CONSTITUTION

Site History:             Published 20th March 2012

Page History:            Created 20th March 2012

                                  Updated 14th May 2012

                                  Updated 19th May 2012

                                  Updated 7th January 2013

                                  Updated 15th January 2013

                                  Updated 16th January 2013

                                  Updated 23rd May 2013

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Text Box: Name

The name of the Orchestra shall be the Middlewich Concert Orchestra ("the Orchestra") which is an unincorporated society.

Objects

The objects of the Orchestra are to advance, improve, develop and maintain public education in and appreciation of the art and science of music, including (a) to make orchestral music available to a wide section of the public (b) to play classical music together in a friendly environment (c) to improve the orchestral playing of members and (d) to give concerts and other musical events and associated activities; and for such other purposes as shall be exclusively charitable and for the benefit of the general community of Middlewich and the surrounding area as the Committee may from time to time decide. The Orchestra shall have all necessary powers to give effect to these activities. The Orchestra shall be a non-profit making members' club or association.  The income and property of the Orchestra (derived from any source whatsoever) shall be applied solely towards promoting the objects of the Orchestra as set out above and no portion of them shall be paid or transferred either directly or indirectly to any member or members of the Orchestra, except in payment of legitimate expenses incurred on behalf of the Orchestra.

Membership

Members shall be instrumental players who have achieved the standard of playing set by the Committee from time to time and the procedure for application and admission shall also be set by the Committee. Membership will lapse unless players have paid their subscription at the time fixed for payment at the rate determined at the last annual general meeting. A member may be removed or suspended by the Committee (by a 75% or greater vote of those present) if that member behaves in a way incompatible with membership (including abuse or rudeness) or fails regularly to attend rehearsals. A member who has been removed or suspended may only be reinstated by approval by a vote of the members. Honorary membership may be granted in special cases by the Committee.

Committee, Officers and Musical Director

The Orchestra will be managed by a Committee consisting of 4 officers (a chairman, secretary, treasurer and concerts manager) and not more than 5 other members. The officers shall be elected by the members at the annual general meeting and will hold office until the next annual general meeting. They may be re-elected repeatedly if the members so choose. Should an officer resign dining his term of office, the Committee can appoint a replacement to serve until the next annual general meeting. Officers shall be unpaid.
The position of musical director shall be filled by someone (other than a member) recommended by the Committee and confirmed by a vote of the members. The musical director may be paid and may attend and speak at (but not vote at) Committee and general meetings. His or her duties shall be agreed with the Committee and shall include the selection, preparation and rehearsal of music for concerts and the general direction of the Orchestra’s musical activities. The selection and positioning of players and other musical matters shall be primarily determined by the musical director in collaboration with the Committee.

Quorum and Votes

The quorum for general meetings of members shall be 33% of the members including Committee members present. For Committee meetings the quorum shall be 5 members. Votes at general meetings shall be by a show of hands unless the chairman or another member shall call for a written vote. Other than at an annual general meeting a written vote of members in which at least 50% of the members take part may approve anything which requires approval by the members under the Constitution. Where a general meeting does not have a quorum present at the designated place and time, the meeting shall be adjourned for 7 or 14 days at the discretion of the chairman to the same time and place and at such adjourned meeting the members present shall be a quorum.

Management

The Committee shall make all arrangements and decisions concerning rehearsals and concerts and other musical events. The Committee will meet at least once a term and minutes will be taken which will be available from the secretary to any member who wishes to read them. The chairman (or if not available another officer) shall chair all meetings and shall have a casting vote in the event of a split vote. The duty of the elected officers is to act in the best interests of the Orchestra at all times and to strive for the continual improvement of quality, playing environment, public awareness and efficiency in the Orchestra. At least 7 days’ notice (in writing or by phone) shall be given of Committee meetings.

Finance

The financial year shall end on 31st December.
Authorized signatories to the bank accounts are the chairman, secretary, treasurer or such other committee members as are authorized by the Committee. Cheques on the Orchestra's bank accounts over £50 need to be signed by two signatories.
The Orchestra may charge for concerts and other events and may receive grants and donations from other sources.
Payments to the musical director shall be decided by the Committee.
The financial accounts shall be prepared by the treasurer and approved by the Committee and be submitted to the members at the annual general meeting for confirmation. They will not be subject to independent audit unless required by the Committee or a general meeting.
The levels of subscriptions are to be determined at the annual general meeting, shall remain in force until further changed by a vote of the members and are payable at regular intervals specified by the treasurer. Concessionary rates shall be available to students, older people and other deserving cases decided by the Committee. New members will not need to pay for an initial period fixed by the Committee.

General Meetings

The annual general meeting shalt be held within 6 weeks of the end of the financial year. Other general meetings may be called from time to time by the Committee or by a requisition of at least 6 members. Members will be given notice of the meeting in writing at least 14 days in advance.

Amendments to the Constitution

The Committee or at least 10 members may propose amendments to the Constitution in writing and this resolution shall be put by the Committee to a special general meeting or the annual general meeting. At least 14 days' mitten notice of the meeting and details of the proposed amendment must be given to members in writing. To change the Constitution, at least 66% of those members voting must approve the amendment.

Dissolution of the Orchestra

The Orchestra can be dissolved by a resolution passed by a Majority of the members. Any surplus assets of the Orchestra after payment of all debts and liabilities shall be paid over to another non-profit making musical charitable body or any other charity (whether or not registered with the Charities Commission) specified by the members or in default chosen by the Committee in each case having similar objects to those of the Orchestra.

	Version: 21 January 2005