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AGM 2016

Nottingham Symphonic Winds
Annual General Meeting 2016
Sunday 17th July 2016 12:00 noon
Chair: Nicola Pennill
Secretary: Margaret Frogson
Treasurer: David Wesker
NSWO rep: Stephen Parker
NWE rep: Dave Lees
12:00 start
Welcome and highlights of the year
Financial summary
Officers retiring/elected

Final accounts for 2014-15
Balance sheet view file (pdf)
Profit and loss view file (pdf)
Reports and summary of the year
NSW Chairman’s Report 2015-16

Nicola Pennill

Another successful year draws to a close for NSW in which we have seen many exciting events and musical activities.  This is a summary of some of the highlights and key themes of the past twelve months.


Concert schedules have made for a busy year, with a wide selection of concerts around the region.




19th September: Music from the Shows, Aspley

1st November: British Light Music, Thoresby

21st November: Symphonic Spectacular, Mansfield

5th December: Christmas Concert, Aspley

19th December: Kidsophonic, Albert Hall


28th November:  An Autumn Serenade Kinoulton

19th December:  Kidsophonic, Albert Hall


6th February: Stage and Screen Spectacular, Worksop

19th March: Out of this World, Nottingham

15th May: Prom at Thoresby

16th July: From Russia with Love, Nottingham


July 9th:  Summer Concert, Bunny

“Musical excellence – supporting good causes”

As always, the concerts helped to raise funds both for NSW and for nominated charities.  Our charitable fundraising activities have been exceptional this year, with NSW contributing around £7000.00 to charity, including supporting our own charitable fundraising to support our activities. This represents a vital part of the ongoing activities of NSW, fulfilling one of our key charitable roles, and taking our fundraising total to £122,000.00.  Thanks everyone that’s contributed by playing and by selling tickets, these excellent figures demonstrate how worthwhile our activities are

The Kidsophonic Concert again provided a key source of funds for the group, contributing around £2500.00 to group funds, by some margin is our most profitable concert.  We rely on a good audience for this to continue to be so worthwhile – please support it by playing and by spreading the word when the time comes!

For the details of this and other concert revenue, see the Treasurer’s Report, below.

Charitable status

Thanks to the work we are doing in raising funds for good causes, performing for community organisations, and providing musical participation opportunities for members, we continue to fulfil our obligations and aims as a charity. 

Thirty years of NSW in 2017

Next year NSW marks its 30th anniversary.  Just a few of the notable achievements which bring the long term activities of NSW into context are:

 • Performed more than 375 concerts, including more than 50 outside the UK 

• Undertaken12 overseas tours

• Raised over £120,000 for local and national charities

This is in addition to the many other achievements and assets of the group, such as the extensive library of music, owned by the group, the many players past and present, and the enjoyment of players and audiences.  We have much to be proud of in being part of this group and can build further on our success so far.

Promotion and publicity

Like any group we rely on our audiences for support and it is increasingly challenging to get our concert information noticed, so any means available to us to get the information out there is potentially of value.  We also now have a number of videos of live performances of NSWO on YouTube, an the NWE web presence is currently being redeveloped to create a more distinctive identity for the group.


As always, there is a huge amount of work that goes into keeping the organisation running.  There are too many to name everyone here, but special thanks go to Stewart Drummond and Keiron Anderson for directing the musical activities of the groups; the planning teams and committee ensure we have a process of management in place. 

Our new Patron is composer Martin Ellerby, who has attended two NSWO concerts. Martin Ellerby studied composition with Joseph Horovitz at the Royal College of Music and is well respected in many musical genres, having written five symphonies, twelve concertos and a large scale requiem for choir and orchestra, as well as the wind orchestra repertoire for which we know his work best.

On behalf of the committee I’d also like to thank both Dave and Margaret who continue to drive and support NSW so effectively, and of course we are thrilled that Margaret's work over the years has now been recognised in the Queen's birthday honours list. 

Nicola Pennill

NSW 2015-2016 Season - Treasurer’s Report

David Wesker

I am pleased to present my report on the group’s financial position and on matters of note from a financial perspective from the past season.


This has been a season focused on strengthening our financial position and resilience following a couple of seasons with higher than average expenditure (those seasons included workshops and significant music, instrument and equipment purchases).  The surplus expected for this season is approximately half of what we incurred on the 2014 residential workshop, so we are well on the way to building our reserves back up.

Concerts and fundraising

We continue to hold successful concerts which help raise money for us, our nominated charity and other local charities. These concerts have raised approximately £7,000 for charity this year, and continuing this success is a priority for us as a group as it fulfils one of our main charitable objectives.

During 2015 we raised £600 for CLAPA and our 2016 charity is Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People.  Our relationship with them has had an excellent start when Maggie attended NSWO’s March Djanogly concert. As you will have seen from her letter, they raised £225 from the Easter Egg tombola. We will also be continuing the raise money for them during the rest of 2016.

The NSWO September concert raised approximately £1,350 for Cardiac Support and St Margaret's, while the St Pauls Mansfield concert (November) raised £970.00 for us, the Rotary and the Church. The NSWO Christmas concert in December raised £390 for St Margaret's (on top of amounts for us and CLAPA).

We have continued to generate a good level concert income for ourselves, albeit slightly down from last season. In particular this year our income from the Kidsophonic concert was slightly lower (although this is still a strong fundraiser for us overall) and consequently a plan has been put in place to refresh this concert in 2016.


As membership numbers have been broadly stable, subscription income (including gift aid) is similar to the prior season. Thank you for your support in paying subscriptions on a timely basis for continuing to support out claims for gift aid on these. Again I am pleased to confirm there will be no rise in subscriptions for next season.


As in previous seasons, our most significant expenditure continues to be fees for the conductors and the hire of Bluecoat. Conductors’ fees have increased due to an increase in Stewart’s fees now he is settled into the role.

In general we have spent less on instrument repairs and new music this year. As we have previously announced, there are funds available for additional music purchases so if you know of any suitable wind orchestra pieces please let the planning teams know.


The final accounts for last season are attached to this report. These are also now publically available on the Charity Commission website.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank Windblowers for their continued sponsorship, which includes the use of the van and other administrative assistance.

David Wesker

NSWO rep report

Stephen Parker

Firstly I'd like to say that it has been a pleasure to serve as rep for an orchestra I've been so happy and proud to be a part of over the last few years. The committee and planning teams work hard for the NSWO and NWE (for which I'd personally like to thank them) and it was particularly nice to see Margaret's contribution recognised with nothing less than an MBE!

It's been another packed year for the NSWO, with concerts coming thick and fast and reaching further out from Nottingham into new venues. There has also been a continued effort to record every concert and create more videos of our live performances and I'd like to thank Mike Parker for the work put into those. This is something we hope to continue over next year so that we can publicise the orchestra with examples of the very best of the NSWO concerts.

 Orchestra members have raised a number of points this year and I'd just like to reiterate that every point is discussed in detail and at length in the committee and the planning team (where appropriate). In the majority of cases some action is taken or a change is made as a direct consequence - and in every case the conclusions of the discussion are fed back to the member raising the point.

From time to time the NSWO and NWE reps organise questionnaires in order to get feedback from members more proactively and obtain a more complete picture of the feelings of everyone, not just those members with specific points. My plan is that we will do this again in the coming year. Of course, these questionnaires are only as useful as the questions asked so if you'd like to suggest a question to put to the orchestra I'd be happy to include it.

In the meantime, we continue to be particularly interested in members' contributions on the following:

- Repertoire: expanding the music library with quality pieces and arrangements is vital in keeping players enthusiastic. So if know of any suitable pieces please let us know.

- Concert ideas: it has been raised that audiences are often more inclined to come to concerts when there is an inspiring theme. Any ideas would be most welcome.

- Concert venues: finding concert venues in and around Nottingham that can cope with the sound of a fully-fledged wind group and can help attract good audiences can be difficult. We'd love to hear about any suitable new venues that we could try out.

- Believe it or not the 30th Anniversary of NSW is fast approaching - in 2017! It seems fitting to mark this is some way so, again, let us know if you have ideas or if there is something you'd particularly like to do.


NWE rep report

David Lees

Well it is that time of the year again, so I had better put finger (just one) to keyboard and give you my thoughts of our year.  As we all know, it has been quite testing with the difficulty in filling vacancies, attendance levels at rehearsals which has had a knock on effect to concerts.  This year at time of writing we have only had one concert which was at Kinoulton, kindly hosted by Simon’s good lady, Jen.  This made our life easier and we had a good audience which exceeded our expectations leading us to put out more chairs. We have one more concert which is at Bunny on 9 July.  We also took part in the annual hooley that is Kidsophonic.  I do not know about everyone else but I always enjoy this one as it gives me a chance to play on equal terms with the band, which is always much fun and interesting as well as being a test of stamina and concentration as Mr P directs us from the audience.

In addition we undertook a survey of your views on the way forward for the Ensemble.  This was overwhelmingly positive in that we all wanted it to continue as a full wind band.  This vote has placed a lot of responsibility on you the members.  To make the Ensemble thrive, you must do all the things that you agreed in your responses to the survey.  So better attendance at rehearsals, better promotion of concerts and ticket sales.  Actively looking at venues and sniffing out charities who may benefit from a concert.  Checking out the local talent, and seeing if they fancy playing in the Ensemble.  If you all do a bit then, the possibilities will be endless…

 One of the things I commend you for is the change in the set up rota.  This to me seems to be working a site better than the section method we had.  I hope you feel the same way.  In addition, I loved the way you all pulled together to make the percussion equipment disappear when we fell foul of the communication problem between Bluecoat and their scaffolding contractors.  That was quite awesome as it gave Margaret a real problem caught in the middle of the muddle.  Another thing I commend you for is your willingness to have a go at difficult musical stuff.  This is becoming more noticeable now and I ask that you keep going.  In this way you will be seen as a stand-alone band within the Nottingham Symphonic Winds Organisation. Rather than a feeder band, training band etc. 

I have bashed on for too long now so for those of you who have read this far, congratulations, I bid you farewell as your retiring Committee representative.  I also say farewell as a member, retiring at the end of this season.  However, I will keep an eye on the web page so that when I see a concert coming up I can get my ticket in good time for what is bound to be a brilliant sold out concert.

All the best for your futures. 

Dave Lees

Player Vacancies
If you are a woodwind, brass or percussion player we are always interested to hear from you.
NSWO - We are currently looking for  Percussion.
NWE - We are currently looking for players in all sections for the new term.
Phone Margaret on 0115 9410543