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(London and the South of England Branch)

Branch AGM 2019

The Branch AGM was held on the 24th of November 2019 at the Luton Campus of the University of Bedfordshire.
Twenty two personnel from eight bands attended the  Branch AGM and training session on Sunday at Luton University.
 Tony Sloane

Tony Sloane, one of our local judges, held a very entertaining interactive session to make us think about what really matters when listening to a piece of music.  All we need to do now is to translate our better understanding of musicality into how we play in 2020!

A minute's silence was held at the start of the AGM for past president Ron Paterson and past steward Steve Donaldson.  We have only recently heard that Steve had died unexpectedly of a heart attack in September.

At the AGM the Chairman said that she had two aims for 2019: Firstly, to be more geographically inclusive, which had been achieved through a new contest near Bristol and autumn training near Bury St Edmunds.  Secondly, to encourage new talent, and more youngsters had competed in the solos this year.  Both Reading Scottish and East of England actively taught young pipers, and links were being built with school pipe bands in the SE.

The Treasurer circulated the audited accounts which showed a healthy situation, and had enabled a small surplus to be set aside to support the new Bristol contest.  Following a successful inaugural event we have agreed with SGS show organisers to run a three year trial period before making a decision on its viability.  However, we need to help SGS by finding some £2k towards its costs.

The Secretary made a plea for all bands to respond in good time and meet cut off dates.

Ron Paterson (P/M Reading) has now run three first rate training days to encourage and develop players.  It is hoped to include tenor drum tuition next time.  

The election of officials saw some changes.  Iain Raymond from Gatwick has volunteered to become Vice Chairman.  Happily both our webmaster Andy Inns and our secretary Irene Samson agreed to be re-elected.  Elaine Gloss volunteered as Assistant Treasurer in addition to her role as Trophies Convenor. Iona Scotson of Gordon's School volunteered to take over as Music Board Rep as well as being our co-opted youth representative.  This all makes for a stronger team to maintain the momentum.

The President noted that London and South of England Branch is by far the most viable and the busiest of the English branches of RSPBA.  Our hard working officials were thanked for the time and expertise they bring to the branch, and our bands thanked for their support during the year.

Jackie Allan