AGM is back in the room
After two years of meeting for our AGM on Zoom, it was such a joy to get together for this year’s event, on January 19th, both for the business side of reviewing and planning and for the much-appreciated social time and yummy food!
Reports from Iris O’Loughlin (Chair) and Jo Thorn (MD) were entitled, respectively, ‘A year of adapting’ and ‘Making our way back, still’, both reflecting on the gradual return to normal rehearsals and club life after the disruption of the Covid pandemic. There have been so many wonderful highlights this year; a wonderful evening with Deke Sharon; our introduction to Rob Mance techniques; a return to live performances in Keynsham, Cheltenham and Weston-Super-Mare, plus the wonderful BBBB concert in November; a fantastic coaching weekend in September organised by our very own music team; and a lovely social weekend in Bournemouth for this year’s Labbs convention. Some of these events gave some of our ‘pre-covid newbies’ their first opportunity to perform with us to an audience, and it was wonderful to witness their excitement and joy.
Membership has fluctuated during the pandemic, but we are proud to still boast over 40 members of the FR family. We hope to build this number through 2023, particularly after the highly successful Love to Sing workshop which followed just after the AGM. We celebrated a number of membership awards during the proceedings, beginning with the Chair’s award, which went to Ali Jack for her longstanding and ongoing dedication to the chorus with the many roles and tasks she carries out on our behalf, including being an original founding member and section leader. The Director’s award was given to Vikki Champion and Kathryn Turton in thanks and recognition for the skill and effort they demonstrated in changing parts prior to the convention to help with chorus balance. The Member’s award recipient was Joan Josey, the outgoing Treasurer, in recognition of the many years of service she has given in this role and also for the fantastic fund-raising activities she has personally organised to benefit the various charities we have supported. We were also able to use the event to celebrate a couple of very significant long service awards to Lead Section Leader Karen Mellalieu and Bass Section Leader Brenda Roberts, both of whom celebrated 25 years with Fascinating Rhythm. We are fortunate indeed to have such experience and dedication to guide us.
The gathering together at the AGM was the perfect time to look ahead to 2023 and plan the direction the club/chorus wishes to take. The decision was taken not to attend Labbs this year but to hold a retreat weekend with coaching to allow further embedding of Rob Mance’s vocal techniques and plenty of social time. The chorus voted to add to our repertoire with new songs during the year, to bring back a couple of previous convention songs and to drop one older song. Thursday night rehearsals were also discussed with a view to adding more section-time rather than additional rehearsals.
The business of the event was concluded with only one change in committee roles, with Linda Holden being voted in to replace Joan Josey, who wishes to retire from the role of Treasurer after her many years of service. Members thanked both of them and the remainder of the committee for their time and dedication to keeping the club running smoothly and effectively. We are proud to announce that FR will be supporting St. Peter’s Hospice as this year’s Charity, along with fund-raising events to support the members and ensure that no one is excluded from events based on financial hardship.
2023 looks like an exciting year to be a member of Fascinating Rhythm, new songs, new approaches, coaching and plenty of performance events. Get in touch via our social media sites or website if you’d be interested in visiting us!