Concert Opportunity

Hi all,

I recently came across this concert opportunity – it seems to fit our remit quite well, as it’s indoors to a static audience and gives us the opportunity to add some dosh to our coffers.

Jas and the concerts team – can you please take a note of this, and we’ll discuss it along with other opportunities when we return in September.

Cheers Jem


St. Catherines Concert Series








Getting ready for next year – Please read this carefully !

If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well !

Hi all,

This is my last official blog of the 2012/13 year.   I need to take a break, and I’m sure you do too !

As you already know, the next term or so will be ‘make or break’ for us.  After a couple of failed attempts to build a support team in the past, we’re going to give it one more shot.  I’m going to put my all into it, and its success depends on you doing the same.

… hence the catch-phrase above, which we’ll no doubt revisit many times over the next year or so !

When we return to Eastcliffe (Mon Sept. 2nd), we will hold a whole-team meeting to decide on what we want to do over the next 2 years, and just as importantly, how we intend to balance our books and keep up an appropriate working float.

We’ll have to make some decisions as a team, then build an activity plan (with accompanying finances) so that we all know what we’re setting out to achieve.  I’ve outlined some key changes for next year, and have highlighted some options to inform our first meeting back … in a document called …  Moving into 2014

As usual, you can access this doc. by clicking the link above.  It’s only three pages long, and is essential reading if you want to contribute to the team discussion on the 2nd.

There are some key actions that we need to button down before we start music rehearsals.  These are …

Building an effective support team … not just in name, but one that demonstrates a willingness and ability to work together.

Creating an Activity Plan … a plan for 2 years, outlining our aims for concerts and events, fundraising etc.

An effective system of communication … both outgoing and incoming **

An effective Music Library system … based on the website system as now, but with Kyra printing off parts. ***


Please bear in mind that the team’s enthusiasm (and effectiveness) in tackling the tasks above, will dictate when we return to active music making.   If we meet on the 2nd, reach a team agreement, get a summary of the meeting out quickly and put the actions in place, we could start making music the very next week after a quick get together to check on progress.  If it takes a few weeks to build the basics, then our music rehearsals will be put back as a result.


** – Outgoing communications is the easy bit – I’ll carry on posting blogs, and Andrea (secretary) and Matt (Treasurer) will use the same system whenever they need to message the membership as a whole.  All messages will be stored in the members area of the website.

We’ll have to think how to manage incoming communications though (generally meaning responses from the members), as chasing up replies has proven frustrating and time-consuming for me in the past, and we therefore need a more reliable and easy to use solution.

*** – The details of the music library will be refined in our first meeting.

However, as a default solution …

– I will post all music material to the website as we do now.

– I will allocate a single part to each player and they will print the part off themselves as they do now.  Players are of course welcome to print off any other parts they want to, either for interests sake or because they want to be ready in advance to swap parts as needed.

– Kyra will bring to rehearsals, a ‘library’ of sheet music (min. 1 copy of each part) to allow for flexibility / absences.

Operated correctly, this system will result in our printing out less paper copies overall, will allow for exceptions, and not overload Kyra.

I’ll be able to bring just my own music and the score for each part, which will reduce my workload considerably.

Monday July 15th – No Rehearsal

Hi all,

This post is just to confirm that we won’t be meeting this coming Monday for rehearsals.

I’ll shortly put together a note on our arrangements for next year, and some items for you to think about before we return – we’ll have a busy time getting our new team working effectively, and being ready beforehand is key to making it a success.

In the meantime, have a great summer break.

See you on Monday 2nd September !

Cheers Jem

Rehearsal Monday 8th July

Hi all,

We’re meeting at Eastcliffe as usual this week, and I’d like to play through the following tunes …..

Rehearsal Tunes

St James Infirmary – Solos from Jane B., Chris and Ben as they weren’t around last week (all – please look at last week’s blogs for the lead sheet if you need it).

We’ll also do some group work on this – The Group parts are available at -> St. James Infirmary

We’ll also carry on with Fascinating Rhythm which went pretty well last week, and finally pick up on a new piece, St. Louis Blues.

Can you please make sure you have all parts for your instrument – Thanks.

Running the Group

Finally, on the admin front we’ll take a bit of time to consider options for next year.

The good news is that most of the group have stepped forward to offer their support in one way or another.  I’ll make contact with the remaining folk individually, as we need a full-team approach if the group is to work effectively.

However, we don’t have specific owners for the Chairman role, Publicity or Event / Concert Management.

It’s not an ideal setup, but we can possibly make it work if I take a ‘management lead’ in these areas and am actively supported by the team in terms of carrying out actions.

So – the easy part is done – we have the basics of a team approach, and I’m going to move forward to next term taking the team’s support on trust.  However, the hard part is actually making it work, and we need to decide as a team how best to do that.

Cheers Jem




MSE Support Team

Hi all,

As you’ll know by now, the MSE has an urgent need to form an effective support group to run our activities, in preparation for next year.

If we fail to put a group in place by the end of the term, we won’t be in shape to resume rehearsals next term … and in that case, the future of the group doesn’t look good at all.

So far, I’ve only received specific offers of help from Matt (Treasurer) and Kyra (Librarian).  Jas has made a general offer to help out.

However, this leaves us with no Chairman, Events Manager or Secretary … and without these key roles being filled as a minimum, we can’t move forward.

I may be off island on July 15th, so we really need to make a go / no-go decision on Monday …. and I also need to decide whether Monday’s session should be dedicated to getting the new team working, or agreeing how best to put the group on hold.

Therefore, can you please let me know by Friday evening latest, if you want to volunteer for one of the key roles mentioned above.

Details are in my blog of last Saturday.

Cheers Jem