The Annual General Meeting of Waltham St. Lawrence Silver Band was held at the Neville Hall on 28th January 2015, with about 16 members attending.
Reports from the Chairman, MD and Secretary noted that 2014, had been a busy year, with the band attending 21 public occasions and two private parties, entertaining local senior citizens, and supporting the Maidenhead Rotary carollers.
The band had lost several valuable members over the year due to house moves and family circumstances, but had also gained two regular players in Joe Tarbit (percussion) and Sophie Linthorne (horn). The Secretary reported that the band now had 21 active members apart from the Musical Director.
Both carolling and the Remembrance Day parades had seen changes due to numbers and the band's age profile, with reduced street carolling rounds and static playing for the parades.
In 2014 the band also gained a new President in Wendy Craig, taking over from Margaret Railton, who no longer feels able to take this role after 25 years of much valued service. The official presidential handover was marked with a concert on 18th October 2014.
The Musical Director's report thanked everyone for their efforts, particularly at some of the more arduous carolling events. The quality of playing at the Twyford Christmas concert had been high, and everyone had been very pleased with the performance at the URC church in Bourne End on 21st December. The reduction in numbers presented a challenge, and made it difficult to field a full band for every engagement. The value of concerts such as that at White Waltham church and Forbury bandstand was noted. Regardless of income from them, they provide a focus for rehearsing a programme, which improves motivation and playing standards.
The Chairman (and visit's chief organizer) gave an outline of the forthcoming visit by our German partners Musikverein Friesheim at the end of May. This will include a dance band concert on their day of arrival, a joint concert with WSL band at a high tea for local pensioners, and an international quiz night.
The Treasurer's report noted that the band had made a loss of £412 over the financial year to the end of September 2014, but had made a cash profit of £1,088 when depreciation was excluded from the reckoning. A significant contribution to fundraising had been made by cornet player Steve Bourne, with a payment for a band to play at his wedding plus a collection at the event raising over £470 towards a new account, dedicated to funding activities for the band's German exchanges. The meeting discussed the idea of carrying out a more realistic valuation of some older instruments, and using some of them for part-exchange for new ones.
As well as electing the band's Committee and Officers for the coming year (see sidebar), the result of voting for Bandsman of the Year was announced. The winner, who was presented with his trophy at the meeting, was solo euphonium player and librarian Tom Torley, who was warmly congratulated.
The incoming committee's first meeting will be on 26th February.