Open Voices Board of Directors
Minutes of Meeting
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Present: Andy Rush, Skot Caldwell, Linda Williams, Jerry Weller, Alan Kary, Graham Stratford, Mary
Gauthier, Sylvie DesHaise
Regrets: Pam Bandy-Dafoe
Chair: Mary Gauthier
Scribe: Marilyn Haskell-Armstrong
- Welcome: Mary called the meeting to order at 7 P.M; with a special welcome to Sylvie
- Approval of Minutes: The minutes February 2019 were approved as circulated.
- Additions to Agenda: none
- Outstanding Business:
(a) Insurance Policy: Skot reported on his meeting with Scott Lee, insurance broker, to try
to answer the questions the board had previously discussed. Mr. Lee has experience
with other choirs and was able to understand our needs. He provided an outline of
Board of Directors Liabilities to share with Board members. Skot reported that the
current coverage we have is appropriate as long as the Board continues to apply “due
diligence” to its’ practices. That is, following our policies and processes, continuing to
be responsive and applying due diligence in how we handle situations. It was noted
we need to confirm that there is a Board “indemnity clause” in our bylaws. Skot noted
we have 2 kinds of insurance: Board/Directors Insurance and Liability Insurance.
There are times when we need to purchase extra insurance for a performance
venue/facility. He affirmed that the current policy meets our needs.
ACTION: The board will research bylaws to insure they contain an “indemnity clause”.
(b) Board elections/recruitment: The Board discussed the upcoming Board elections.
i. Although some Board roles require a longer learning time than others,
especially Treasurer, the Board agreed that the current process of
opening positions to all members interested in running for election
needs to be maintained. Choir members will be given information
about each position and the skills required and will be invited to submit
their interest. Recruiting an assistant to shadow roles, such as
Promotions reduces the concern that expertise is lost when a Board
ii. Update on recruitment (Linda): covered in the above.
(c) Fancy choir folders (Andy): There has been lots of positive feedback from those who
were “trialing” the folders. The folders can be embossed with OV logo and individual
names. The group discussed the use of the folders at concert (takes up less room,
easier to use) Linda suggested the choir purchasing them and signing them out for
concert only. It was suggested that those who tested them discuss the folders with
others in their sections.
ACTION: Andy will take a show of hands at rehearsal to see how many are interested in
purchasing a folder at a suggested price of approximately $25. After getting a number he
will research companies for the best price.
(d) Commissioned work by Kento Stratford: Andy does not know the status but will check
in with Kento and report at the next board meeting.
(e) Orientation Manual for Board Directors (Linda): The manual has been completed.
Mary G. is currently editing. The manual will be put on line for access by all members.
(f) Website Update (Graham): The “letters patent” is now on the website. The group
discussed the time required to complete the uploading of music, etc. and other
website related tasks. It was suggested that more than Graham should be involved.
ACTION: Andy will send a note to Graham on what music to keep on website.
ACTION: Graham will present to the choir and ask for volunteers to provide intermittent
help when needed.
Soul Food (Linda): These will be posted to website when possible.
Photos: Mary will upload new photos to the website.
ACTION: Mary will make an announcement at rehearsal requesting photos from
(g) Andy for Voice Coaching: Andy asked that this and (h) be deferred. Feels the topics
belong in Music Education discussion.
(h) Conductors share and discuss their techniques (Andy): deferred
- New Business: Requests for Leave (Skot):
Discussed the current number of choir members on leave and the effect this has on the
choir. Questioned whether members are aware of the process for taking leave and if they
are requesting leave at registration time. It was noted that only new members were given
the new registration form which addresses requests for leave. The process is outlined in
the Membership Policy which is now on-line. Andy mentioned that both the Tenor Soprano
Sections are low in numbers, creating issues with balancing sound. The group discussed
scenarios to deal with this issue.
ACTION: The Board will review the registration form language re: requests for leave
and change language if needed.
ACTION: Andy will make a request to choir for mini intake for Sopranos and Tenors.
ACTION: this topic will be added to Agenda for April 9 h meeting for further discussion
(a) Publicity (Jerry): Joanna is no longer able to help Jerry out due to a job change. Jerry
will approach members to see if they are interested in helping out with promotion. Andy
shared the poster for the Tate concert with Emily and Martha with positive responses
from both. Andy reported that a reporter from Profile Magazine had contacted him
about a possible article.
ACTION: Jerry and Andy will discuss publicity for Gan concert.
(b) Treasurer (Pam): financial reports received by board: deferred
(c) Concert Committee (Skot): Videotaping of the Tate concert was discussed. Skot will
contact a St. Lawrence student to determine her availability and interest. The purpose
of this video will be for on-line promotion as well as a record of the event. Sound
quality is important especially for promotional use.
ACTION: Andy will speak to other choirs to determine their interest in video
ACTION: Skot will speak to student to determine interest and sound equipment.
ACTION: Skot will convene the concert committee
(d) Membership (Mary/Graham): an on line registration form is available for use. A paper
copy will also be available.
- Music Committee (Alan): Next meeting is April 17/19.
ACTION: Andy: will post a mentor sign-up sheet
- Artistic Director:
(a) Andy reported that the performance at the hockey game was successful and everyone
had a good time. The response from the crowd was good. Andy was told the
sound quality was excellent and the anthem was “GREAT”!
ACTION: Andy will thank the choir members who participated.
(b) Splash: Andy spent a day at the high school. He met with Robyn and the School
Principles and the Art teacher. The Art teacher will come up with the poster concept.
The students’ involvement will be videotaped, and a slide show created for the
The boat and the return bus are booked. Concert ticket costs are $12 for
adults and $5 for children and students. Proceeds will be distributed by the school.
Tickets will be sold by the Playhouse. They will be available on line and ahead of the
(c) Songs of Sea and Sail: Andy is working on the grant and is busy getting quotes. The
budget may be close to $12 thousand.
Rain covering will be available. If the full grant is received there will be 2 free public
performances; an afternoon and a sunset performance.
If no grant received, a ticketed event will be held at Cooke’s.
(d) Jan. 2020: Andy is looking for ideas for this session.
ACTION: will ask for ideas at the next music committee meeting.
(e) Long Term Planning: Andy discussed the need for long term planning for the future of
the choir and musical leadership.
- Budget Review Committee (Alan, Linda)
(a) Plan update: Alan and Linda are currently collecting info from other choirs. Some
questions were raised in the fall and need to be dealt with such as a process for salary
- Meeting Adjourned: 9:30 P.M.
- NEXT MEETING:
WHEN: Tuesday, April 9, 2019
7 – 9 P.M.
WHERE: 39 Markland Street
CHAIR: Skot Caldwell