The Endcliffe Orchestra  Constitution

1 Name

The orchestra is called The Endcliffe Orchestra.

2 Objects

To play orchestral music together; to learn, practise and rehearse such music for occasional performance; and to undertake any other charitable purposes as the Committee may from time to time decide.

3 Membership

3.1 To become a member of the orchestra it is necessary to complete a membership form and to pay the appropriate annual subscription. To encourage younger players, the subscription is waived for members aged 18 and under, and a reduced rate is payable by full-time students. Members should speak to the Treasurer in cases of hardship.

3.2 The minimum initial requirement is an ability to play at the standard of Grade V as set by the Associated Board examinations.

3.3 Acceptance of new members is at the discretion of the Committee, advised by the Conductor, in consideration of where vacancies exist and with regard to the overall balance of the orchestra.

3.4 At General Meetings of the orchestra every member has one vote.

3.5 The Committee has the power to terminate the membership of any individual, provided that the decision of the Committee (with the exception of (a) the individual concerned if a member of the Committee and (b) any member of the Committee making or connected with the complaint against the individual) is unanimous both as to the termination and as to there being good reason for it, and provided that the individual concerned has the right to be heard by the Committee, accompanied by a friend if desired, before a final decision is made.

4 Officers & Committee

4.1 The management of the orchestra is in the hands of a Committee: a Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, and two other members, all of whom are elected by and out of the orchestra’s members at the Annual General Meeting. They hold office until the next Annual General Meeting and are eligible for re-election.

4.2 The Conductor is a paid position and the responsibility for inviting a suitable person, negotiating appropriate payment and if necessary terminating the engagement, is in the hands of the Committee. The Conductor may attend all Committee meetings except when his or her position is being considered.

4.3 The Leader of the orchestra is appointed by the Committee, acting on the advice of the Conductor, and is ‘ex officio’ a member of the Committee.

4.4 The Committee meets at least twice a year. A special meeting may be called at any time by the Chairperson, or by any two members of the Committee, after giving at least four days’ notice.

4.5 If the Chairperson is absent from any meeting, the members of the Committee present are to choose one of their number to act as Chairperson before any other business is transacted.

4.6 The quorum for Committee meetings is at least three members present.

4.7 Decisions of the Committee are made by a majority of votes of the members present, but if necessary the Chairperson may have a second or ‘casting’ vote.

4.8 The Secretary is responsible for keeping minutes of Committee meetings, ensuring that they are stored safely and are available for inspection as required.

4.9 The Committee may from time to time appoint one or more sub-committees for the purpose of making any enquiry or supervising or performing any function or duty which, in the opinion of the Committee would be more conveniently undertaken or carried out by a sub-committee: provided that all acts and proceedings of any such sub-committee are fully and promptly reported to the Committee.

5 Management

5.1 The Conductor, in consultation with the Committee, is responsible for the selection of music to be played and performed.

5.2 The Committee is responsible for all arrangements for rehearsals and concerts.

5.3 Individual members of the orchestra, who may or may not be members of the Committee, may be invited by the Committee to undertake particular responsibilities on a voluntary basis from time to time. These include: the organisation of refreshments at rehearsals and concerts; liaison with rehearsal and concert venues; care of the orchestra’s store of music; maintenance of the orchestra’s website; provision of music for rehearsals and booking it out for private practice.

6 Finance

6.1 The financial year runs from 1 January to 31 December.

6.2 The Treasurer and three other members of the Committee are signatories to the orchestra’s bank accounts. All cheques and withdrawals require two signatures.

6.3 The Treasurer keeps careful records and each year prepares accounts of income and expenditure and a balance sheet for presentation to the Annual General Meeting for approval. These accounts have first to be scrutinised by someone independent of the Committee (appointed by a General Meeting of members of the orchestra) who signs them when agreed and offers any advice he or she thinks appropriate.

6.4 The income of the orchestra may include subscriptions, donations, grants in aid, fees from other organisations which hire its services and the income from ticket sales at its own concerts, together with interest on its bank accounts.

6.5 The expenditure of the orchestra is to be applied wholly towards promoting the objects of the orchestra as set out in clause 2 above. It will normally include the hire of rehearsal room and concert premises, the hire of music, expenses incidental to the management and administration of the orchestra as well as the payments to the Conductor.

6.6 The orchestra may not incur any overdrafts at its bank nor take out any loans. The Treasurer is responsible for ensuring that the orchestra’s finances remain stable. He or she is responsible for alerting the Committee promptly to any financial problems that could arise, so that appropriate action may be taken.

7 Equal Opportunities

No one is to be excluded from membership of the orchestra, de-barred from any official capacity on the Committee, or refused employment on the grounds of sex, race, colour, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability or political affiliation.

8 General Meetings

8.1 The Annual General Meeting normally takes place in June each year. Notice is given orally to the members at rehearsals during the preceding three weeks.

8.2 The agenda if the Annual General Meeting includes:

– The election of officers and committee (see 4.1)

– The receipt and approval of the accounts and balance sheet (see 6.3)

8.3 A Special General Meeting may be called either by the Committee or by any four members. In either case all orchestra members are to be given at least two weeks’ notice in writing, specifying the date, time and place of the meeting and why the meeting is being called.

8.4 The Secretary or other person specially appointed by the Committee keeps a record of proceedings at General Meetings.

8.5 The quorum for General Meetings is at least ten members of the orchestra present.

9 Amendments to the Constitution

9.1 Amendments to this Constitution may be made at either an Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting after the necessary notice has been given (see 8.1 & 8.3), provided that no amendment is proposed which would have the effect of the orchestra ceasing to be a charity.

9.2 The approval of at least two-thirds of members present is required to make any change.

10 Dissolution

10.1 Dissolution of the orchestra is a matter to be decided by a majority vote of members attending a Special General Meeting.

10.2 In the event of the orchestra’s dissolution, after payment of outstanding debts and liabilities any remaining assets are to be passed to some appropriate charitable organisation or to another orchestra, as determined by the membership.

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