Constitution of Hounslow Symphony Orchestra

1. Name

The name of the Society shall be

Hounslow Symphony Orchestra

hereinafter referred to as the Society.

2. Objects

The objects of the society shall be:

2.1. to advance, improve, develop and maintain public education in, and appreciation of, the art and science of music in all its aspects by any means the trustees see fit, including through the presentation of public concerts and recitals;

2.2. to further such charitable purpose or purposes as the trustees in their absolute discretion shall think fit.

2.3. to provide stimulating and challenging playing opportunities for amateur instrumentalists over 16 living in and around the London Borough of Hounslow.

2.4. to perform regular public concerts of orchestral repertoire to a high standard.

2.5. to support the development of young professional soloists by regularly programming concertos and other solo pieces with orchestral accompaniment.

2.6. to provide professional development opportunities for talented conductors in the early stages of their careers

3. Membership

Membership of the society shall be open to any person interested in furthering the objects of the society, subject to the provisions in 3.1 to 3.5 below, and who has paid the annual subscription at the appropriate rate or rates as shall be determined by the Committee, all subscriptions being payable in advance.

3.1. All playing members will be expected to have reached ABRSM grade 6 or equivalent.

3.2. The committee will determine the number of players required for each section.

3.3. When the number of enrolled players in a section falls below the number determined, places will normally be allocated on a first come first served basis, except:

3.4. when there are more applicants for an instrument than vacancies available, in which case informal auditions may be held. The conductor/musical director and the leader will decide results of auditions.

3.5. Assignment of particular parts to individual players where appropriate will be the responsibility of the conductor.

Every member shall have one vote.

The committee has the power to terminate the membership of any individual, provided that the decision of the Committee (with the exception of (i) the individual concerned if a member of the Committee and (ii) any member of the Committee making or connected with the complaint against the individual) is unanimous both as to the termination and as to there being good reason for it, and provided that the individual concerned shall have the right to be heard by the Committee, accompanied by a friend if desired, before a final decision is made.

4. Officers and Committee

The management of the Society shall be in the hands of a Committee consisting of the following Officers: Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary, and not fewer than three and not more than six other members: the Officers and the other Committee members shall be elected by and out of the Society’s members at the Annual General Meeting; they shall hold office until the next Annual General Meeting and be eligible for re-election. The Conductor and Leader if paid for their services will be ex officio members of the committee, eligible to attend all committee meetings (except when their positions are being discussed), but unable to vote.

5. Management

All the arrangements for the concerts and other events and the control of finance shall be in the hands of the Committee.

6. Powers

In furtherance of the objects but not otherwise the Committee may exercise the following powers:

i) power to raise funds and to invite contributions provided that in raising funds the Committee shall not undertake any substantial permanent trading activities and shall conform to any relevant requirements of the law;

ii) power to buy, take on lease or in exchange any property necessary for the achievement of the objects and to maintain and equip it for use;

iii) power subject to any consents required by law to borrow money and to charge all or part of the property of the Society with repayment of the money so borrowed;

iv) power to employ such staff (who shall not be members of the Committee) as are necessary for the proper pursuit of the objects and to make all reasonable and necessary provision for the payment of pensions and super-annuation for staff and their dependents;

v) power to co-operate with other charities, voluntary bodies and statutory authorities operating in furtherance of the objects or of similar charitable purposes and to exchange information and advice with them;

vi) power to establish or support any charitable trusts, associations or institutions formed for all or any of the objects;

vii) power to appoint and constitute such advisory committees as the Committee may think fit;

viii) power to do all such other lawful things as are necessary for the achievement of the objects.

7. Meetings and Proceedings of the Committee

In sections 7, 10, 11 & 12 of this constitution, the term‛meeting’ shall include both in-person and video-conference or other virtual online meeting. Presence at virtual meetings will be accepted as the ability to fully engage with discussion.

i) The committee shall hold at least 2 ordinary meetings each year. A special meeting may be called at any time by the chairman, or by any 2 members of the committee, upon not less than 4 days’ notice being given to the other members of the committee of the matters to be discussed but if the matter includes the appointment of a co-opted member then not less than 21 days’ notice must be given.

ii) The chairman shall act as chairman at meetings of the committee. If the chairman is absent from any meeting, the members of the committee present shall choose one of their number to be chairman before any other business is transacted.

iii) There shall be a quorum when at least one third of the number of members of the committee for the time-being, or three members of the committee (whichever is the greater), are present at a meeting.

iv) Every matter shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members of the committee present and voting on the question, but in the case of equality of votes, the chairman of the meeting shall have a second or ‘casting’ vote.

v) The committee shall keep minutes of the proceedings at meetings of the committee and any sub-committee, and shall ensure that these are stored safely, and that they are available for inspection as required.

vi) The committee may from time to time make and alter rules for the conduct of their business, the summoning and conduct of their meetings, and the custody of documents. No rule may be made which is inconsistent with this constitution.

vii) The committee may appoint one or more sub-committees consisting of three or more persons, one of whom must be a member of the committee, for the purpose of making any enquiry or supervising or performing any function or duty which, in the opinion of the committee, would be more conveniently undertaken or carried out by a subcommittee: provided that all acts and proceedings of any such sub-committee shall be fully and promptly reported to the committee.

8. Equal Opportunities

No individual shall be excluded from membership of the Society or de-barred from any official capacity on the Committee on the grounds of sex , race, colour, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability or political affiliation.

9. Finance

i) The financial year shall end on 31st August.

ii) A banking account shall be held in the name of the Society and cheques shall be signed by Chairman and Treasurer

iii) The Society shall receive donations, grants in aid and financial guarantees. Tickets for any or all of its concerts and other events shall be offered for sale to the public.

iv) The income and property of the Society whencesoever derived shall be applied solely towards promoting the objects of the Society as set forth above and no portion thereof shall be paid or transferred either directly or indirectly to any member or members of the Committee except in payment of legitimate expenses incurred on behalf of the Society.

10. Annual General Meeting

Within six months of the end of each financial year the members shall be summoned to an Annual General Meeting of which at least 21 days’ notice in writing shall be given to all members.

The committee shall present to each AGM the report and accounts of the society for the preceding year.

Nominations for election to the committee must be made by members of the society in writing and must be in the hands of the secretary of the committee at least 14 days before the AGM. Should nominations exceed vacancies, an election shall be held.

11. Special (Extraordinary) General Meeting

A Special General Meeting (also known as an Extraordinary General Meeting), of which at least 21 days’ notice in writing must be given to members, may be called for by the Committee or upon written request to the Secretary signed by at least 10 members of the Society. The notice must state the business to be discussed.

12. Procedure at General Meetings

The secretary or other person specially appointed by the committee shall keep a full record of proceedings at every general meeting of the charity. There shall be a quorum when at least 10% of the members of the society at the time or 10 members, whichever is the greater, are present at any general meeting.

13. Accounts

The financial accounts shall be audited or examined to the extent required by legislation or, if there is no such requirement, scrutinized by a person who is independent of the Committee and then submitted to the members at the Annual General Meeting.

14. Alterations to the Constitution

The constitution may be altered by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting at any General Meeting, provided that fourteen days’ notice of the proposed alteration has been sent to all members and provided that nothing herein contained shall authorise any amendment which shall have the effect of the Society ceasing to be a charity. No amendment may be made to clause 1 (the name of the charity), clause 2 (the objects), clause 9 iv) (distribution of assets), or clause 15 (dissolution), without the prior written consent of the charity commission. The committee shall send the Charity Commission a copy of any amendment made under this clause.

15. Dissolution

In the event of the Society being wound up, any assets remaining upon dissolution after the payment of proper debts and liabilities shall be transferred to a charitable institution or institutions having similar objects to those of the Society.