Constitution

Phoenix Singers (Suffolk)

Registered Charity number 1076549

Constitution

[Adopted 24th April 1999, amended 20th September 2000, 3rd October 2001, 5th October 2005, 13th October 2010 and 2nd October 2013]

1. Title

The name of the Society shall be Phoenix Singers (Suffolk) hereinafter referred to as the Society.

2. Objects

The object of the Society shall be to promote, improve, develop and maintain public education in and appreciation of the art and science of choral and orchestral music in all its aspects by the presentation of public choral and orchestral concerts: and for the general purposes of such charitable bodies or for such other purposes as shall be exclusively charitable as the Committee may from time to time decide.

3. Membership

i. The members of the Society shall be those who pay the annual subscription at the appropriate rate or rates as shall be determined by the Committee, all subscriptions being payable in advance.

ii. The normal lower age limit for membership shall be 16. At the discretion of the committee however younger people may apply for membership and will be admitted after the successful completion of a three month trial during which time the applicant must demonstrate the willingness and ability to understand and accept the direction of the Musical Director and also the behaviour expected of all members. Until such people reach the age of 16, the continuation of their membership shall be at the sole discretion of the committee.

4. Executive Officers and Committee

i. The management of the Society shall be in the hands of an Executive Committee consisting of the following honorary officers: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer and not more than nine other members (The Committee). A member of the Committee so appointed shall not be entitled to be present or to vote at any meeting of the Committee

for so long as his/her appointment and/or the terms thereof are under discussion. If exceptional circumstances lead to the resignation of more than half of the committee as elected at the last Annual General Meeting the remaining members of the Committee shall automatically call an Extraordinary General Meeting as in clause 11 within 28 days of the date of the last resignation triggering this requirement.

ii. A Musical Director shall be appointed by the Committee upon such terms and conditions (including remuneration) as the Committee may from time to time decide. He/she shall have the right ex officio to attend and participate in any meeting of the Committee, but shall not have the right to vote, and shall not be a trustee of the Society. The Musical Director shall not be entitled to be present or to vote at any meeting of the Committee for so long as his/her appointment and/or the terms thereof are under discussion.

iii. The Executive Committee may in addition appoint not more than two co-opted members, providing that the total number of the Committee (including such co-opted members) does not exceed thirteen members.

iv. 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 conclusion of the Annual General Meeting three years thereafter and be eligible for re-election, subject to the limitation set out in section [v] below.

v. A Committee member shall be appointed for a term of three years, unless otherwise agreed by the Committee, and the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer shall not normally remain in those offices beyond a maximum of six years without interruption (i.e. two consecutive terms of office).

5. Management

Without prejudice to the generality of the words of clause 4.i hereof the management there referred to shall include 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 on 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 in the opinion of the Executive Committee necessary for the proper pursuit of the objects and to make all reasonable and necessary provision for the payment of pensions and superannuation for staff and their dependants;

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 sub-committees as the Committee may think fit;

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

7. 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, religion, sexual orientation or political affiliation.

8. Finance

i. The financial year shall end on 31st July.

ii. A banking account shall he opened in the name of the Society and cheques shall be signed by any two of the Officers.

iii. The Society shall receive donations, grants in aid and financial guarantees. Tickets for any or all of its concerts and other events may 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 Society except in payment of legitimate expenses incurred on behalf of the Society.

9. 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 such charitable institution or institutions having similar objects to those of the Society as the Committee (whose decision herein shall be final) may decide.

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 fourteen days' notice in writing shall be given.

11. Extraordinary General Meeting

An Extraordinary General Meeting of which at least fourteen days' notice in writing must be given to members may be called by the Committee at any time and shall be so called for a date not later than 28 days after the date of the receipt by the Secretary of a written request to do so signed by at least 15 members of the Society.

12. Accounts

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

13. Amendments

The constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting at any Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting, provided that fourteen days' notice of the proposed amendment 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.

14. Guiding Principles

The ‘Guiding Principles' for the management of the Society are as follows:

i. Phoenix Singers welcomes competent amateur singers of all ages and rehearses to enable choir members to improve vocal and musical skills and so maximise the benefits and enjoyment of weekly practice, whilst ultimately aiming to give fulfilling public concert performances to a high standard.

ii. Phoenix Singers and its programme will be integral to the cultural life of the host community, Framlingham, so that both can benefit from mutual support and enrichment.

iii. Phoenix Singers will have a concert repertoire that develops the abilities of the choir and provides a platform to showcase growing musical confidence and as a personal offering from the singers to the audience.

iv. Phoenix Singers will work towards a balanced programme of four performances a year, generally in Framlingham, including Christmas, ranging from simple performances with piano or organ to larger scale works with orchestra. Occasional opportunities will be sought to put on large concerts with other local choirs.
v. Phoenix Singers will usually be accompanied by good amateur and professional local musicians and soloists who value the choir's objectives and whose costs are proportionate to the choir's means, so achieving a sustainable financial base.

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