Minutes of the Paris Choral Society’s Annual General Meeting
held on Monday, 6 June 2016
at the American Cathedral, 23 avenue George V, 75008 Paris

Attended by: 69 members
Members represented by proxy: 5
The quorum of one-third of members present or represented being attained, the President, Rachel Skingsley, opened the meeting at 7.45 pm.

PCS President’s Report – Rachel Skingsley

Rachel opened the meeting by welcoming everyone, especially those members who had not been able to sing the last concert, and thanked them for the support at the June concert. She then gave an overview of the past season, the PCS’s 22nd, which had proved to be quite a year!

In September 2015, Rachel and Zach auditioned 33 people of whom they took 13, and in January 2016, they auditioned 12 people of whom they took six, but of whom, sadly, only one will continue with us into next season as the others are leaving Paris. Auditions now involve those auditioning being sent in advance a couple of pages from one of the pieces to learn and this is proving to be a very helpful selection tool (e.g. 50 people originally applied in September and 17 dropped out when they saw the audition piece). These auditions are a huge investment of time by Zach. Rachel thanked the members who had helped with welcome duties on audition days and stressed that if we want to continue to attract the best amateur singers in Paris (which we do), then how we reply to their emails, how we welcome them at the Cathedral, and even how we reject them, is of the utmost importance. Again, this year, the intake has been of very high quality, and Rachel hoped it had prompted everyone to raise their game.

The choir comprised 116 paid-up members this year and the numbers who sang in each concert were:

November 2015 – Handel: 94
April 2016 – Mozart/Burchard: 96
June 2016 – Gloria! x 3: 78

As announced at the AGM in June, 2015, the Board had made a strategic decision to spend some of our reserves on the financing of professional musicians and soloists to accompany our third concert of the 2015–16 season. The maths of our current level of dues and ticket prices do not allow us to break even the year without a ‘cheap’ concert – even with full houses. However, with the reserves at a record high, we felt that, as a non-profit organisation, with predictable ongoing running costs, our mission was to make music rather than sit on big bank balances. So we set out on an exciting programme…

The first concert of the season, Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Coronation Anthems in November 2015, were just one week after the atrocities in Paris. We decided, nevertheless, to maintain a concert of joyous and uplifting music and not to be cowed into cancellation – even though many other events in the city were cancelled. It was our reply to violence and our way of honouring the innocent victims. We had additional costs as we had to pay for extra, outside security (about €1,000), but our friends and families responded to our call for solidarity and we had some of our biggest ever houses – and some very special emotional concerts. On the Friday night, the lights went out for no apparent reason for a few minutes, but we all kept on singing! And many people were very moved by our rendition of Dona Nobis Pacem at the end of both concerts.

The Sing-Along on 6 December 2015 had a great turnout, despite competition from a similar event at La Madeleine the day before (N.B. this day-long Messiah at the Madeleine seems to happen once every two years).

We were also invited to sing Christmas carols at Galeries Lafayette at the end of November – they liked us so much that they want us back every weekend this year!! Roselyne is liaising with them and will tell them that once is enough. We also gave a charitable performance for les Apprentis d’Auteuil on 12 December, where we sang to a full house who were very appreciative.

The second concert of the season was the Mozart Mass in C Minor and the Salzburg Mass by American composer Richard Burchard on 9 and 10 April 2016. This concert was very well received. Again, we had to pay for additional, outside security, which increased our costs.
We organised two extra workshops, one with Mihaly Zeke (conductor of Dijon Opera), one to focus on technique and the other, nearer the concert, on the music.

The third and final concert of the season can only be described as ‘hairy’! When Rachel knew that Zach would not be available for the Monday evening dress rehearsal as he was unwell, she rang Ryan Connolly at 5 pm and Ryan duly dropped everything to be at the Cathedral for 7 pm to pull together the choir and brass for the first time – conducting two of the three pieces that he didn’t even know! We are enormously grateful to Ryan for picking up the baton in every sense of the word. It was clearly a huge amount of work and we are very proud of the way that everyone stepped up and concentrated in rehearsals, and the two magnificent concerts are testimony to the way that Zach had trained us – but also to each one of us singers for taking responsibility for watching and counting more intensely.

In March, the Board had its annual Strategic Retreat, which was very productive. Rachel reminded members of the Strategic Objectives which had been agreed at the March 2015 Retreat:

• Perform professional-level concerts
• Attract the best amateur singers in Paris and help develop the vocal capabilities of all members
• Fun and pleasant atmosphere whilst retaining our musical/performance rigour
• Discover new works and expand our repertoire

As stated this time last year, we are much more rigorous about members singing both concerts and both dress rehearsals, which gives more stability.

The new Board will issue next year’s detailed dates after next week’s Board meeting, so that you can all do your utmost to programme the workshops into your planning.

As this year, those members who are not singing a concert will be allowed to participate in rehearsals up to about three weeks before the concert.

This year, the Board decided to run a membership questionnaire to encourage participation – and were absolutely delighted with the response (112!). The Board is looking at how to use your goodwill and energy – e.g. there already many more people involved in the music committee reviewing repertoire for next year, and also a wealth of translators. Soprano Sarah Favinger helped Zach with the brass arrangements for the Puccini, and we will be calling on members to help with welcome duties at the September auditions.

From the questionnaire, we know that the population of the PCS for the 2015–16 season was made up as follows:

54% French (40% pure!)
With a good mix of new blood combined with loyalty
31% of members joined during the last three years
37% have been members for more than 10 years (10% for more than 20!).
41% under 50, but only 11% under 30… and many of those are leaving, so we should try to find new young members

We are aiming to expand the role of the section leaders, with more rigorous checks and monitoring of attendance, which is now centralised, and they also make sure that people are noting rehearsal instructions and that there is not too much talking during rehearsals. The Section leader and Deputy Section leaders for next year are:

• Sopranos: Elisabeth Poy and Cliodhna Fullam
• Altos: Deborah Palmer and Ruth Le Mounier
• Tenors: Jean-Philippe Renwick and Betsy Crouch
• Bass: Jean-François Felix and Owen Lalor

The Publicity team of Fred Huette, Maddy Blumgart and Pardiese Klauss has worked hard this year. They brought in a new designer for our posters and Maddy introduced a Newsletter to send out to Alumni and supporters.

We have also launched our new website in order to modernise our presentation, simplify the navigation and offer our audience the possibility of online purchasing directly with a merchant account with our bank so not going through a third party. The intention is also for members to be able to purchase their scores and pay their membership dues online, but payments by cash or cheque are still possible.

Rachel thanked Pardiese, who was the driving force for this project together with our developer Ben Malloway. It was an immense amount of work, but there is still more work to be done over the summer and Pardiese will contact those members who expressed interest on the questionnaire for their help. In addition, Fred will be working on turning some of our recordings into mini films to go onto the website.

Rachel thanked the many members involved in keeping the show on the road and explained that her mission during her presidency was to increase participation, to be as transparent as possible, and to use the talent (musical and otherwise) of this incredible group of people. In particular, she thanked:

• Bill Toynbee for printing the tickets, doing the weekly rehearsal notes (helped by Claire de Metz-Noblat and Sarah Favinger) and for stepping in at short notice to the treasurer role while Didier has been on his extended leave
• Meme Salisbury for producing the lovely – and very useful – trombinoscope
• Danièle Savelli for taking lovely photographs
• Michele Collat for ticket sales during rehearsals
• George Conn for looking after the old website and for continuing to help with the new one
• Melanie Christensen for acting as the ‘garcon d’orchestre’, which saved us money
• Clark Taylor and anyone who did usher duties. Clark is taking a well-deserved break in the Autumn and we will, for the first time for seven years, need to manage without his wonderful organisation and eye for detail. She thanked him for his generosity of time
• Andy Dewar, our accompanist, whom we are so lucky to have; he was a rock in this last week and a great support to Ryan and to us for the tempi

Rachel thanked all the Board members and said that it had been a pleasure to work with such a great team. She thanked, in particular:

• Cheryl Petit, who is standing down as librarian. Cheryl has sorted out the files, kept Zach focused on choosing which editions he wanted, and even has the Christmas Oratorio scores available for sale tonight
• Amanda Lebrun for looking after (among other things) the sponsors and for throwing them a lovely party (with thanks to Elisabeth and Roselyne for their help)
• Roselyne de Boysson, the Vice President, who does so much quiet work and organisation behind the scenes

Rachel praised Zach, our marvellous conductor, who communicates through the music. They have had a lot of fun working together, and, on behalf of everyone at PCS, she wished Zach and Amelia every happiness for their forthcoming wedding.

Leaving the PCS this year are Stephanie Burette, Sarah Favinger, Sallie Roberts, Peggy Heiser, Natalie West, Sophie Guelff, Kathy Rawlings, Richard Saltzman, Rainer Gruber and Boynton Rawlings, and we wish them all well.

Rachel told members how sad she is to be leaving PCS, as she is moving back to London, and regrets that she took so long to find us. It has been a thrill to sing with such a special group of people and to make such marvellous music together. She thanked everyone for giving her so many of her happiest Parisian memories – of making music with us.

The choir responded by giving Rachel a rapturous round of applause and a standing ovation. At the end of the meeting, the choir presented Rachel with a few special gifts to show our appreciation for all she has done for the PCS these past three years.

Interim Treasurer’s report

Bill Toynbee presented the figures for the 2015–16 season as they currently stand (the final figures will be presented at the General Meeting in December). As Rachel had already said, the Board had made a strategic decision last season to use up some of the choir’s reserves in order to have three concerts with orchestra, which we knew would probably lead to a hefty deficit at the end of the season. This deficit is likely to be in the order of €13,700 once everything has been taken into account. Only this morning, Bill had received a bill from SACEM for over €1,000 for the Rutter/Poulenc concert – we had not been expecting it to be so high, so Bill will look into it. Ticket sales for the four concerts of the year were more or less in line with budget every time, though slightly under budget for this last concert (€7,686 actual vs. €8,500 budget), but our orchestra and soloist expenses were high, and we also had the unexpected, additional costs of extra security plus payment for Ryan.

Bill advised members that the PCS’s current running costs (including room hire, salaries, admin expenses, insurance, website costs) were around €29,000 whereas income from members’ dues this season was only €23,000, a shortfall of €6,000. Bill believes that dues should be increased from €210 to €265 to cover running costs and reminded members that it is possible to pay dues in two instalments (note that dues have not increased for eight years). The PCS should not rely on sponsor money to pay its running costs – sponsorship money should be to help with concert costs. Rachel encouraged members to send any of their thoughts on this subject to the PCS email account, for the Board to take into consideration at its meeting next week.

Music Director’s report – Zachary Ullery

As Rachel had already given a full overview of the year, Zach praised the choir for their work during the year – the intensity of the Handel concert a week after the attacks, the a cappella Burchard piece which had moved many people in the audience – but particularly for the June concert, which he had had the pleasure of watching from the audience. He felt it was one of the best performances we had ever given. He thanked Rachel for all she has done in helping to develop the standard of the choir and for looks forward to continuing to grow and to making music with the PCS again next season.

Election of new Board members

Standing down at the end of their terms were Cheryl Petit and Rachel Skingsley. Standing for election to their first three-year terms were Christopher Lajtha and Melanie Christensen. Both Chris and Melanie were elected unanimously by a show of hands. Board composition after elections is thus:

Class of 2017
Evelyne Besse (end of first 3-year term, can stand for re-election)
Madeleine Blumgart (end of first 3-year term, can stand for re-election)
Roselyne de Boysson (end of first 3-year term, can stand for re-election)
Helen Downey (end of second consecutive 3-year term, must roll off)

Class of 2018
Madeleine Cooper (end of first 3-year term, can stand for re-election)
Frédéric Huette (end of first 3-year term, can stand for re-election)
Pardiese Klauss (end of first 3-year term, can stand for re-election) ,
Amanda Le Brun (end of second consecutive 3-year term, must roll off)

Class of 2019
Melanie Christensen (end of first 3-year term, can stand for re-election)
Christopher Lajtha (end of first 3-year term, can stand for re-election)
Jérôme Manceron (end of second consecutive 3-year term, must roll off)
Didier Vuillard (end of first 3-year term, can stand for re-election)
Jennifer Wong (end of second consecutive 3-year term, must roll off)

There being no other business, the President adjourned the meeting at 8.50 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Helen Downey
10 June 2016

Paris Choral Society

Minutes of the General Meeting held on

Monday, 14 December 2015 at 7.30 pm

at the American Cathedral, 23 avenue George V, 75008 Paris

to approve the final financial report for the 2014–2015 season

Present: 57 members

Members represented by proxy: 2

Presentation of financial report by Peter Calder, Treasurer for the 2014–2015 season

Although he stepped down at the AGM in June 2015, Peter Calder presented the final figures for the 2014–2015 season for the Paris Choral Society, during which time he was Treasurer.  As per the PCS’s status, the figures presented to members at an AGM in June are provisional, as the season runs from 1 September to 31 August, with the final figures being presented before the end of the calendar year for members’ approval.

These final figures for 2014–2015 show that the PCS ended its season with a surplus of €1,356 on a cash basis, which translates into a surplus of €464 for the full season once adjustments of €892 (late SACEM charges and late cashing of a cheque by one musician, both of which should have been recorded in the 2013–2014 season) are taken into account.

Income for the season was down slightly on the prior season (€89,820 versus €90,403) but expenses were up €5,112 (€88,364 versus €83,252), due essentially to high orchestra costs partially offset by the non-recurrence of extra one-off costs (last season we had invested in some new risers and also our 20th anniversary celebrations).  The Beethoven Missa Solemnis concert, with its large orchestra and rental of St. Eustache, cost €36,674 in total, considerably less than initially feared thanks to Board members Jérôme Manceron and Amanda Le Brun, who had done a tremendous amount of work to put into place the GUSO system of paying musicians, which now saves us VAT expenses on musicians’ salaries at every concert; the saving for the Beethoven concert alone was €9,000.

Peter also thanked Amanda for doing an excellent job in bringing in sponsors and he thanked the members who had done a great job in selling tickets for the season.  Nevertheless, as every year, only the Messiah Sing-along and the June concert (with no orchestra) made a surplus.  We lost €2,377 on the November concert (Fauré Requiem) and a massive €17,244 on the Beethoven concert, but this was in line with the budget.

Assets at the close of the season stood comfortably at just under €34,000 and Peter advised members that the Board has decided to have three orchestral concerts this season, rather than two (though the orchestra for the June concert will be quite small) as our accounts are in a satisfactory way.

There being no questions, President Rachel Skingsley asked members to vote their approval of the financial report for the 2014–2015 season by a show of hands, and members’ approval was unanimous.

The President thanked members for their attendance and attention, and closed the meeting at 7.50 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Helen Downey

18 December 2015


Minutes of the Paris Choral Society Annual General Meeting

held on Monday 15 June 2015

at the American Cathedral, 23 avenue George V, 75008 Paris

Attended by: 70 members

Members represented by proxy: 4

The quorum of one-third of members present or represented being attained, the President, Rachel Skingsley, opened the meeting at 7.45 pm.

  1. President’s report – Rachel Skingsley

Rachel opened the meeting by welcoming everyone, especially those members who had not been able to sing the last concert.  She then gave an overview of the past season, the PCS’s 21st, which had proved to be very busy.

In September 2014, Rachel and Zach auditioned 50 people of whom they took 20, and in January 2015, they auditioned 15 people of whom they took nine.  For the January auditions, those auditioning were given in advance a couple of pages from the Beethoven to learn and this proved to be a very helpful selection tool, which we will continue to do in the future. At the time of the AGM, Rachel was only aware of one member leaving the PCS (alto Margaret Flott), whereas at last year’s AGM we said goodbye to several good members, so it seems as though there will be very little space to recruit new sopranos and altos next season, as both sections are very full, but we still would like to recruit more men, particularly tenors.

The first concert was Fauré’s Requiem with Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms in November 2014. Rachel thanked Board member Amanda Le Brun for finding the excellent new orchestra, The Paris Symphonic Orchestra, ably run by Jean Michel Tavernier.

In December 2014, PCS was invited to take part in the millennium celebrations of St Germain-des-Près.  About 50 members braved the cold to sing extracts from Messiah and Christmas carols outside the church to a large crowd of onlookers.  This was followed, the next day, by the annual Messiah Sing-along, which drew more singers than in 2013.

The second concert of the 21st season was Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, a huge work, with a huge orchestra, again provided by JM Tavernier, which we took, for one night only, to St Eustache near Châtelet, the idea being to try to drum up more of a French audience rather than the expat audience we attract at the Cathedral.  Doing a concert in two locations on two consecutive nights proved quite a headache to organise (moving timpani from church to church, for example) and St Eustache were quite exacting, only allowing us to perform there once they had heard some of our recordings and seen Andy’s CV before agreeing to let him play the organ. If we do decide to do another concert elsewhere, then we will probably do it both nights in this other location, rather than one night there and one night at the Cathedral.  Before the Saturday concert, Board member Madeleine Blumgart had organised a pre-concert talk by Italo Marchini, which had been very well attended and received, and is something that Board will consider doing again in the future.  Maddy was congratulated for bringing this idea to fruition.  Rachel thanked members for their dedication and hard work in learning the piece, through extra sectionals, etc.

The week before the June concert, PCS was invited to sing at the Jardin d’Acclimatation in Neuilly, in the bandstand just in front of the Fondation Louis Vuitton.  Although we did not attract much of an audience at this concert, it was fun to do and we will probably do it again, if asked.

The third and final concert of the 2014–2015 season was another selection of Choral Masterpieces.  Rachel thanked the members of the Music Committee (Zach, Evelyne, Pardiese, Elisabeth and Helen), who had spent a lot of time choosing the works, and Kathy, the librarian, who had put all the music together.  It had given us an opportunity to sing more a cappella works and given our audience a chance to discover some 21st century composers.

Rachel outlined the objectives for PCS that the Board had agreed during its day-long Retreat meeting in April:

  • perform professional level concerts
  • attract the best amateur singers in Paris
  • develop our members’ music skills
  • in a fun and pleasant atmosphere while maintaining performance rigour
  • discover new works and expand our repertoire
  • create a programme that Zach is excited to conduct and we are excited to sing, so that we encourage lots of friends to come to hear us

Another idea which came out of the Board meetings was to seek help from a crew to do the breakdown of the risers after each concert.  Since the June concert, we are now also using the same crew to do the heavy lifting of the risers and pews before the Monday set-up, which has made concert week much easier for everyone, and we will continue to do this.

For next season, we are planning to bring in some vocal experts to work with us during the Saturday morning workshop rehearsals (we have scheduled two workshops per concert in the autumn and the spring) to help members develop their vocal capacity.  In order to be as professional as possible, we will be much more stringent about attendance (members must sing in both dress rehearsals and both concerts – there will be a cut-off date for members who cannot sing in the concert but would like to participate in the first few rehearsals), and about marking scores and reading the weekly rehearsal notes, which Bill Toynbee prepares so carefully (Zach hardly ever has to change anything).  In addition to writing the weekly rehearsal notes, Bill also designs and prints the tickets for every concert and he was heartily thanked for his contribution.  Bill’s substitute note-takers, Claire de Metz-Noblat and Meme Salisbury, who also produced the wonderful Trombinoscope, were also thanked.

Among the other members thanked by Rachel for their contributions to the choir throughout the year were Danièle Savelli for the great photographs she takes, Michèle Collat for looking after ticket sales so cheerfully, Nancy Brune for hosting the wonderful sponsors’ party (helped by Amanda), George Conn who looks after the website for us so diligently from his home in Provence (Rachel advised members that she and Board member Pardiese Klauss will be working with George on upgrading the website over the summer – we hope to be able to have an automated ticket sales section on this upgraded version), and Clark Taylor for running all aspects of front-of-house for each of our concerts and for making us coffee at our workshop rehearsals.  Rachel omitted to mention publically, but would like minuted, a big thank you to Evelyne for all her work on the rehearsal midi files that members find so useful to help them practise.  Rachel also thanked the four section leaders – Elisabeth Poy, Jennifer Wong, Jean Philippe Renwick and Owen Lalor.  Section leaders are now invited to attend Board meetings as non-voting members (Jennifer is also a Board member) and the Board has very much appreciated their helpful input throughout the year.

Stepping down from the Board this year are Francie Seder, at the end of her first three-year term, and Kathy Rawlings, stepping down a year early.  Both were thanked for their contribution to the PCS, Francie on the publicity team and Kathy as librarian.  Also stepping down a year early is Treasurer Peter Calder.  Rachel thanked Peter for his excellent work as Treasurer and also for his wise counsel on the Executive committee.  She thanked the two other Executive committee members, Vice President Roselyne de Boysson, who quietly gets on with all the jobs that need doing, and Secretary Helen Downey for her efficiency.

Finally, Rachel thanked Andy Dewar, acknowledging that we are incredibly lucky to have an accompanist of international renown, and, last but not least, our fantastic music director, Zachary Ullery, with whom it is such a pleasure to work and sing.

Rachel ended by reminding everyone that our objective is to make wonderful music together and to have fun!

  1. Treasurer’s report – Peter Calder

The PCS financial year runs from 1 September to 31 August.  Peter presented the interim financial report for the 2014–2015 season (the definitive results will be presented in December 2015) which show that we are on track to end the season at or around breakeven – a remarkable result in a year in which we spent over €40,000 on orchestras.  Put another way, we are in good shape – we started the season with assets of €33,000 and we should end the season with assets of €33,000, but the €7,000 profit that we made in the 2013–2014 season could not be repeated.

This season, income decreased by €1,300, while expenses increased by €5,900 vs. the prior season, mainly due to the huge costs incurred for the Beethoven concert, partially offset by the non-recurrence of extra one-off costs (last season, we had invested in some new risers and also our 20th anniversary celebrations).  Overall, dues and donations were down €1,800 vs. last season, other non-ticket income was down €400, but ticket sales were marginally up by €1,000.  Peter reminded members that we decided to abolish the €150 member sponsor category, but, happily, this resulted in many former member sponsors upgrading to become full €250 sponsors.  PCS was pleased to receive another €1,000 contribution from LAGV, as it had last season, as well as a contribution towards the cost of our rent at the Cathedral from one outside sponsor in the amount of €1,000.  Staff costs remained flat and also include the small fee paid to Italo Marchini for the Beethoven pre-concert talk.  Miscellaneous income includes rental of the PCS risers to LAGV, programme contributions (nearly €1,500 this season, more than covering the production costs; Jennifer was thanked for doing such a great job on putting the programme together), and a small payment from the Jardin d’Acclimatation, which will be given to Zach and Andy.  Miscellaneous expenses include the purchase of black folders, SACEM payments, the sponsor party, the crew to help with set up and breakdown, the sound recordists (we give them a couple of bottles of champagne), and wine bought to offer guests after the Sing-along.

Giving an overview of the results for each concert, Peter advised members that the Fauré/Bernstein concert in November 2014 brought in €14,854 in ticket sales (€700 higher than last season), but with orchestra costs of €13,015 and two soloists, among other costs, the result was a deficit of €2,108.  The Sing-along produced a much better result than last year (over €1,000 more), with income of €4,470, resulting in a profit of €3,526.

The Beethoven concert in March 2015 was the most expensive concert in recent memory. The final orchestra cost was €26,337, though this was much lower than the original estimates we received, which were in the region of €40,000.  By working with orchestra co-ordinator JM Tavernier, Amanda and Jérôme Manceron, the assistant treasurer, managed to contain costs by using the GUSO system to pay the orchestra musicians, thus saving us around €10,000.  The rental of St Eustache added €2,900 to the cost of this concert, as did the fees for the four excellent soloists, making total expenses for the Beethoven concert of €36,831.  With ticket sales of €18,071 (slightly down on ticket sales for the Bach concert this time last year, and despite tickets for this concert being more expensive, at €22 in advance or €25 at the door), the overall result was a deficit of €17,401, which was close to what the Board in its budget had anticipated.

The June concert, Choral Masterpieces, with ticket sales of €7,991 (more or less exactly the same as last year) had resulted in a surplus of €4,987.  One member asked if we would consider making a CD of this concert, as people had been asking for one, and the Board will consider this at its meeting next week once Zach and a few Board members have had a chance to listen to the recording.

To conclude, Peter said that these good results should give us the confidence to consider more big orchestral works in the future and to be able to pay our soloists more (we currently pay them a very paltry amount). Peter thanked Bill Toynbee, his predecessor as Treasurer, for checking the figures over the weekend to find any anomalies.  Bill, in turn, said that Peter had done a great job and there had hardly been any anomalies to find.

  1. Music director’s report – Zachary Ullery

Zach thanked all PCS members for a wonderful 21st season.  He congratulated the new members who joined PCS this season – the standard that we attract is getting higher and higher, which means that the sound quality of the choir is improving year on year – and encouraged all members to make sure they read their weekly rehearsal notes and learn their music before coming to rehearsals so that no one is holding back this improvement in quality.

The three concerts and the Sing-along had been wonderful experiences for Zach.  Although some people had taken time to warm to the Bernstein, we produced an excellent concert in November.  The Beethoven – an epic, monumental, huge work – had been phenomenal and Zach had received praise from many notable musical people in Paris, particularly about the performance of the sopranos.  The Choral Masterpieces concert had been a lot of work to put together and Zach thanked Board member Evelyne Besse, in particular, for all the research she had done in finding and suggesting pieces for the Music committee to consider.  Some of the works in this concert had been a cappellaand the choir had performed these exquisitely, leaving Zach with goose bumps.  Zach had dreamt of performing a concert in other venues, and this had come true this season, with our concerts at St Eustache, St Germain-des-Près and the Jardin d’Acclimatation.

Zach thanked all the Board members for their dedication and hard work throughout the year.  Each one brings their own particular skill to the table and helps make sure that the organisation runs smoothly and effortlessly.

He asked members not to be shy about coming forward with any constructive ideas they may have and is looking forward to another great season, when we will be performing Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Coronation Anthems in November, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor (plus something else, 20th or 21st century – please say if you have any good ideas) in April, and three Glorias (Poulenc, Rutter and the Gloria chorus from the Puccini Gloria, and maybe one or two others) in June.

  1. Elections of new Board members

There were no objections to voting by show of hands.  Rolling off the Board this year, at the end of her first three-year term, is Francie Seder (class of 2015). Stepping off early for personal reasons are Peter Calder and Kathy Rawlings (both class of 2016). The following members were elected unanimously to the Board by a show of hands as the class of 2015:

  • Madeleine Cooper (elected to her first full 3-year term)
  • Frédéric Huette (elected to his first full 3-year term, in place of Francie Seder)
  • Pardiese Klauss (elected to her first full 3-year term)
  • Amanda Le Brun (elected to her second and final 3-year term)

And, as elected to the Board into the class of 2016 to replace members who are stepping down:

  • Cheryl Petit (to replace Kathy Rawlings)
  • Didier Vuillard (to replace Peter Calder)

Cheryl and Dider will be eligible for election to their first full 3-year terms (if they so desire) at next year’s AGM.

Board membership after elections is as follows:

Class of 2016 Class of 2017 Class of 2018
Jérôme Manceron Evelyne Besse Madeleine Cooper
Cheryl Petit Madeleine Blumgart Frédéric Huette
Rachel Skingsley Roselyne de Boysson Pardiese Klauss
Didier Vuillard Helen Downey Amanda Le Brun
Jennifer Wong


There being no other business, the President adjourned the meeting at 8.45 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Helen Downey

18 June 2015

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