The Branch had 33 members, 5 fewer than the previous season (1 returned
member and 6 non-renewals). We met on 35 Monday evenings from September
to June for combined playing. One-to-a-part groups met on alternate
On Saturday 6 November we welcomed Sandra Foxall as our visiting conductor.
We had an enjoyable afternoon’s playing with our visitors from other branches.
The collection of £38 was sent to the SRP Walter Bergmann Fund.
Our Christmas Evening was on Monday 13 December when we played to an audience
of family and friends in Augustine United Church. We were joined by members of
the Edinburgh Community Education Evening Class conducted by Margaret Hall. The
collection of £185.28 was sent to Concern World Wide. On 10 January we hosted a
joint meeting of the Branch and the Evening Class. Henriette Bos and Margaret
Hall conducted. We welcomed, as guest conductors, Jane Rumney on 25 October and
Sandy Howie on 7 March.
The National Recorder Festival took place on 23 and 24 April at Brentwood
County High School, Brentwood, Essex. On 24 April, Eileen Finlayson attended the
Society’s Annual Conference as the Edinburgh Branch’s delegate. The meeting was
chaired by Andrew Short. The full minutes, reports and accounts of the
Conference can be found here. A summary of the minutes follows.
Margaret Shearing, Manchester Branch was appointed as the new Membership
Secretary. John Allen, the retiring Membership Secretary and his wife were made
Honorary Life Members of the Society. Colin Martin stood down in rotation as
Musical Adviser on the Committee and was replaced by Colin Touchin. Beryl Craven
(Leicester), Helen Jones (Warwick) and Dick Pyper (Guildford) replaced
Peter Sturgeon (Nottinghamshire), Norma Herdson (East Berks) and
Margaret Shearing (Manchester) on the Committee. Andrew Mayes is stepping down
as editor of The Recorder Magazine. The Moeck/SRP Solo Recorder Competition has
been reinstated as an international competition. The final takes place on the
afternoon of Sunday 13 November 2005 at the Greenwich International Early Music
Festival. The National Youth Recorder Orchestra will be run by a sub-committee
from next year instead of by a project manager and musical director as at
present. 60 students have applied this year. There is a proposal to set up a
training orchestra directed by Andrew Challinger in 2005. The Panel of Visiting
Conductors is now open to conductors who are not members of the Society,
including those who may charge a fee. The Certificate of the SRP was abolished
and the post of Examinations Secretary altered to Training Co-ordinator. The
Rules were amended accordingly. Membership is down with 17 branches having gains
totalling 35 members, 22 branches reporting losses totalling 62 members, while
12 were unchanged in numbers. 2 branches have reported a decline of more than
one third in membership. This year’s membership included the 37 members of the
National Recorder Youth Orchestra (NYR0). The net change in membership was
therefore -27. The provisional accounts for the year ended 31 August 2004
indicated an anticipated deficit of £2,800 which would reduce the Society’s
reserves to approximately £25,000. No increase in the Central Subscription was
recommended. The SRP Walter Bergmann Fund showed a surplus of £1,125. The
maximum award amount has been raised from £300 to £450. Future Festivals will be
as follows: 1/2 April 2006 at Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria, 2007 York (subject to
venue confirmation), 2008 (Glasgow Branch (provisional offer), 2009 (no bid
received), 2010 Suffolk.
Several members attended the Special Playing Day in Glasgow on 26 February
and the Scottish Recorder Festival at Ibrox Parish Church, Glasgow on 14 May. 7
members of the Branch played in the Scottish Recorder Orchestra. Groups from the
Branch played at a charity concert in St Thomas’ Church in Leith on 17 December,
and at performance days organised by the Early Music Forum of Scotland in the
Royal Museum of Scotland on 26 March and the Chapel Royal, Stirling Castle on 6
Our Summer Evening was on 13 June. £132.17 raised at the Summer Evening was
divided between Médecins Sans Frontières and Bluebell Day.
Augustine Church Centre Manager, David Wright, retired this year. £38 was
collected from the members, and a book token given to him as a mark of our
appreciation for all the help he has given us over many years. His replacement
is Glynis Innes.
We are very grateful to Henriette for conducting us with such enthusiasm and
patience throughout the season. We must also thank Rosemary Byde, Andrew Short
and Peter Wraith, who conducted the Branch on several occasions last season in