EditorialThis looks like quite a big Tamesis, but a lot of it is taken up with the minutes of the 2007 TVEMF AGM. The only article is by Beresford King-Smith of the Midlands Early Music Forum about the NEMA yearbook. I find this absolutely essential, if only for its list of contact addresses and phone numbers, but in fact it’s useful for its lists of players and makers and there are interesting articles too. I do need more articles and reviews for Tamesis, so please get writing. Inside the back cover you will a crossword compiled by Celeste E L Voyce (lovely name!) which originally appeared in the South West Early Music Forum newsletter. I’m most grateful to their newsletter editor, Heather Gibbard, for letting me reproduce it here. Entries received by January 1st will be put into a hat (or something) and the first correct one drawn out will receive a year’s free membership to TVEMF. Don’t let that cause you to postpone sending David your membership renewal, as the winner will have their money refunded. It’s not an impossible crossword – I managed to do it before I asked for permission to use it – so do have a go. Included amongst the five inserts this month you will find a form for the Nottingham Interforum residential weekend at Nottingham University. This is only the second ever interforum event, and commemorates the 250th anniversary year of Handel’s death. It will be open to singers (the choir has a major role, with soloists drawn from the choir) and baroque instruments at A=415. I heard very good reports of the first interforum event, so I booked at once and hope to see many of you there. I see that bookings before the end of this year will receive an early-booking discount. I rather wish I’d applied the TVEMF version of this (an increased charge for late bookers) to the Christmas event this Saturday as I’ve never had so many late bookings before. To be fair, some of them are from people who only heard about the event recently from their friends and relations, but it does help us if you can get your booking forms in as soon as possible. And several events lately have been oversubscribed. You’ll see from the form for the Alistair Dixon workshop in February that we have decided to enforce our policy of not refunding money to people who simply don’t turn up for a workshop, to avoid having empty spaces and unbalanced forces at oversubscribed events. Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing over a hundred of you on Sunday – this must be a record turn-out. We’ve had a proposal from Horse’s Brawl for a workshop and we would like to know whether it would be likely to attract enough TVEMF members to make it financially viable. “Laura Cannell and Adrian Lever lead a day’s practical music-making on their original take on early music, with roots in renaissance, medieval, baroque and contemporary folk traditions,” is how they describe it. They did a day for NEEMF, who tell us that the feedback on the day was very good - they distributed forms and had a highly positive response. “ The actual style was that they taught us a simple tune by ear and then we all mucked it around in various ways; then we did another one, and so on. They're very impressive players and quite inventive muckers-around, I mean improvisers. Do your lot enjoy that sort of thing? That might be the key question.” If that might be your kind of thing, or you have friends in the folk world who might enjoy it, please send an email to secretarytvemf.org and we’ll get back to Horse’s Brawl and arrange a date. The workshop would be open to players of soft winds, strings and plucked instruments. I saw Horse’s Brawl performing at the Greenwich Early Music Festival with Philip Thorby, and I think it could be rather fun. Jeff Gill is organising a workshop with Peter Syrus on Festa next year, and we hope to have a date for that soon. Our programme is getting quite full in the first few months of the year, but we still welcome suggestions for May onwards. This is the last Tamesis before Christmas (and don’t forget that there won’t be on in January) so let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and new year.
Minutes of the 2007 AGM held on December 9th 2007
David Fletcher4. Secretary’s Report 2007 has been a busy year. We’ve had a good selection of events, at least one every month except during the summer holidays. These have included one in conjunction with a local festival, one organised by the Friends of the Oxford Baroque Week, a joint event with the Eastern Early Music Forum at Waltham Abbey and this year it was also our turn to host the National Early Music Association Day in London. In November we ran a stand at the Greenwich Early Music Festival and Exhibition. Although all this has involved quite a lot of work by individual events organisers, we’re very lucky that so many Forum members are willing to organise events without actually being on the committee. We’re very grateful to them. We do need people to serve on the committee officially, however, because one of our jobs is to be trustees of the charity, though we are lucky to have Don Gill whose sole job as a committee member is to look after this side of things. Don’t be afraid that joining the committee will involve you in time-consuming meetings - we have once again managed to run the Forum this year by email without having a single committee meeting apart from informal ones at events such as this one.
Victoria Helby5. Treasurer’s Report for 2006 The Thames Valley Early Music forum has had another successful year in 2006. 10 events (Jan to Dec) 7 of which made a profit or broke even, while only 3 incurred a loss: over the year a profit of £12.39. Our large administration profit of £501.51 is due to our large membership, and selling advertising space in Tamesis, while keeping our overheads down to a minimum. Our pricing policy aims to make the events self-financing, so if rents and conductors fees increase, so does the cost of attending an event. But at present there is still no need to increase the price of membership, which covers insurance, administration and the costs of printing. This membership cost has remained the same for about 16 years! Can I remind you that we do not pay in cheques until after an event, and if you let us know that you are unable to come we destroy the cheque. However, if you simply do not turn up we are very tempted to keep your money. The Exhibition at Greenwich is less clear cut. It costs us at least £100, depending on the generous donations from other forums and NEMA, but we do get new members every year, and the forum members who volunteer to man the stand get the perk of free entry to the exhibition. The committee take the view that on balance it is worth doing, as long as enough helpers can be found. As you all know I have had a difficult year personally, and I have been treasurer of the Forum for 19 years, and am retiring as at the end of the year. I had to learn the job from scratch, and have greatly enjoyed it, but feel it is time for someone else to have a go. I propose Jim Wills as our future treasurer, but as he is not here we cannot formally elect him. Perhaps we could agree in principle and tell him next week!
Hazel FentonThe Treasurer added that the cost of tutors and halls was going up, so workshop fees would have to go up. Acceptance of her report was proposed by Jane Bonner, seconded by Penny Vinson. 6. Election of Officers and Committee The Chairman (David Fletcher) and Secretary (Victoria Helby) and the remaining members of the committee were re-elected. Hazel Fenton proposed Jim W ills for the post of Treasurer, seconded by David Fletcher. Hazel Fenton was re-elected to the committee as an ordinary member (proposed by David Fletcher, seconded by Victoria Helby). Sarah Young was elected to the committee (proposed by Jane Bonner, seconded by Jenny Gowing). 7. Any other business Fiona Weir thanked the committee for their work during the year. Hazel Fenton was made an honorary life member (proposed by David Fletcher, seconded by Victoria Helby).