AGM 2021

The next AGM will be held on Sunday 19 September 2021, at the Arkenstall Centre, Haddenham. The AGM will start at 5.00pm.

The AGM agenda will be:

  1. Minutes of 2019 AGM
  2. Treasurer’s report
  3. Chairman’s report
  4. Artistic Director’s report
  5. Publicity officer’s report
  6. Committee Workshop organiser’s report
  7. Friends Secretary report
  8. Election of officers
  9. Membership Subscriptions
  10. Friends Subscriptions

The minutes from the 2019 AGM will be available here shortly.

Officer Reports

Artistic Director – Report for AGM 2021

Sadly, as everyone is aware, the restrictions required due to the global Covid-19 pandemic meant that Ely Sinfonia were unable to perform any concerts between March 2020 and mid-2021. Most of the pieces planned for that period will be re-scheduled for future seasons. However we were able to put on one concert, on July 10th 2021. The date had been reserved with Ely Cathedral for a joint concert with Ely Choral Society, but when they decided to postpone their involvement the Ely Sinfonia committee, after careful discussion, decided to use the date to perform some of the music we had been forced to postpone ourselves.

And so we rehearsed and performed a programme of Wagner, Haydn and Beethoven to a socially distanced audience in the Cathedral. It was decided to give all proceeds to the Cathedral, and the concert was also live-streamed by the Cathedral team. Rehearsals were restricted in terms of numbers rehearsing at the same time, which caused some logistical issues, but careful management of these rehearsals allowed for sufficient time prior to the concert and I was very pleased at the quality of both rehearsal and end result from the Ely Sinfonia players, many of whom had had little chance to play during lockdown.

In the concert the Beethoven was particularly well played and received, whilst the Wagner was a little lost in the venue due partly to limited string numbers as well as a lack of staging and a large art installation part way down the Nave! The Cathedral were pleased that we had given the concert as a “benefit” for them, and I think this has produced much goodwill from the Cathedral concert management team.

With the easing of restrictions I am now looking forward to future concerts with the orchestra, in the hope that things will become more normal in due course.

Steve Bingham
23rd August 2021

Chair – Report for AGM 2021

Chair’s Report to Ely Sinfonia members’ Annual General Meeting Sept 19th  2021

The purpose of Ely Sinfonia is:  to promote, improve, develop and maintain public education in and an appreciation of the art and science of music in all its aspects by the presentation of concerts, workshops or other such charitable activities as the charity may from time to time decide.  These activities will be undertaken to the highest musical standards attainable by the participating players.

From our constitution, reviewed Sept 15th 2020

I have little to add to the reports from other committee members. The committee met regularly over the year via Zoom. Several of us attended an online Covid–secure music-making advice from Making Music. Currently, we are reviewing our individual roles and responsibilities and procedures to ensure we share the workload and work effectively.

Liz Hargest, long-standing committee member and flautist, has left the committee and the orchestra. A founder member of the orchestra, she has help to steer the orchestra to where it is now, acting as our link to Kings Ely, hosting committee meetings in her home for many years and offering pertinent and helpful observations. Musically, one of the highlights of her time with us was her performance with Jean and Steve in Brandenburg 4 for Chatteris Music Society. Thank you, Liz, for all you have done for the orchestra.

As a committee member, Liz was also a trustee for our charity. With her and Terry South’s resignations last year, we now need to appoint two new trustees. Jean Swift and Jenny Sewell expressed a willingness to step up and have been proposed and seconded by other members of the committee. This meeting needs to agree to their appointment.

Following our invitation for more committee members, with your approval, I would like to welcome Richard and Yvonne Williamson on board. Richard was chair of the orchestra in its infancy and subsequently treasurer for many years. His experience and Yvonne’s experience as teacher and ex-head of a music department will be of great value.

And finally I would like to thank the following members for all their help: Naomi Laredo for producing and editing our programmes, Jeremy Harmer for his erudite and enjoyable programme notes and Rob Millman for his calm and competent help in setting up in the cathedral on concert day.

Roz Chalmers
Sept 11th 2021

Treasurer – Report for AGM 2021

Click here to download PDF of treasurer’s report

Draft accounts – for AGM 2021

Click here to download PDF of draft accounts

Ely Sinfonia publicity – Report for AGM 2021

Although all the planned concerts were cancelled, the effort we put into producing artwork for the flyers and posters for September and May wasn’t wasted as it will be all re-used in the future.  In fact, we have already resuscitated the artwork for Stream-Shine, which is now taking place in September 2021. 

Geoff Shirley, our designer, wrought his usual magic on posters and flyers for the July 2021 concert, although we didn’t need so many as we were only allowed an audience of around 135 people.  We had a good interview with Jeremy Sallis of BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, which went very well. 

During the year a few of the “What’s On” websites where we normally advertise our concerts have disappeared, but some new ones have emerged and we will be trying those out in 2021/22.  Facebook event promotion generally works well and it will be interesting to see if this has changed during the pandemic.

Social media was always a big part of our marketing efforts and has become even more important as an advertising medium during the pandemic.  So we rely on members of the orchestra to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and not just like our entries, but also pass them on to their own followers.  This is how the message gets out and it makes a huge difference to ticket sales.

We have struck up a deal with Elyi magazine whereby we get a discount for advertising with them in return for distributing their magazine in Wicken.  If anyone lives in a village where Elyi isn’t yet distributed and feels able to take on this job in their own area, perhaps when they are out for a walk, I know it would be much appreciated. Please ask me for details.

Finally, I would like to say a huge personal thank you to all the orchestra members who have helped with publicity in so many ways.  I know you were largely let off this year because of our enforced rest, but I can’t tell you what a difference your help makes, especially with flyer distribution and forwarding our posts on social media.

Tricia Mathieson
3rd September 2021

Friends of Ely Sinfonia – Report for AGM 2021

2020-21 has been another atypical year, thanks to the Co-vid 19 pandemic.  With FES subscriptions waived for 2019-20 and again for 2020-21, there is no way of confirming numbers at present, although donations and repeated subscriptions were received last year.  Again, this year – within just a few days of my circulating the July newsletter – 4 FES have responded with voluntary subscriptions and donations totalling £95. The orchestra really appreciates the loyalty and support of its Friends.

Unsurprisingly, just a handful of FES attended the 10 July concert in Ely Cathedral with cellist Joshua Lynch.  Public performances had only just been permitted and the be-masked, extremely ‘socially-distanced’ audience was necessarily much smaller than usual. However, assuming the situation continues to improve, we just hope 25 September will prove to be a less strange experience for players and audience alike.

Unlike the July 2020 newsletter, the July 2021 newsletter was hard put to cover three pages instead of the usual four, but they were three pages of euphoria at finally experiencing playing together and listening to live music again at last. Between these two issues has been a lengthy winter lockdown and a depressingly wet spring/ summer with new variants of covid proving even harder to control world-wide. Fingers crossed for a January 2022 newsletter with more good news.

I wish to record my sincere thanks to Laura Millman for her fantastic help with the newsletter.  She could always be relied upon to come up with ways to display material, sourcing graphics and working out ways to realise my picky or outrageous requests.  Perhaps most notable was one to create a ‘wall of fame’ to honour those who had been members of the Friends for 10 years since its inauguration at the Bach suites performance by Raphael Wallfisch in 2009. Laura could also be called upon to produce a last-minute report of an event and we’d often share ideas for providing different takes on what is, normally, a pretty routine annual programme of events.  She now has a young family as well as her work, and babysitting requirements mean she and her violin-playing husband can no longer attend ES together. However, she continues to play her cello, on a non-clashing night, in Cambridge. For the past four years, she has uncomplainingly helped me, despite not having the insider experience of the orchestra or the motivation she used to have, and typically she has offered to help her successor in this invaluable role: I absolutely could not have managed without her.

Charlotte Dean, FES Secretary