The name of the organisation shall be Brenchley Choral Society, hereinafter referred to as “the Society”.
The objects of the Society shall be:
i. To provide inclusive and accessible singing opportunities in the community of Brenchley and neighbouring areas
ii. To strive to achieve the best musical standard possible without requiring auditions of prospective members
iii. To produce at least one annual concert at a location in or near Brenchley.
iv. Where concerts produce profits, make donations to charities at the discretion of the committee.
Membership of the Society shall be open to any person 18 years and over, who is interested in furthering the objects of the Society. Younger people (under 18) may also be admitted to the Society at the discretion of the Music Director in conjunction with the committee.
No audition shall be required to join the Society.
Members will pay regular subscriptions as agreed by the Society at a General Meeting and attend regular rehearsals.
An up-to-date list of membership of the Society will be maintained by the Membership Secretary, who will be responsible for maintaining confidentiality of contact details in accordance with current laws and regulations
The committee may grant Associate Membership to persons who assist the Society in meeting the objects but do not wish to become singing members.
4. Officers and Committee
The management of the Society, and all its activities, shall be vested in the hands of a committee of not less than four and not more than six members and will include the following officers:
Each of these positions is mandatory but not more than two may be combined and held by one committee member.
The initial committee members shall be:
Malcolm Butler - Chair
Graham Bignell - Treasurer/Membership Secretary
each of whom shall stand down at the first Annual General Meeting and offer themselves for election.
The committee members shall be elected by and out of the Society’s members, or associate members, at the Annual General Meeting. They shall continue as committee members until the next Annual General Meeting and be eligible for re-election. Nominations for members of the committee (proposed by at least one Society member and seconded by at least one other Society member) shall be made at the Annual General Meeting. Should nominations exceed vacancies an election shall be held.
5. Meetings and Proceedings of the Committee
i. The committee shall hold at least 2 ordinary meetings each year, one of which should take place immediately after the Annual General Meeting and shall include the appointment of committee members to fill the positions of officers. A special committee meeting may be called at any time by 2 or more members of the committee on not less than 4 days’ notice being given to the other members of the committee of the matter to be discussed.
ii. The Music Director of the Society shall be invited to attend committee meetings except when their position or remuneration is being considered, but will not be held to be a member of the Society and will not be entitled to vote at committee meetings or at any general meeting.
iii. The Chair shall act as Chair at meetings of the committee. If the Chair is absent from any meeting, the members of the committee present shall choose one of their number to be Chair before any other business is transacted.
iv. There shall be a quorum when at least three of the members of the committee are present at a meeting.
v. In consultation with the Music Director, the committee will make forward plans, including setting an appropriate budget, for concerts and performances sufficiently in advance to have all preparations completed in time to commence rehearsals at the beginning of the term of the concert.
vi. Every matter shall be determined by a majority of votes by the members of the committee present, but in the case of equality of votes the Chair of the meeting shall have a second or ‘casting’ vote.
vii. The committee shall keep minutes of the proceedings of the committee and any sub-committee and shall ensure that these are stored safely and that they are available for inspection as required.
viii. The committee may from time to time make and alter rules for the conduct of their business, the summoning and conduct of their meetings and the custody of documents. No rule may be made which is inconsistent with this constitution.
ix. The committee may appoint one or more sub-committees, consisting of 2 or more members of the committee, for the purpose of making any enquiry or supervising any function or duty which, in the opinion of the committee, would be more conveniently undertaken or carried out by a sub-committee, providing that all acts and proceedings of any such sub-committee shall be fully and promptly reported to the committee. Additional members may be drafted into sub-committees, subject to the approval of the committee.
i. The financial year shall end on each 30th June.
ii. A banking account shall be maintained in the name of the Society and, subject to iv below, operated by the Treasurer.
iii. All receipts, including subscriptions, donations, sponsorship, concert tickets, shall be paid into the bank account in a timely manner.
iv. All payments shall be authorised by the Treasurer and at least one other member of the committee. In the case where the Treasurer has a conflict of interest, the payments shall be authorised by the Chair and one other member of the committee. All monies paid out shall be properly vouched for and a receipt obtained for the same. In the case of internet banking, the Treasurer may operate alone, but may only make payments where written authorisation has been provided by one other Committee member.
v. The financial accounts shall be examined annually to the extent required by legislation or, if there is no such requirement, scrutinised by a person appointed by the committee, who is independent of the committee.
7. Music Director & Other Professionals
The committee will recruit and appoint a Music Director and agree their appropriate remuneration.
The Music Director shall be responsible for selecting the music to be performed in agreement with the committee.
The Music Director shall rehearse the Society in the music selected and conduct the Society in any public performances.
The Music Director shall not incur any expense, on behalf of the Society, without the express agreement of the committee.
The committee shall appoint other professionals as required, including an accompanist who will be recommended by the Music Director.
8. General Meetings
An Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Society shall be held each year in September by giving not less than 14 days’ notice to all members of the Society. This notice may be given by electronic or hard copy mail and will be deemed to have been given on the day following that on which it is sent out. At such meeting, the Chair shall report on the activities for the 12 months to 30th June and the Treasurer shall present the examined accounts for such period. Unless otherwise agreed at a General Meeting, the accounts will not be audited.
An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called by the committee or by not less than 8 members of the Society, in each case giving not less than 14 days’ notice to all members stipulating the matters to be discussed.
Every member shall have one vote at general meetings, provided that they have paid subscriptions for the relevant year. In the event that any members are under the age of 16 at the time of the AGM, their vote shall be assigned to their parent of guardian (who need not themselves be members).
Apart from amendments to the Constitution, which require a two thirds majority of those voting, all decisions at a general meeting shall be decided by a simple majority vote. Where votes are equal, the Chair shall have an additional ‘casting’ vote.
A record of the proceedings at every general meeting shall be kept by the Secretary or other person appointed for the purpose.
There shall be a quorum when at least 10% of the members of the Society, or 10 members, whichever is the greater, are present at any general meeting.
The Society will adhere to the following policies:
i. Equal Opportunities – No individual shall be excluded from membership of the Society or debarred from any official capacity on the grounds of sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, age, religion or belief, disability or political affiliation.
ii. When young people are admitted to the Society, an appropriate Safeguarding Policy will be maintained.
iii. If agreed by a General Meeting, a Hardship Policy will be operated to maintain members’ involvement in the Society if they fall upon hard times.
iv. The data protection policy of the Society is that:
a) In the day to day running of the Society it is necessary to record basic personal data solely to enable
communication with the members.
b) This comprises each member’s name, address, telephone numbers, email address and emergency contact.
c) This information will not be shared with other parties,and will be deleted one year after a member
leaves the Society.
d) Members have the right to request that their personal details be deleted or amended.
e) Members’ information and images in the public domain, such as the Society website, social media and concert
programmes, are not covered by this policy.
v. Members shall adhere to all aspects of rehearsal and concert etiquette, as may be set out from time to time by the Society.
10. Alterations to the Constitution
As noted in 8 (above) this constitution may only be altered by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting at a General Meeting, provided that notice of the proposed alteration has been sent in writing to all members at least 21 days prior to the meeting.
11. Interpretation of this Constitution
Any matter that is not covered by this constitution, or requires interpretation, will be resolved at the discretion of the committee.
For avoidance of doubt, any notice or communication by email shall satisfy any reference to “in writing” herein.
11th November 2021