Chesterfield Philharmonic Choir Constitution & Rules.

1. Name.

The Society shall be called ‘Chesterfield Philharmonic Choir’.

2. Purpose.

The purpose of the Society shall be the rehearsal and public performance of a wide range of music in order to enhance the musical skills, knowledge and appreciation of members, participants and audiences.

3. Membership.

3.1 Membership of the Society shall be open to all persons. No individual shall be refused membership on the grounds of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, race, religious beliefs or financial standing.

3.2 The Society may have the following classes of membership:
• Singing
• Non-Singing
• Life
• Honorary
• Patrons

Members may hold more than one class of membership at the same time.

3.2.1 Singing membership will be subject to the discretion of the Musical Director, but refusal may be only on the grounds of inability to meet the musical demands of rehearsals and concerts.

3.2.2 The Committee may appoint to the Society a Musical Director, Deputy Musical Director, Accompanist and Deputy Accompanist who shall become non-singing members of the Society. Other non-singing members may be admitted at the discretion of the Committee for the purpose of furthering the interests of the Society.

3.2.3 Life members may be elected by the Society at the Annual General Meeting in recognition of exceptional service given to the choir in either a singing or support capacity.

3.2.4 An Honorary President and Vice-presidents may be elected by the Society at a General Meeting.

3.2.5 Individuals may become a Patron of the Society by payment of the appropriate fee. A Patron is a person or organisation who wishes to support the Charity and its Objects but receive no benefits either in cash or kind.

4. Voting Rights.

4.1 All Singing and Life members have a right to vote at General Meetings and other ballots of members. Those Non-singing members specified in Section 3.2.2 have the same voting rights. All other classes of membership have no voting rights.

4.2 Any member with voting rights has only one vote, regardless of the number of classes of membership with voting rights held by the same individual.

4.3 All votes at general meetings, committee meetings and ballots will be decided on the basis of a simple majority. Where the number of votes cast produces a tied result the Chairman of the Meeting will have the casting vote.

5. Management.

5.1 Structure of Committee:

5.1.1 Management of the Society shall be vested in a committee comprising no more than twelve members, to include the following five posts :

• Chairman
• Secretary
• Treasurer
• Musical Director
• Choir representative.

5.1.2 The remaining seven posts will be designated according to the management needs of the Society for the ensuing year. Six members of the committee shall form a quorum. The Committee may elect one of its members as Deputy Chairman.

5.2 Election of Committee:

5.2.1 Each Committee post, save for that of Musical Director, shall fall for election at the Annual General Meeting each year. Retiring members shall be eligible for re-election, however the same member shall not hold the position of:

(a) Chairman for more than five consecutive years;
(b) Choir Representative for more than two consecutive years.

5.2.2 All nominees for Committee posts must be supported by two paid up voting members of the Society.

5.3 Committee Meetings:

5.3.1 The Committee will meet formally at least three times every year to consider the strategic direction, general & risk management and overall administration of the Society. Dates of these meetings will be made available to members in advance. Minutes of such meetings will be made available to members within four weeks. Members who wish to raise issues for consideration at such meetings should make these known to any member of the Committee at least two weeks before the date of the next meeting.

5.3.2 The Committee may make arrangements for other ad-hoc meetings as it sees fit.

5.4 Powers of the Committee:

5.4.1 The Committee may take such decisions as it thinks fit to make arrangements for the day to day administration of the Society including the generation and use of financial resources; the organization and performance of concerts, other public performances, and social events.

5.4.2 The Committee will consider and develop plans for the effective promotion and development of the Society. Such plans must be presented to members for their agreement before they may be implemented.

5.4.3 In case any question or matter should arise in connection with the Society, which is not already dealt with in this Constitution & Rules and upon which immediate action is required before an appropriately constituted General Meeting can be convened, the Committee shall have full power to make such orders as they think fit and the decision arrived at shall be final and conclusive. Any such order to be ratified by a General Meeting in due course.

5.4.4 Committee members shall be bound by any decision of the Committee.

6. Subscriptions.

6.1 Subscriptions will apply only to Singing members, Life members who are also singing members and Patrons. In the event of failure to pay the agreed subscription by 1 April of that financial year, membership shall lapse.

6.1.1 Singing members
The Society may provide for a range of subscriptions that allows for the differing financial situations of singing members. Those on unemployment or other state supported benefits may be offered membership at no cost or a rate commensurate with their ability to pay. Decisions to offer a reduced subscription to individual members will be taken by the Committee. The normal rates of subscription shall be as agreed by the Annual General Meeting, by recommendation from the Committee.

6.1.2 Life members who are also singing members will be required to pay the appropriate singing member’s subscription.

6.1.3 Patrons. Patrons will be required to make a donation towards the Charity in any Financial Year to become or remain a Patron of the Choir. The Committee will determine the minimum sum to be donated at the beginning of each season. Patrons will receive no tangible benefits in recognition of their contributions, although their contributions may be acknowledged publicly by the Charity subject to the agreement of the individual.

7. Annual General Meeting.

7.1 Members shall be summoned to an Annual General Meeting not later than 31st October, on twenty-one day’s notice from the Committee. The purpose is for receiving reports from the Committee, receiving and adopting the financial account, appointment of the Independent Examiner, the election of the committee for the ensuing year and any other business. Nominations, together with any proposed amendments to the Constitution and Rules of the Society and any items of business that a member wishes to be placed on the agenda for the meeting shall be notified in writing to the Secretary not less than fourteen days prior to the meeting. Each nomination, amendment or item of business to be seconded by one other voting member.

7.2 A quorum at the Annual General Meeting shall be one half of the voting membership of the Society.

8. Extra-Ordinary General Meetings.

8.1 An extra-ordinary General Meeting may be called by the Committee or by twenty voting members of the Society on twenty-one days notice being given to the voting members of the Society of the meeting and of the motions to be put to the meeting. Any request for such a meeting from members should be made to the Secretary in writing, setting out the motion or motions concerned, and signed by all twenty members.

8.2 A quorum at an Extra-ordinary General Meeting shall be one half of the voting membership of the Society.

9. Rehearsals.

All performing members will be expected to be in regular attendance at rehearsals and concerts, at the discretion of the Musical Director. The Committee may rule at any time that participation in concerts is limited to members who have attended a certain number of rehearsals.

10. Constitution and Rules.

Each member of the Society shall be provided with access to the current Constitution and Rules of the Society and may require from the Membership Secretary sight of a copy. Amendments to the Constitution and Rules may be made at any properly constituted General meeting.

11. Finance.

11.1 The Financial Year shall commence on 1st August.

11.2 The financial accounts shall be drawn up and presented for independent examination annually, prior to their presentation to the Annual General Meeting for acceptance by the members.

11.3 One or more banking accounts shall be held in the name of the Society for the purpose of receiving and making payments.

11.4 All cheques and other written authorities for payment must be signed by two authorised signatories, which may be drawn from the duly elected Chairman, Secretary or Treasurer of the Society. In the temporary absence of one of the aforementioned officers for a period of three months or more the Committee may allow one further Committee member to become an authorised signatory until such time as the absent officer returns.

11.5 Only funds necessary to meet the day-to-day running costs of the Society should be retained as cash.

11.6 The Society may receive donations, grants-in-aid or financial guarantees.

11.7 The income and property of the Society shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the Society as set forth in its Rules. No portion thereof shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly, by way of dividend, bonus or by payment of a professional fee to any member of the Society, except in payment of legitimate expenses incurred on behalf of the Society, or save as set out herein.

11.7.1 A fee may be paid to the Musical Director and/or Deputy Musical Director and/or the accompanist of the Society as agreed by the Committee.

11.7.2 A fee may be paid to any member undertaking a professional soloist’s role in a public performance by the Society as agreed by the Committee.

11.7.3 The Committee may authorize payment for small gifts in recognition of exceptional service to the Society.

11.8 On winding up or dissolution of the Society, any remaining assets shall be handed over to a charitable society or association having a similar purpose.

12. These rules were adopted by the Society on 13 October 2016.


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