Our Choir Constitution

Updated 23/1/20

The Constitution

  1. Name

    The name of the organisation is Carfield Community Choir, referred to as ‘the choir’ in this constitution.

  1. Aim

    To run a community choir accessible to the community of Carfield School and the residents of the local community.

  • To promote community cohesion and wellbeing of participants through the enjoyment of singing.
  1. Values

The choir is not aligned to any political party or religious denomination. The committee and the choir performances reflect the commitment of the choir to issues relevant to the local and national community, which are concerned with equality, humanity and respect and which celebrate the rich diversity of our local and national community. The elected committee and its contracted Director will conduct business in ways which reflect and are consistent with these values.

  1. Objectives and Powers
  • To offer performances at community events including Carfield School.
  • To employ a Musical Director.
  • To book and hire premises and undertake any other work to further the work of the choir.
  • To carry out activities of the choir without discriminating against any individual on any grounds, including race, religion, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, and with respect for all members.
  • To receive monies and other forms of assistance only to further the aims of the choir.
  1. Membership and Subscriptions

a) Full Membership is open to any individual aged 16 or over.

Children under the age of 16 can become Junior Members and participate in the choir if they are accompanied by an adult who is also a participating choir member.

Musical experience is not necessary and auditions will not take place.

b) The Secretary and Treasurer will keep a full record of all members and subscriptions paid.

c) Prospective members will join the choir by paying the weekly donation fee for each session they attend. If they decide to continue coming to choir, they also need to pay the termly subscription fee. Prospective members can attend for up to a term before committing to membership.

Details of payment arrangements and any future changes to Full and Junior Membership will be determined and published by the committee.

d) Only Full Members who have paid membership will be allowed to vote at the AGM or other general meetings.

e) Membership will be payable at least termly. New members joining in the middle of a term will pay membership at the beginning of the next.

f) Any member who has had their membership terminated by the committee shall have a right of appeal at the next AGM or general meeting, whichever is sooner.

g) The committee will decide the donation and membership fee at the beginning of each academic year. The committee will be concerned with keeping the cost as low as possible for members and offering the lowest rates for low income and unwaged members.

6. Meetings

a) The Secretary will email minutes of meetings to all members of the choir and the Musical Director.

b) Any proposed changes to the constitution or proposal to wind up the choir will be emailed to members at least 14 days before the meeting at which the proposal is to be discussed, except where a personal matter is discussed. Proposed changes will need to be voted for by 51% of the choir to be passed. Any other matters will be put to the vote at any meeting and decided by a simple majority of those present and eligible to vote, unless there has been a proposal to have a secret ballot.

c) The Chair will have the casting vote wherever there is a tied vote.

d) The AGM will normally be held in the autumn term of each academic year, though this may be changed at the discretion of the committee.  The Secretary or other members of the committee will ensure all choir members have written notice of the meeting no less than 14 days before it is due.

e) The business of the AGM will have standing items; these will include:
–   Election of Committee members and Officers.
–   Financial report
–   Other Officers’ reports
–   Musical Director’s report

f) Rehearsals and meetings will be held at Carfield School or,  as far as possible, in venues which provide access to all.

g) A written notice of any extraordinary General Meeting and agenda will be emailed to all members no less than 14 days before the date of the meeting.

h) The quorum for all General meetings including the AGM will be 8 members or one quarter of the membership, whichever is greater.

i) A general meeting can be called by the Secretary at the request of the committee or by at least five members.

j) Committee meetings can be called by the Chair or at least 3 committee members. The quorum for a committee meeting is 3 committee members, 2 of which need to be officers.

  1. Committee meetings and Officers

a) The committee will be comprised of Chair, Secretary and Treasurer with up to six additional elected members.

b) Officers and committee members will be elected at the AGM. Where committee members have not been elected at the AGM, voting can take place during allocated time at the weekly rehearsal. All committee members will be nominated and seconded before moving to a vote.

c) Any member of the choir can volunteer to serve as a committee member, and all members will be expected to help with the running of the choir from time to time.

d) All members of the committee will retire at each AGM. Any individual will be eligible for re- election.

e) The committee can co-opt any member as a full committee member to fill an officer vacancy until the next AGM.

f) The committee can establish working groups and sub-committees to deal with specific aspects of the running of the choir. Any working group must consist of at least two members. Any proposals made by the working group shall be subject to approval by the committee.

g) The committee, or any working group, can invite any non-member with special expertise to attend committee or working groups meetings but they may not have voting rights.

h) In the event of an officer, committee member or choir member losing the confidence of the committee or the choir membership, the problem will be discussed with the individual in question and and they will be asked to refrain from the behaviour causing the offence.

i) For a more serious breach of the constitution or behaviour which conflicts with the values of the choir, this will be put in writing. A second verbal request will be followed by a written request. If there is no change in behaviour or the problem persists, the committee can take a vote of no confidence in that member and ask them to leave the committee or choir.

j) Where the behaviour or problems are such that there is no alternative but to act immediately, the committee may convene an emergency meeting for the express purpose of determining whether or not a vote of no confidence should be taken and the person is asked to leave the committee or the choir.

The meeting will be minuted and available to all members of the choir except where a personal matter is discussed. The meeting will need 5 committee members for it to be quorate and the five people need to agree by vote on the appropriate action to be taken.

  1. Finance

a) The choir will have a bank account in its name which will be maintained by the elected officers. All monies will be paid into that account.

b) Any money paid out in the name of the choir in excess of £25.00 will be paid by cheque from the bank account. Two signatures will be required for any cheque to be valid.

c) Sums of £25.00 or less can be issued in cash on the authority of the Treasurer with the full knowledge of other committee members that the amount has been paid.

d) No committee member will derive any financial benefit from the group other than the payment of reasonable expenses.

e) Any committee member who carries out an activity agreed by the committee will not be liable for any debts and will be reimbursed from the choir funds.

f) Any activity not agreed by the committee may not be reimbursed.

g) The choir’s financial year will run from 1st September to August 31st 

h) Each AGM will receive a financial statement for the preceding year audited by a person chosen by the committee, but not a member of the committee.

  1. Changes to the Constitution

a) Changes to the constitution can be made by the AGM or a general meeting called specifically for the purpose. No changes can be made to the stated winding up procedure in section 6.

b) Any member of the choir can propose and second a change to any other part of the constitution by writing to the Secretary, at least 21 days before the meeting at which the proposal is to be discussed.

  1. Winding Up

a) The choir can only be wound up by a vote at a general meeting, in accordance with section 5 and 6.

b) If the proposal to wind up the choir is passed, and after settling all proper debts and obligations, such as rent and fees, the disposal of any remaining assets shall be decided by the meeting which moves the resolution.

This constitution was agreed and adopted by Carfield Community Choir on… 23rd January 2020.

Name                           Signature                               Date

Isobel Stevenson, Chair
Pauline Williams, Secretary
Julia Haseldine, Treasurer