Waltham St. Lawrence Silver Band

Annual General Meeting 2019

The 2019 Waltham St. Lawrence Silver Band AGM was held on 23rd January at the Neville Hall, with almost a full band present. Minutes of the 2018 meeting were accepted as a true record, with no matters arising.


Presenting her Chairman's report, Jane Lynn voiced thanks to the conductor and to those who had performed various duties through the year on behalf of the band, noting in particular outgoing secretary Marie Wharmby's major contribution of time and effort. She also extended a warm welcome to the players who had joined the band over the previous year.

Regarding public performances, Jane said the two concerts of 2018 had shown how the band could draw an audience and put on an entertaining show, thanks to good rehearsal technique. The band had played as usual at three Remembrance Day parades. Waltham St. Lawrence folk were very pleased we had resumed marching for the event there this year, and Jane hoped this would continue, perhaps marching also in Bray in 2019. There would be more marching practice this summer.

Street carolling had gone well, and playing at private events had also proven very worthwhile. It had once again turned out that the bigger the band, the better the sound, and the more comes in by way of donations. Carols Round the Pound had been a good community event, and Jane thanked the non-members who had helped out at it.

Looking forward to 2019, Jane reported that sponsorship had again been secured from Bishops's Move Ltd., and handed a cheque to the Treasurer. Jane reminded everbody that our German partners Musikverein Friesheim would begin their visit on 8th June. There was still an urgent need to find accommodation for all of them. Later in the meeting, details of the events planned for the visit were set out, including playing on Alexandra Gardens bandstand in Windsor and a barn dance.

Presenting the Secretary's report, Marie Wharmby reported that four new players had joined the band over the year. There had been 21 public appearances, with some good feedback from audiences. Attendance had been very good, a sign that people were enjoying their playing. A few regular engagements had not been secured in 2018, one due to poor turnout the previous year. Engagements were already booked for 2019 for each month from April to July, including a spring concert in May.

Marie said that after taking over as Secretary part-way through the year, she had focused on organizing tasks and information in a more centralized and uniform way, including the tracker sheet for availability and a standard job sheet to inform members about each engagement. There was now a band email address for communication between members and organizers, and a YouTube channel had been set up to publish videos of our performances.

The Treasurer's report was delivered by Keith Penton. The band had made a surplus for the financial year commencing October 2017, despite fewer fee-paying engagements, partly thanks to generous sponsorship by Bishop's Move and a substantial donation from the president, Wendy Craig. Expenditure had included over £500 on new music.

Reporting on his first year as Musical Director, Steve Block said he'd enjoyed it and voiced his appreciation of the friendship and hard work from the band. He looked forward to further progress. Engagements had gone well, and the two-and-a-half concerts – the half being the full programme delivered at Old Windsor Christmas fair – had been very successful. More work was needed to publicize concerts, which were crucial for development of the band. Outdoor engagements would benefit if some seating could be provided for audiences. Remembrance Day parades had gone well, though some areas of deportment could be improved.

Steve said he aimed for a combination of hard work and musical and social enjoyment at rehearsals. Good habits for a good working environment included punctuality, and advising of availability; keeping the music pad tidy; and using the pencil to note the MD's remarks and keep them in mind. Conversation should not be allowed to distract from focus on music-making. Home practice was essential if individuals wanted to improve. And above all, people needed to have a positive attitude to all aspects of banding. Steve looked forward to the May concert, which would have a theme of "Space", and hoped that an Autumn and a Christmas concert would also be possible.

During discussion under Any Other Business it emerged that a new provider needed to be found for band uniforms, since the previous supplier has gone out of business. There was a consensus that the band should try to ensure bandstand dates in Henley (Mill Meadows) and Reading (Forbury).

Officers and committee were elected as follows:

Chairman Jane Lynn
Secretary Marie Wharmby
Treasurer Keith Penton
Committee members
Ben Midgley (Equipment Officer)
Debbie Morton  
Clair Williams  
Gerry Townsend  
Paul Chapman  

Non-committee posts

Bandperson of the Year

Following a ballot at the meeting, the award went to Marie Wharmby.