading sessions, particularly if there are plans to expand to include wind players.

7.     John will begin the search for a set of used timpani.

8.     Teresa will approach Joann Christian about the possibility of collaboration on a concert.

9.     Doug will research the storage space rent issue and set up a joint session with the church and Rainbow City Band to work out a more equitable division of the space and rent.  Cari will mark RCS items with a sharpie for identification.

10.                        Cheri will make business cards for Ginnie and Teresa.

11.                        John will write up the five year plan and one year action plan for distribution to orchestra members.

12.                        Carol will send an email to members welcoming them to the new season.