New Horizons Bands of Northern New York



view:  full / summary

Board of Directors Report - October 2017

Posted by Tim Schwob on October 14, 2017 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (1)

The New Horizons Bands of Northern New York, Inc.

Board of Directors Meeting

Friday, October 6, 2017

Spurbeck Room, SUNY Potsdam



Present: Voting Members - Ellen MacMaster, Cherie Baker, Kathy Benham, Ron Johnson, and Carol Kissam.

Non-voting - Ron Berry, Director and Ex-officio on the Board, JoAnn Schwob and Pat Reichhart

Meeting was called to order at 12:00 p.m.


Ellen called for the approval of the September 8 minutes. Kathy moved and Cheri seconded. Minutes were approved.

Since there were two guests prepared to report on the plans for the upcoming joint- NHB gathering with Ottawa, Montreal and Oswego; Ellen requested that the regular order of business be rearranged in order to hear from the planning committee.

Pat R, said that there is a plan in place to use New Hope Church for the reception after the November 4 band rehearsals. Paperwork will be presented once Pat and JoAnn are assured that there will be enough space and access to the items needed to host the reception.

Sign-up sheets were out during band, and Pat felt the numbers of items looked good so far, but she is concerned about running out of food. JoAnn sought permission to authorize a donation of $100 to the church for the use of the space, if it is an acceptable space. She indicated that was an amount that the secretary said would be adequate for the use of the space.

It was reported that Karen W. needed to restock the paper supplies (plates, cups, bowls, napkins), and the planners wanted to know how much they could spend on the meats. They were told that after the paper supplies were purchased and the donation presented, they could have the remainder set aside for the event.

It was pointed out that Karen will need a copy of the tax-exempt certificate to make the purchases she will make.

There was a question on the purchase of beverages. It was noted that water needs to be supplied during rehearsal time, and Ellen said that the 8 oz. size bottles were acceptable for use in Crane. She said that after checking around last year, the best price for those bottles was at Aldis. The volunteer signed up for that will need to make that purchase on their own.

Planners were asked to request beverages on the sign-up sheets. It was noted that suggestions of coffee and tea and lemonade/juices and 8 oz. bottles of water be placed next to the beverage request parenthetically. Ellen offered to supply tea.

Carol suggested that since we didn’t have the Ron’s Garage event, the $40 set aside for that be placed with the $250 set aside for this event. Ron J. noted that he would keep the budget lines as they are, and if we go over one line, it can be dealt with then. The committee was asked to return to the Board if they anticipate going over budget.

Ron requested a paper trail for the $100, and that was promised to him if New Hope proved to be a viable space. Pat and JoAnn were going there directly to check it out.

Cheri offered to help with the garbage removal, and Ron said that the microphone set-up will be at the venue too. Ron J. offered to electronically send Pat the band insurance information she would need to present to New Hope.

The committee was asked if there was a Plan B if New Hope wasn’t adequate. They said they would check other churches and public schools. The Presbyterian Church was a possibility, but it was agreed we had outgrown Trinity Episcopal. Planners were encouraged to check out access to electrical outlets for food that needed to be kept warm.


Ron J. provided a digital financial report that was emailed to Board members. The current balance is $5,668.

Ron also reported that we have 42 paid members, and that he received 4 more today. There is a potential for at least two more people to pay dues, but we are still short of our proposed budget membership numbers.

Board members shared the names of people they knew will not be back.

Ron J. asked if we will still be expecting program sponsors. Ron B. reported that North Country Savings Bank sponsorship has been approved and will be mailed to our official address. Brick and Mortar’s check should be in the pipeline too.

Carol asked if we had purchased board liability insurance, and Ron B. explained that the cost is prohibitive. He noted that we have general liability to cover us. There was discussion, and Carol agreed to explore further information about it. She was given a name of a person who handles such insurance matters for her initial follow up.

The treasurer’s report was approved.


AUDIT REPORT: Ellen made an effort to follow up on the audit report and asked if any Board members were willing to follow up by contacting Dale Vaughn with the report from last year’s audit committee – which can be sent to him digitally. That way we could get a price for the audit to be done. Ellen has upcoming hip surgery and will be unable to follow up.

Kathy B. noted that we are not required by any group to have an audit - except through the Bylaws. She wondered if it was essential that it be due annually. Ron J. indicated that it is important. He agreed to ask a few members to see if they are willing to carry it out.

RETREAT REPORT: Ellen requested that Ron J. send a check of $1,125 to Dodge Pond as payment for the retreat. The bill came to $1,175, but we had already paid a $50 deposit.

She noted that there was more money collected than was needed to pay Dodge Pond, and she requested that from the extra money, we consider paying Rita Wood a tip of $100 for all she did above and beyond to make the weekend a success.

Ellen also requested that we consider reimbursing Natalia Stahl $40 – a refundable portion of what she paid - because she was unable to attend due to her surgery.

Carol moved that we provide Rita Wood with a $100 as a thank-you tip. Cheri seconded. The motion passed. Ron. J. was provided with a thank-you note to Rita, and he said he would insert a check and mail it.

Kathy B. moved that we refund Natalia $40. Cheri seconded, and it passed.

Ellen provided a monetary breakdown of the expenses for the weekend, and she shared the evaluation comments. She noted that people were happy with the weekend, and she proposed that the remaining $55 be kept in the budget for a down payment for next year, if we plan the event at Dodge Pond again.


Ron J. added that he is now paying bills electronically, but will send checks as needed. Carol will mail the evaluation report to the Dodge Pond organization.

GIG COMMITTEE: Cheri made a comment regarding the Colton gig. She pointed out that Cyndy Hennessy has worked hard to get the band to perform in Colton each year. Last month’s decision to send the Swing Band instead of the full band in 2018 was not taking into account Cyndy’s efforts. Kathy B. asked why we aren’t doing Colton as a full band. It was explained that we reached that decision because we won’t be part of the concert series there and would instead be playing for donations. Additionally, we have other full band gigs to consider and didn’t want to have too many band gigs in a summer.

There was a discussion of the band getting too many gigs in the summer and of payments for playing versus playing for donations. It was agreed that we need to seek a balance between playing for funding to add to our budget and playing for altruistic reasons.


Included in that discussion was the Madrid plan for 2018 which is not going to be part of their concert series after all. We had agreed to play there in 2018.

It was pointed out that we are included in the Massena Concert series grant application for summer 2018. We anticipate being asked to play for Potsdam Summerfest, and we anticipate playing for the SOAR banquet.

There was discussion about Waddington’s new venue, the full band performing in Colton and the potential for playing for Norwood’s Fall Festival.

Discussion continued, and Cheri reminded us that we should let Cyndy know of our plans.

Kathy asked that we table the discussion and allow the Gig Committee to discuss everything and get back to us. Everyone agreed.

It was also reported that Leah has been in contact with SOAR to see if we could host a spring petting zoo event.


MUSIC LIBRARY: Cheri had created a list of music that is active. It was agreed that we need to collect original music back for pieces no longer on the active list.

Ron B. reported that the music library folders will be organized by a group once Diane gets back.

BYLAWS: Ron B. reported that he found some of the paperwork he has for suggested changes to the Bylaws, and he would get together with Carol to add to the changes she has been collecting.

Ron J. reminded Carol that one of the changes to the Bylaws needs to be the change of terminology that allows the audit committee to present an audit rather than provide an audit.

EXTRA LESSONS: It was pointed out that we are not presently prepared to offer technical assistance to percussion players as is being done for clarinets. Carol suggested to Ron that if he sees any group of instruments that need more work on a particular piece, that he dismiss the rest of the band a half hour early allowing time for those instruments to have a sectional rehearsal.

Members agreed that the shorter rehearsal list has made a difference, and that woodshedding portions of the music is helpful. Kathy B. also mentioned that we could use the time when students are on break to use the space available at Crane for extra rehearsals as needed.

Ron said he thinks the music lessons and beginning band elements run by Michael Schaff are going along fine. He said Janet has given him a sense that it is going well.

It was suggested that perhaps next semester we find an appropriate piece to practice and invite the beginning band to sit in with us. Some Board members also thought it might be nice if the beginning band performed a piece for us.

DUES: Ron J. wanted to know if there is a particular point when people who haven’t paid dues are no longer part of the band and should be taken off the email list. Several names of people who have left the band were shared, and Carol said she will create a new email list of dues paying members for the fall. Cheri said she needs a list from Ron J. so she can go about collecting back loaned books.


Kathy B. said that because she keeps missing meetings, and because her term is up this year anyway, she is considering leaving the Board. She said she doesn’t feel she is around enough to effectively do her part as an At-Large member of the Board. Board members assured her that her input and efforts are appreciated and that we would like her to continue in her position.

The next meeting is scheduled for November 10. Members were reminded that some Board member terms will be ending in the spring, and we should be making efforts to seek out willing members as candidates for Board positions.

Meeting adjourned at 1:37.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol Ann Kissam, Secretary NHBNNY, Inc.

Board of Directors Report - September 2017

Posted by Tim Schwob on October 2, 2017 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The New Horizons Bands of Northern New York, Inc.

Board of Directors Meeting

Friday, September 8, 2017

Spurbeck Room, SUNY Potsdam


Present:  Voting Members - Ellen MacMaster, Cherie Baker, Ron Johnson, and Carol Kissam.

Non-voting - Ron Berry, Director and Ex-officio on the Board, Leah Zelkowitz

Meeting was called to order at 12:07. p.m.


Cheri moved approval of the August 11 minutes. Ellen seconded. Minutes were approved.


Ron J. provided a digital financial report that was emailed to Board members. The current balance is $5,253 with $1,065 of it for the Dodge Pond Retreat.

Ron J. responded to questions emailed to him by Ron B. The budget lines for incorporation will be removed and the hats and shirts will be a combined line.

Carol moved approval of the financial report. Cheri seconded it, and the motion passed.

Ron J. said he filed the required electronic form 990-N with the IRS. He explained that he had to provide information and create passcodes with security questions. He wondered if there is a repository for such information for future Board members to access. Carol offered to collect his information and store it in the archives. It was noted that there are other passwords, as with the band email, that need to be stored. Ellen said she received some of that information when she became president, and we might keep the information on a flash drive to pass along to future officers. Carol asked Board members to pass along passwords that need to be saved so she could archive them.

BAND SPONSORS: Ellen wondered about the progress of getting more band sponsors. Ron B. explained that he took Julie D with him to North Country Savings Bank, and his contact there was on vacation. When she returned she was transferred to a higher position. Ron B. explained that Julie will make the next bank approach on her own, and she will also talk to Brick and Mortar

AUDIT: Ellen reported that she made contact with Dale Vaughn, and he is able to review our bookkeeping and provide us with a letter about our practices. The cost would be between $150 and $300. He said we could make an appointment if interested.

Since $150 was what we had approved, there was concern if it costs more. It was suggested that if we could provide Dale with a record of our practices, he would see that we are a small organization with a small budget, and he may keep the price at $150. Ellen offered to talk to Dale and share a previous audit with him.

Ellen will need to set up an audit committee for 2017-18. There was also consideration of what the Bylaws say about the requirements of that committee. We may be able to change wording from “perform and audit” to “provide an audit” when we make changes to the Bylaws.

RETREAT COMMITTEE: It was reported that 16 people have registered for the September Retreat at Dodge Pond. There are a few people who have expressed interest who need to pay or register. Ron J. asked about getting an invoice, and Ellen said she would be in contact with Roland so that is sent to us.

BYLAWS: Carol requested that any changes that are being considered for the Bylaws be sent to her so she can prepare a list of them for Board consideration.

GIG COMMITTEE: Ron B. reported that Massena Chamber has been in touch requesting a concert next summer as part of its concert series. With a Sept. 15 deadline for the grant Massena is hoping to obtain, Ron B. needs to get back to his contact as soon as possible.

There was discussion because the church we performed in at Massena this summer gave the band an open invitation for future concerts.

Additionally, Ron said he passed on Dekalb’s request to have us return for another series next summer, and Carol reminded the group that we had agreed to play in Madrid in 2018.

Colton will not be adding the band to its concert line-up in 2018, but we were invited to play there next summer for donations.

Cheri and Ron J. pointed out that paid concerts are a significant revenue source and that we should go for them. Cheri suggested we not play in Colton in 2018, and Ellen thought the Swing Band may perform there instead. The Potsdam Chamber concert is also a paid gig and should be considered.

Ron J. had asked about Waddington. Ron B. reported that he sent an email and hasn’t heard back.

The general feeling was to agree to Massena, Madrid and Potsdam and send the swing band out on its own to places like Colton. Leah suggested the possibility of playing at the church in Massena in February.

Ron B. said he would get back to Massena and would confirm with Anna Campbell about Madrid. It was also agreed that it is too early to contact Potsdam about the festival for next summer.


MUSIC LIBRARY – Cheri handed out a list of current pieces in circulation. She suggested Ron look it over a remove individual pieces. Ron has a band function coming up and said he would get to it when he returns.

Ron J. wanted to know if people who have left band have turned in their folders. Cheri got music from Jim Murray and Kate MacKay. Ron J. said he would give a list of those who are no longer members (after collecting dues this month) to Cheri so she could get the music back from them.

The folders that were ordered have arrived at Ron’s. The committee that will be organizing and filing band music will begin sometime later this month.

BAND FESTIVAL WITH OTTAWA: Ron learned of four Saturdays that would work at Crane for us to host this year’s festival – October 14, 21, 28, and Nov 4. There was discussion about what dates might be best, and the 21st and Nov. 4 appeared to be most popular for the Board. Ron said he would coordinate with the other band leaders and then let Pat R and Maureen T. know to start plans.


Cheri reported that she has three dates confirmed for ensemble practices for Maplewood concerts. They are Oct. 2, Nov. 6, and Dec. 4. These Monday rehearsals will be in C 123 at 9 to 9:50.

Ellen reported on comments she heard regarding our concert in Colton. There was great difficulty hearing one another, and she suggested to Ron that we form a tighter horseshoe.

She also wondered if there was a class for the percussion like the one that clarinets have or use time between 9 and 10 during clinic. Carol suggested that the last half hour of band be dedicated to sectionals and each week a different group stay to go over difficult pieces in their music. Leah added that we could also use the time in January when Crane is on vacation.

Director’s Report

Ron reported that Michael Schaff will be beginning lessons next week, and his beginning band will include two home-schooled children.

He also said he will see what needs to be fixed on the microphone that was used in Colton.

Ron said he had one more thing but couldn’t recall it. (An addendum to the minutes includes the information he emailed us after the meeting.)

OTHER BUSINESS : Ron J. reported that he followed up on the possibility of interacting with Crane students. He made connections and has received a favorable reaction. He will be coordinating with David Hauser.

The date for the next meeting is October 6. Cheri made a motion to adjourn and Ellen seconded.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol Kissam, Secretary of The New Horizons Bands of Northern New York, Inc.

Addendum: Ron B. emailed Board members explaining that Diane M. has offered to conduct a few pieces (gratis) during band. Ron B. said he was in favor of the offer.

Board of Directors Report - August 2017

Posted by Tim Schwob on October 2, 2017 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The New Horizons Bands of Northern New York, Inc.

Board of Directors Meeting

Thursday, August 11, 2017

Crane Faculty Lounge, SUNY Potsdam


Present:  Voting Members - Ellen MacMaster, Cherie Baker, Ron Johnson, and Carol Kissam.

Non-voting - Ron Berry, Director and Ex-officio on the Board, Diane Mathie, Associate Conductor, JoAnn Schwob and Tim Schwob.

Meeting was called to order at 12:03 p.m.


Ellen moved the approval of the May 19 minutes. Cherie seconded and the minutes were approved. (unanimous)


Ron J. provided a digital financial report that was emailed to Board members. The current balance is $4626 and we currently have 51 paid members.

He requested a deadline date for Fall dues. Ellen moved that date be September 29, 2017. Cherie seconded and the motion passed. (unanimous)

The Treasurer’s report was approved.


Ron J. requested information about the trigger for receiving the deposit back for the Dodge Pond Retreat. It was explained that Ron will receive all the registration checks and will pay Dodge Pond minus the amount of the deposit. Leah is currently collecting the checks and will get them to Ron.


Ron J. asked about checks for sponsorship of the bands. Ellen presented hers to him. Ellen reported that the Publicity Committee didn’t feel that the job of requesting sponsorships belonged with them. She suggested we mail out a letter annually requesting sponsors. Ron B. pointed out that face- to- face interaction provides a better opportunity to get sponsors. Diane agreed. People appreciate that effort. It was suggested that Ron continue to request sponsors but bring another band member with him to assist him and learn the ropes. Ron B. agreed to do so.

Ron J. registered concern about the fact that no programs have been printed and distributed this fiscal year. Cherie suggested Ron B. get someone to take it on for next year.

Ron B. wanted to know where the extra programs from the past went. He thought we may have used them all up.


Ellen reported that no one from the band has indicated an interest in completing the audit that was due earlier this summer. It was noted that in the By-Laws an audit committee is to be appointed and is responsible for doing the audit. There was discussion about the expertise required of the committee or the possibility of having that committee hire an auditor. It was also noted that the audit only goes to the Board and is not a requirement of the 501C3. Further discussion ensued.

Carol made a motion to hire an auditor for this year. Ellen seconded. The motion passed (3-1)

Ron B. suggested that he knew someone from his former office who might be able to do it – she had been the office manager and book keeper.

Carol and Ellen had also mentioned Dale Vaughn who does audits for other groups at a reasonable rate and charges about $100 to $150. Ron J. said there was nothing set aside in the budget, so it would take a motion. Ellen moved we put a price limit of $100 to $150. Carol seconded. The motion passed. (3-1)

Ron B. will check with his contact first, and if that person is not available, Ellen will contact Dale Vaughn.


Diane reported that our music library needs to be organized. She suggested that she and a group of people can create a database (title, #, composer) in an Excel file. She noted that we need a filing system for the music, and she showed the Board two different folders that are used by music teachers to maintain their libraries. She had a preference and explained why. There was discussion about the size of the folders with respect to the crates already purchased, and that will be double checked. There was discussion about how to go about making the purchase (through Brick and Mortar or directly from the Gamble Company). There will be a need for about 125 of these folders at $1 apiece. Since the budget has money set aside for music purchase items, no motion was needed. The consensus of the Board was that we need to make this order.


Carol had provided a written report (see addendum to the minutes) on the most recent efforts of the Grant Committee. She highlighted a few points. The committee attended a presentation regarding St. Lawrence County Arts Council grants. After discussing this option, the committee agreed that we would first need to have in mind ways we would use grant money. In addition to that, the 2018 SLCAC grant applications for up to $5000 are due September 15, 2017 which would require preparing the grant and including a complete summer 2018 concert schedule as well as coordinating contracts with each of the venues involved. Carol reported that if we decide on aiming for such a grant, we would need to consider it for 2019 because there isn’t enough time to prepare a grant for next summer.


The Board addressed an issue of extra expenses incurred by one of the associate conductors.



Ron B. said he needs to coordinate with Lorelei regarding dates we may be able to host Ottawa and Oswego this fall. He would the share potential dates with our contacts in those bands. Ellen said there has been interest expressed in working on that effort. Jim M., Maureen T., and Pat R. are all interested in working with Ron on the event.


Because a date wasn’t set for this past summer to have the Ron’s Garage event, members discussed alternatives. It was agreed that a January event might be best, and Cheri agreed to coordinate that.


Carol proposed we consider the option of wearing blue jeans instead of khakis to concerts. She shared her reasoning. There was some discussion on the term khakis, since it appears the style was optional – the color is expected to be light beige. It was pointed out that the Director sets the dress for concerts, and Ron added that he strenuously objects to blue over beige. No action was taken.


Kathy B. had emailed the group with her concerns about bringing in extras for concerts as was done this summer. Ellen explained that she believed there was a right way and a wrong way to do this. Ron B. said he would not do it again. He said the people he brought on were available, and he decided to take advantage of that. Three of the additions were actually NHB members of the Swing Band but were not known to full band members. In further discussion, it was felt that if extras are brought in for concerts, it would be appropriate to discuss these extras with each section affected first and that the additional people would need to rehearse with the band. There was also concern that a band member wasn’t given the opportunity to play because one of the extras had taken his/her place. It was learned that was indeed not the case, and the person who brought it up in band apparently misunderstood the situation. It was agreed that band members be urged to let the director know in a timely fashion if they plan to attend a concert or not.

Ron J. asked that we discuss another point in Kathy B.’s email regarding the aim of the group – is it to be preparing for performances or just providing an opportunity to rehearse together for fun?

It was agreed that this was an extra-ordinary summer with four performances. Ron B. talked about the extra-ordinary amount of time that goes into preparation for each performance. Tim S. talked about setting goals and improving. He said that performances are something to shoot for. Cheri noted that members of the band always have the option of choosing to perform or not. The general consensus was that a happy medium needs to be struck. Ron J. did add that the concerts are a money generator for the band.


(Specifics regarding article numbers, etc., are not noted in these minutes but have been noted in the By-Laws as proposed amendments.)

The first proposed change was that the Secretary, and not the President, send out the minutes to the members each time. That would require a change in the Secretary’s duties and the President’s duties. Carol said that she would be willing to do so but wanted to send out only the officially approved minutes which are approved at the succeeding month’s meeting. Currently an edited draft version is sent out shortly after a meeting.

Discussion included a way in which the Board could edit and approve the draft minutes soon after they are made available to the Board via email, thus making them Board Approved Minutes before they go out to the members. Tim S. made that suggestion.

Ron J. noted that the President often highlights elements in the minutes with the email that accompanies the minutes, and he wouldn’t want to see that lost.

There was also a request to have the agenda emailed to the members prior to meetings.

Since any changes to the By-Laws would need two readings before a Special Meeting is called to adopt amendments, no changes will be enacted until then.

Another proposed amendment was to make the fiscal year match up with the start date for elected officers. That requires a change in two places in the By-Laws. Board members agreed with that proposed change.

Ron B. asked to have further discussion tabled for another meeting.

A few items that might need amendments were mentioned. Ron J. asked if we needed to make any changes now that we are allowing new members a reasonable amount of time (4 weeks) to actually join band.

It was suggested that might be a policy change. It was felt, though, that it has only happened a few times, we didn’t really need to commit it to a policy.

Carol was asked to forward the financial policies agreed upon earlier this year to the Board.


Ron B. reported that he did receive an invitation from the Dekalb Historical Society to participate in their concert series for next year which will feature protest music. He declined and suggested a small combo might be able to handle that.

Ron B. also reported that Michael Schaff will host lessons on Fridays at 9 a.m. and a Beginning Band at 10 a.m. Ron also heard from some mothers of home-schooled youngsters asking if they could be part of the Beginning Band. He said Michael is willing to work with them.

Ron B. also suggested with decide on an appropriate gift for Michael for taking on these groups. It was agreed we will decide on that at the October meeting.

Ron reported that he has accepted the position of camp director of the Chautauqua Camp for September 2018. Board members praised him for having been selected for that position.



The next meeting was set for September 8, 2:18

Cheri moved adjournment. The meeting adjourned at 2:17 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol Kissam, Secretary of NHBNNY Board


Report of the NHBNNY Grants Committee August 10, 2017

On July 10 members of the Grants Committee (Susan Kramer, Ellen MacMaster, and Leah Zelkowitz) joined me in attending a presentation by the St. Lawrence County Arts Council in Ogdensburg. Annually the Arts Council hosts meetings for current and potential grantees in order to explain the application process and expectations as well as the council’s role in administering the New York State Council on the Arts grants that are regranted to each county in New York State. Our mission was to explore what grants are available, how much may be received, and what would be expected of us should we decide to apply.

In learning about the types of grants available through the SLC Arts Council, we discussed how we would spend money if we were awarded a grant. (Grants of up to $5000 are available.) Three items we discussed were supporting music lessons, purchasing music, and supplementing our budget for payment of our musical directors. We also discussed the fact that we would possibly be trying to mold our mission into what the grant requires.

We learned that next year’s SLAC grants are much like the ones they have supported in the past. For us it would mean planning summer performances at venues throughout the county. Those venues are required to enter into a contract with each grant applicant, and that would require planning concert dates and venues for a summer 2018 concert season in August (now). The grant applications are due September 15, 2017. I believe we agreed that we might want to consider this in the future but would be too pressed for time to consider it this year.

We also talked as a committee about a few regional and private grants that we were aware existed. We agreed that we were open to input from members about how we might spend grant money should we apply for a grant.

Board of Directors Report - May 19, 2017

Posted by Tim Schwob on July 17, 2017 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

The New Horizons Bands of Northern New York, Inc.

Board of Directors Meeting

Friday, May 19, 2017

Spurbeck Room, SUNY Potsdam


Present: Voting Members - Ellen MacMaster, Kathy Benham, Ron Johnson, and Carol Kissam.

Non-voting - Ron Berry, Director and Ex-officio on the Board, and Leah Zelkowitz.

Meeting was called to order at 12:06 p.m.


A motion was made by Kathy to approve the April 14th minutes, and it was seconded by Ellen. The minutes were adopted.

It was noted that the annual meeting minutes need to be approved by the membership at the next annual meeting. There was a discussion about Karen W’s comment during that meeting about paying dues. Board members realized that her comment basically explained how it works out that members pay dues twice a year.


  • Ron Johnson emailed a financial spreadsheet to the Board prior to the meeting,
    • Regarding the monthly budget, Ron said the web site cost may be the only item we are waiting on. He said he will take care of closing out the former bank account and make that note in the final budget.
    • Ellen asked about the Swing Band donation, and Ron J. explained that it is included in the total revenue stream.
    • Ellen reported that she met with Diane and Theresa and explained their 10 month commitment for 2017-2018 which can be spread out throughout the year. Ron J. said that for the sake of the budget, if they keep track of their hours throughout the year, that would work best. There was discussion about the months that have five weeks. In order to be sure that Diane is running clinic during months that have five weeks, Kathy B. moved that we add 5 more hours to Diane’s contract. She will then be paid a total of 45 hours. The motion passed with 3 in favor and one opposed.
    • Carol moved that we approve the financial statement. Kathy seconded, and it passed.
  • Discussion continued on the proposed 2017-2018 budget. There was a discussion about non-members in Swing Band and how to handle their registration. Ron. J. asked who would be in charge of being sure they are registered and pay dues. It was felt that Cherie B. should be responsible.
  • There was also discussion about giving new members time in band before having them pay dues. Ron B. was concerned that if we give them too long we may forget to collect dues. It was agreed that 4 weeks would be a reasonable trial time.
  • Carol moved that we approve the 2017-2018 budget as amended to add the money for Diane. Ellen seconded. The motion passed.
  • Audit – Ellen said she stopped by Dale Vaughn’s, and he would be willing to look over our books. He is not a CPA. She noted that we are not required to do an audit, but Dale Vaughn would cost between $100 and $150.
    • Ellen said that she had sent Kathy O. an email requesting her to consider doing an audit again but hasn’t heard back. Ron J. asked if we could check once again if there is anyone in the house that could handle it. He thought we should appeal to the house rather than go outside. It was agreed that when Ellen send out the minutes she could make a request of the members for an unofficial audit (review of our accounting practices). She will ask Kathy O. once again.
  • Ellen also reported that she checked and dues are not tax deductible.


  • Rehearsal Practices:
    • There was a discussion of rehearsal practices and the amount of music in our folders. Ellen explained that members feel it is time again to cull some out. Ron B. said he would give us a list of pieces we can take out of our folders.
    • Regarding scales – Kathy thought they were helpful as a tuning practice. Ron B. explained that the scales are actually chorales – part of our warm up procedures. Carol explained that she doesn’t understand why time is spent discussing the minor and major scales since that isn’t as important for players as it is for composers or arrangers. Ron B. said that it is just educational.
    • Ron was asked to provide time in between pieces for members to talk to their sections if they have questions or concerns. He said he would try to remember to do that.
    • There was a reminder too about mixing up the group and tuning.
  • The DeKalb Historical Society Concert:
    • Ron B. reported that he now has a workable ensemble. He is looking at one rehearsal outside of band time. Kathy thought that the chamber group would need to get together a bit more often. Ron explained that we will continue to use some of the music in full band for summer concerts. (Dates for the summer performances include June 24 at DeKalb Junction from 7 to 9 pm and July 15 at the Potsdam Summer Festival.)
    • There was further discussion about dividing time in order to get rehearsal time for the chamber group going to DeKalb. Ron said he will start communicating with the group. He also noted the dates he will be away in June and will need a sub.
    • Carol suggested the DeKalb group meet on Friday, May 26 in lieu of full band rehearsal and Swing Band that day. There was concern that Swing Band will be putting together a program for the Potsdam Summer Festival and will need the 26th to rehearse. Kathy suggested Ron send an email to determine if the chamber group can be there on May 26. Ellen said she would give Theresa a heads up that Swing Band may not be meeting on May 26.
    • Ron J. wanted to know the total number performing in DeKalb and Ron B. reported that he had 18.
  • Annual Elections:
    • Carol had reported hearing concern from a few people that candidates for office were in the room for the election process. It was agreed that in the future the nominees can step out. It was also suggested that when there is a single candidate for each office, the slate of officers be presented with the request that the secretary cast one vote in favor of the slate.


    • Ellen found that our BYLAWS had contradictions regarding the announcement about the place and hour of the annual meeting. The contradictions were in Article III, Section 10 A and Article XIII, Section 3. It was agreed that the word Annual in Article II, Section 10A can be removed to accommodate that issue, and that change can be brought to the membership next year.
    • Ellen also noted that there is no wording about when a term starts. It was agreed that Board terms should go along with the fiscal year, so that needs to be noted in the BYLAWS. It was agreed to add that information to Article 3, Section 5 – Term of Office. Wording agreed upon: “Newly elected officers take office at the beginning of the Fiscal Year.”
    • Ron B. said he can change the language and bring it to the body. He wasn’t sure about the process for legally reporting changes to the state. Ron J. reminded Ron B. that in our email discussions there was something left out of the BYLAWS, and Ron B. agreed to look back at the email stream from back then to find it. The changes may require us to call a Special Meeting.
    • Discussion about a Special Meeting and quorum numbers ended with an agreement to get the changes needed in effect and hold a Special Meeting when we are ready to vote on those changes.
  • Michael Schaff’s Offer
    • It was reported that Michael Schaff offered to take any beginners for lessons and in addition to lessons, hold a pre-band session between 9 and noon. Members agreed that it was a nice opportunity and a very nice offer.
    • It was felt that sections help out the newcomers and being in regular band enables beginners to kick it up a notch. Ellen suggested that we have Michael come to band and explain his offer and time frame or we relay the idea to the entire band in the next couple of weeks. Ron J. suggested we see what the numbers are before we take him up on it.

Director’s Report – None

Other Business

  • Recruitment:
    • Discussion began about using the Civic Center for recruitment in August. There was also discussion about being on the radio program B99.3 during the Community Connections show. Ron B. said he would be willing to be interviewed.
    • Leah suggested we consider having an Open House during band practice in place of a separate event in the Civic Center. We could send out info about it and have interested people sit in on our rehearsal and talk to band members.
    • There was a question about SOAR, and Leah said she felt her efforts to schedule another petting zoo was met with one of those “we’ll let you know when we can schedule you” responses. Ron J. said he would ask Jim Barry and see if we can do something in the spring 2018 semester.
    • Members discussed a date for Open House, and the week after Summer Fest was considered a good time. The idea was to advertise well. A target date of July 20 in Room 123 was set. Visitors could be seated amongst the band and be give information about lessons. Ellen and Ron will coordinate the Open House, and they can have Kathy send something to the papers and radio.
    • It was suggested that we can get our weekly rehearsals published in NCPR and in North Country Now in their calendars of events.
  • Committee Reports:
    • Ellen will be reminding people about their committee updates and reports.
    • Regarding the Sunshine Committee – Julie said she will help and perhaps Kate too.
    • There was a discussion about a grant committee. Ellen noted that Carol had volunteered, and Ellen would get one or two people to join her. Ron B. wanted to know why we needed grants. Kathy said that wasn’t so much how much we want to aim for – it was to find out what grants are available to us – a research group. She added that grant money could help pay for Theresa and Diane. Ron B. noted that our dues structure is comparably low, but he understood that there are scenarios that might come up with a need for money.
    • There was discussion about the Publicity Committee and the programs we hand out at our concerts as well as the one handed out at the SOAR luncheon. Ron. B. said he has been the one to take care of that. There were questions about sponsors and who is working to get new sponsors. Ellen said that Kathy O. has asked for help for the Publicity Committee to get sponsors and create programs which is a task of that committee. Ellen said Jim M. had volunteered. Leah suggested that Maplewood could be considered to be a sponsor. Cherie Baker could be the person to ask people there.
    • Ellen reported that Cherie B. is working on the pieces to be played on Wednesday for SOAR. Ellen wondered if we should be putting a program out for Wednesday. Ron B. said he thinks the left-over programs from the past might be missing. It was suggested that Jim M. might have them.
    • Ron B. said he could run off new programs for SOAR and needs to get them to someone in Swing Band. It was agreed that 25 copies can be put out at the luncheon.
    • Meanwhile the Publicity Committee needs to get a fifth sponsor for the current program.
    • There needs to be a set of job descriptions for each of the committees.
    • Kathy said we need to get on top of committees. Ellen said she agreed and that we especially need to get sponsors for our brochures.

Other Items:

  • Leah reported that she had her last lesson for the year with the Crane student, and the student was sorry that she as unable to do a class for us.
  • Carol said she needed to know which dates we will need to request the church for rehearsals in the summer. The dates noted were June 29 and July 6. Carol said she isn’t sure the church will be available on Thursdays but she will try. She was told that our contact person for the church is Bob Ludlum.
  • It was agreed that we would email one another about the best date for the summer meeting.

Kathy B. moved for adjournment. The meeting adjourned at 2:30 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol Ann Kissam, Secretary NHBNNY

Board of Directors Report - April 2017

Posted by Tim Schwob on May 20, 2017 at 9:25 PM Comments comments (0)

The New Horizons Bands of Northern New York, Inc.

Board of Directors Meeting

Friday, April 14, 2017

Spurbeck Room, SUNY Potsdam


Present:  Voting Members - Ellen MacMaster, Kathy Benham, Ron Johnson, and Carol Kissam.

Non-voting - Leah Zelkowitz.

Meeting was called to order at 12:08 p.m.


A motion was made by Ellen to approve the March 24 minutes, and it was seconded. The minutes were adopted.


Ron Johnson emailed a financial spreadsheet to the Board prior to the meeting. He pointed out that we currently have a balance of $4,786 in the budget and 47 members with the potential that Larry, Judy, Tim, JoAnn, and Pat R. will be joining when they return.

Ron J. checked about the payment to the St. Lawrence County Arts Council. Leah said she paid rental fees to the arts center for an alternate practice venue.

Ron J. explained that he has checks for the incorporated account, and once the checks from the unincorporated account are cleared, he will move the balance to the incorporated account.

It was agreed that the remaining budget this year ($500 over the base budget) shows the type of a draw down we had planned for and anticipated this year. 

Ellen suggested we should have enough funds for a full year and to keep the budget around $4000. Ron J. wondered why we didn’t consider half a year since a prime driver of our revenues was dues. There wasn’t a clear ending to the discussion.

Carol moved to pass the financial report. Ellen seconded and it passed unanimously.


Board members had been emailed a copy of the survey results. Ellen reported that 37 people had completed surveys. Discussion about the survey included how it may affect any changes in the proposed budget.

BUDGET for 2017- 2018

It was agreed that there be an increase in the budget ($250) for the Ottawa event.

Ron J. agreed to base the dues revenue for the budget on 45 members.

There was discussion regarding the concert program and adding sponsors. Ellen said she would ask Ron B. about how many programs were distributed last year because people donate as sponsors, and we want to be sure they get the advertisement they expect for their donations.

There was also discussion on the revenue the bands draw from performance venues. Ellen agreed to get that information from Ron B. to add it to the revenues in the budget.

Members looked at each line item and discussed them as well as any changes to be made to them.

Ron. J. will put together a preliminary budget based upon the discussions and get them to the Board for approval before they are presented to the members.

Ron J. offered to pursue the idea of sponsoring a musical composition competition for Crane Music students. He said that the competitors could attend a rehearsal or rehearsals and write a piece for us. We could provide a monetary prize. Ellen moved to have Ron pursue the possibility of hosting a composition competition. Since we cannot act on his findings until we know that could happen, the Board just agreed by consensus.

It was agreed that the annual meeting be held on May 12 at 10 am.


Carol asked if there was any concern about the new registration form she developed or about the form to get member permissions for photos, videos, or sound recording. There was no opposition, so she will get the new registration forms to Ron B. and have the members sign the permission form at the annual meeting.

Ellen said she would ask her husband to take a photo at our annual meeting. Band members could be encouraged to wear band shirts.

The nominations committee report by Leah Z. was presented during the Executive Session prior to the meeting. The slate is as follows:

Ellen MacMaster – President

Cheri Baker and Ron Johnson – Treasurer

Kate MacKay – At-Large Member


Ellen heard from a Crane student (Nicole Damon) who is doing a musician wellness project and is willing to do a presentation for us. Carol moved that Ellen request that Nicole offer a half-hour presentation. Kathy seconded. It was agreed that similar presentations had been given during band time in the past. The motion passed.

Ron J. asked about Thursday rehearsals in the summer. The survey supported that potential. Ellen said she would check with Ron B. to see if that will work for him. Ron B. will need to check to be sure the band has access to a rehearsal space at Crane.

The members will be presented with the proposed budget in May. According to the Bylaws, the Board needs to vote on it at their meeting after the annual meeting.

The next meeting of the Board will be on May 19 at 12 pm.

Ron J. noted that we need to have an audit within two months of the new fiscal year. Ellen said she would check with Kathy O. about doing our audit.

Ron moved that we adjourn and it was seconded by Kathy. The meeting adjourned at 1:56 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol Ann Kissam, NHBNNY Board Secretary

Board of Directors Report - March 2017

Posted by Tim Schwob on May 20, 2017 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (0)

The New Horizons Bands of Northern New York, Inc.

Board of Directors Meeting

Friday, March 24, 2017

Spurbeck Room, SUNY Potsdam


Present:  Voting Members - Ellen MacMaster, Kathy Benham, Ron Johnson, and Carol Kissam.

Non-voting - Ron Berry, Director and Ex-officio on the Board, and Leah Zelkowitz.

Meeting was called to order at 11:59 p.m.


A motion was made by Kathy to approve the Feb. 17 minutes, and it was seconded by Ron J. The minutes were adopted.


Ron Johnson emailed a financial spreadsheet to the Board prior to the meeting. He pointed out that we currently have $5,136.92 in the budget and 45 paid members.

Ron also reported the following activities:

- checks for the incorporated account have been ordered

- an anonymous donation of $50 for Swing Band music was received

- donation letters have been sent

- Ron B. had made a transaction on the corporate account (Ron B. handed Ron J. the receipts for the transaction); Ellen and Kathy assured Ron J. that the deposit for Dodge Pond camp will be reimbursed to the budget in September.

There was a discussion about if dues are tax exempt, and Ellen said she would check into it.

Ellen moved to accept the treasurer’s report and Carol seconded. The motion passed.


COMMITTEE REPORTS: Ellen had contacted the chair of each committee (Sunshine, Nominations, Facebook, Web Page, Publicity, Equipment, Audit, Gig, and Librarian) to request an annual report.

SUNSHINE COMMITTEE - Kathy B. reported that she has sent out lots of cards this year – illness, death, and thank-you cards. She didn’t have a final tally, but said she would provide that to Ellen. Board members praised her for her work.

There was some discussion about having cards made with a photo of the band. Kathy reported that she has been given and will be given a host of cards to use, so we appear to have enough.

Carol moved that we have an annual photo taken. Ellen seconded. The motion passed. Ellen said she would ask the publicity committee chair about how that might be set up.

WEB PAGE – Tim Schwob said he would continue maintaining the page.

PUBLICITY COMMITTEE – Ellen said she would ask Kathy O’Shaughnessy about a list of publicity contacts.

GIG COMMITTEE – Ron B. had announced the commitment to Dekalb Junction. It will be June 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. He said there would be a half hour break. He has not checked out the venue to see how many of the band might fit.

Ron B. heard from Ruth McWilliams about the Colton summer concert, but he has not emailed her back yet.

Kathy B. noted that June 24 is graduation weekend and we may not have many who can attend. Ron B. said he hasn’t yet worked out the plan for that venue but there would definitely need to be fewer players, and he would need to know what instrumentation would be covered.

Leah said she heard that Canadians are generally unwilling to cross the border into the US, and that might affect our fall invitational. Meanwhile, our group has been invited to play in Ottawa on May 6.

It was also reported that Pat Fay is willing to join Ron and Leah on the gig committee to help find locations for a gig in Massena.

Ron J. asked about a follow up from Waddington. Ron B. reported that he has reached out but has not heard back from anyone there. It was agreed that Waddington needs to reach out to us if they want us to perform there.

The Potsdam Festival will feature the Swing Band on Market Street at 5 p.m. on July 13. The regular band will perform at the gazebo on July 15 from 11 a.m. to noon. There was some discussion about the size of the gazebo. It was noted that perhaps the percussion could set up on the grass outside the gazebo.

NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE – Leah reported that there are three people who will be up for nomination at the annual meeting. Ellen has agreed to stay on as president. Ron J. remains undecided about his position, and Jim will be leaving the board. Leah will be looking for someone for the at-large position and possibly someone for treasurer. She indicated that she has one or two people who may be interested.

EQUIPMENT INVENTORY: Ron B. explained that the music inventory is outdated. He was asked if he needed help, and he said he hasn’t forgotten, it just hasn’t been a priority.

REVIEW OF GOALS: Ellen reported that one of our goals was to encourage informal gatherings of the band. Typically there is an event in the spring at Ron’s Garage. Many gather after the SOAR luncheon concert, and there is usually a pot luck too. The camp could be added to the list in the fall.

After discussion a date was set for Ron’s Garage. It will be June 14 this year. Ellen said she would see if she could find someone to organize that event.

Carol asked if there is a way to be sure everyone is invited to the lunch gatherings after band. It was agreed that if a place is decided upon before the break at rehearsal, it would be announced during break.

Overall the board felt that the goal is being met.


BAND SURVEY : Ellen had worked on an electronic version of a survey that she sent out for board members to try. Because there was a limit of 10 questions, and because it would cost money to extend that, Ellen said she would take our ideas into account and send out the survey via email.

Leah said that next year Ellen might try the Google survey program.

JOB DESCRIPTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Ellen noted that the librarian and the president have intersecting jobs when it comes to welcoming new members. She wondered if the librarian could distribute the music folders along with the music. She said that the president would then continue to take care of the health form and name tags and other basic information. Everyone agreed that made sense. Ellen said she would stop at Brick and Mortar to see if they will provide us with more folders.

Carol asked about the registration forms. She wanted them to have a place for a date so we have record of when members join. She also wants them to have a place to sign off for permission to have their contact information shared with other band members.

It was suggested that Carol make a new registration form. Ron. B. said he would email her the form he now has.

Ron J. asked if Leah’s student instructor was going to be working with other band members. Leah reported that her instructor had gotten busy with the ONNY concert, but she said she would check again about her availability.

DIRECTOR’S REPORT: Ron B. reported that his biggest challenge is organization of files of music. He is constructing a new printer table and has been looking for specific bins to store band music. He explained the ones he had purchased weren’t strong enough to hold the music. He talked about other options.

There was discussion about those options. Members agreed that Ron could use money from the music budget line to purchase the files he likes and needs. The cost will be about $100.

Ron reported that he now has a tax- exempt card for the band at Walmart. If anyone needs to use it, they must contact him.

Ron B. also reported that his directorship of the Chautauqua New Horizons Orchestra camp is something that will help our band grow. He did note that there is a need for two bassoons and four trumpets at that camp.

The next meeting is the April Budget Meeting, and it was set for April 14.

Kathy moved adjournment and Ron J. seconded. The meeting adjourned at 1:24 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol Ann Kissam, NHBNNY Board Secretary

Board of Directors Report - February 2017

Posted by Tim Schwob on March 23, 2017 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

The New Horizons Bands of Northern New York, Inc.

Board of Directors Meeting

Friday, February 17, 2017

Spurbeck Room, SUNY Potsdam



Present: Voting Members - Ellen MacMaster, Kathy Benham, Ron Johnson, Jim Murray, and Carol Kissam.

Non-voting - Ron Berry, Director and Ex-officio on the Board, Cherie Baker and Leah Zelkowitz.

Meeting was called to order at 12:03 p.m.


Carol noted a spelling change for Marylee Ballou as an amendment to the minutes of Jan 27.

A motion was made by Kathy to approve the amended minutes, and it was seconded by Jim. The minutes were adopted.


  • Ron Johnson emailed a financial spreadsheet to the Board prior to the meeting. He pointed out that we currently have $5,167 in the budget and 42 paid members.
  • Ron received an anonymous donation of $40 for Swing Band music. He asked if there were plans to purchase music. Cheri noted that there are plans to purchase 3 pieces at about $40 each.
  • Ron said he needs to find a way to keep track of conductor fees and keep record per calendar year in order to issue 1099 IRS Forms by the end of January each year. He will work on that.
  • Ellen called for a vote on the financial report, and all were in favor.
  • Ellen asked about the Board’s plans for preparing the budget for the annual meeting in May. The Board agreed that it would work on the budget in April and present it for approval at the annual meeting in May. Ron J. checked to see if he needed to prepare that budget proposal for April. It was agreed that the financial statement distributed monthly can be the basis for preparing the budget.
  • There was some discussion about preparing a budget before elections thus presenting a completed budget to potential new officers. Ellen explained that when she took office, her first meeting was to put a budget in place, and not having been involved, it was very difficult. That was one of the reasons she suggested we do the budget before elections and annual meeting.



  • The Retreat Committee (Ellen, Kathy B., Leah, Tuba Cheri and Roland) have met and discussed some plans for the September retreat. Ellen has plans to send out an email to the people who agreed to teach ( Diane, Teresa, Noa, and Ron) because Roland has requested that the group perform a concert on the last day of the retreat (Sunday). He offered to publicize the concert.
  • Ron B. asked about the format and if one piece should be prepared or if there will be several pieces to sight read.
  • Ellen explained that the faculty should have ideas about what they want to do. Ron offered to coordinate with the other faculty. Who attends, what they play, and their skill level would determine the format. Ellen said she would share a list of potential attendees to get that conversation started.

REVIEW OF GOAL # 1 Remember the mission of NHBNNY and be sensitive to the needs of those in your section by helping and encouraging them.

  • Carol shared her pleasure as a newbie at being mentored and encouraged by her section (Julie and Kathy B.) Jim agreed and said that he thinks Mark is fitting in well in his section.
  • Ron J. wanted to know if we should leave it to individuals to take on the goal, or if the Board should have some specific objectives towards meeting this goal.
  • Some ideas for improving the goal included encouraging new members to perform at Ron’s Garage; tuning by section; talking through questions about a piece of music before we begin the piece (i.e. road map, key signature, time signature) and the like. The ensuing discussion didn’t appear to reach any decision.
  • Ellen suggested that we continue as we have been doing and check in with one another regarding ways to be more helpful.


  • It was reported that the article about NHBNNY hosting Ottawa, Montreal, and Oswego was submitted to North Country Now. There is no information about when it will appear in the paper so we need to keep looking for it.
  • There was discussion about an old email distribution list for news articles. Ellen said she would check with Kathy O. to find out if that list is available and can be used for wider distribution of news releases.


  • Ron J. pointed out that items in the minutes requiring completion do not always appear on the agenda under Old Business. He said an example is the inventory that needs to be done. Ellen said she would get better at making sure those items are on the agenda in the future.
  • Ron B. reported that we still haven’t heard from NY State about our tax-exempt number. There was discussion about sales tax at Brick and Mortar. Ellen noted that she paid sales tax for two books she purchased, but Ron J. said he had a purchase receipt without sales tax on it. Ron B. said the may be honoring the band’s tax exempt status in anticipation of the tax-exempt number.
  • Kathy asked if the band could purchase in bulk copies of music books under the tax-exempt number rather than having individual members make personal purchases. That possibility didn’t appear to be resolved in the discussion.



  • Ellen wondered if we needed to have a policy regarding the protocol when an associate music director needs a substitute. She said that the issue came up recently. There was discussion related to the process, the schedules, and the expectations of those who assist Ron with clinics, as substitutes, and with Swing Band.
  • After discussion, it was agreed that the conductors who substitute for Ron and/or run clinics and Swing Band shall be referred to as associate conductors and the following protocol should be followed when they know they will be absent:
  • If an associate conductor can’t be at a rehearsal, that person should call the music director (Ron. B.) for a substitute.


  • Cheri said that the Swing Band wanted to perform at Potsdam Summerfest, but knowing that Ron B. is scheduling a performance by the full band, she wondered if the separate request would create a problem. Ron offered to have the two of them meet with Marylee Ballou to make that work. Cheri deferred to Ron B., and he said that when he meets with Marylee, he would voice the interest of the Swing Band and see if he could arrange to have the Swing Band perform during the block of time set aside for the New Horizons Band.
  • Ron B. said we have an applied to perform in Colton for its regular summer series. Ellen said she thought the date he had presented was August 30. Ron B. said that he is waiting to hear back from Ruth McWilliams regarding Colton’s application for a grant for that summer series. Carol said Northern Lights Orchestra is scheduled for that concert series, so she believes Colton received the grant. Ron B. said he would email Ruth to follow up.
  • The planned performance at DeKalb Junction featuring historic music was discussed. No date has been set. Kathy said several people were wondering how it will happen - how members will be selected to perform. Ron B. said that hasn’t been worked out yet. He said he still needs to visit the venue to get an idea of the size of the group that will perform. The venue is the meeting house across the street from the school. He said he is starting to collect music for the hour- and- a- half performance. He will also be looking for people to do research and to narrate.
  • Leah reported that there is an open invitation to perform at Partridge Knoll. The open pavilion area is available, and there is room enough there for the whole band. Ellen said we need to start looking at dates to perform there.
  • Ron J. asked about gigs in Madrid, Massena and Waddington. Ron B. said we had been invited to perform at the new Madrid Dam series. The gig committee needs to be working on that for 2018.
  • Ron B. also talked about potential summer concerts in Waddington and Massena. It was suggested that Pat Fay be the contact for Massena since she had said there was interest there. Ron said he would get back to Pat. He also mentioned that he was having difficulty connecting with someone from Waddington, and Carol suggested he contact Louise Smith.


Ron said he is getting music ready for the DeKalb Junction performance.



Ellen said that a membership survey is conducted each year and she would take suggestions form the Board as to what to ask on that survey.

NEXT MEETING – The date set for the next meeting is March 24.

Jim moved adjournment and Kathy seconded. The meeting adjourned at 1:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol Ann Kissam, NHBNNY Board Secretary

Addenda to the Minutes

Addendum #1

Leah’s flute tutor (Crane student) has offered to teach a music theory class for us. Leah will get more details next week on possible schedule.


Addendum #2 for the minutes:

Ron reported via email that NHBNNY finally got its tax- exempt certification from NYS. The ID# is the same as the band’s federal tax ID#.








Board of Directors Report - January 2017

Posted by Tim Schwob on March 23, 2017 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (0)

The New Horizons Bands of Northern New York, Inc.

Board of Directors Meeting

Friday, January 27, 2017

Spurbeck Room, SUNY Potsdam



Present: Voting Members - Ellen MacMaster, Ron Johnson, Jim Murray, and Carol Kissam.

Non-voting - Ron Berry, Director and Ex-officio on the Board, Cherie Baker.

Meeting was called to order at 11:56 a.m.


A motion was made by Ellen to approve minutes of December 16, seconded by Jim. The minutes were adopted.


Ron Johnson emailed a financial spreadsheet to the Board prior to the meeting.

  • He reported that we currently have 40 paid up members for this semester and more to add. Carol asked for an updated list for the roster she keeps. It was decided that rather than report each time there is an update, the current roster will be updated in later spring after several people have returned to the area and in time for the May meeting when a finalized membership list is needed to elections.
  • Ron paid the $50 deposit for Dodge Pond and received paperwork for his records.
  • There was discussion about how the money for Dodge Pond would be handled. Ellen reported that Leah Z. offered to be the treasurer (registrar). It was decided that registration checks will be written out to The New Horizons Bands of Northern New York Inc., and Ron would issue the final check to Dodge Pond.
  • Cherie gave Ron J. a bill for music purchases which included some O’Reilly books for flute and English horn and two books Teresa purchased. Ron Berry explained that Jeremy at Brick and Mortar usually sends us a month-end bill.
  • Ron J. asked Cherie if the swing band was anticipating using the budgeted $100 set aside for music purchases. Cherie said she would ask Teresa and Tim.

Carol moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report. Kathy seconded. In a vote, the motion passed.



Ellen reported that there was a request from Dodge Pond for our tax- exempt number, and Ron B. reported that we are still awaiting that paperwork from New York State. It was agreed that we send a copy of our federal letter of incorporation instead and let them know we are awaiting the state number. Ellen offered to send that to Roland who is our liaison to Dodge Pond.


  • Board members discussed strategies for improving listening skills.
  • Members discussed tuning with the oboe, sitting with other instruments, and being seated in a circle as strategies they liked and wanted to experience more.
  • Kathy noted that because we don’t have concerts coming up, over the winter months it is a good idea to revisit these strategies.
  •  Cherie said there are warm up scale books in the library that could be revived and used again.
  • Kathy said that listening also includes what people are saying, and she has heard people say that spending time on some pieces and not getting through the entire program is helpful.
  • Carol noted that she is used to working on a few pieces several weeks in a row before moving on to others.
  • Ellen added that Happy Birthday is supposed to be in the line-up once a month.
  • Cheri pointed out that tuning to the oboe is a skill band members can use as they join other musical groups.
  • Ron B. said he isn’t comfortable having people tune one at a time, and that we cannot have people telling other people whether they are sharp or flat. That should be the rule and understood if we tune to the oboe.
  • Ron B. said he would cut back on the number of pieces and woodshed more where needed. He also said he would give it a try with tuning. He added that in general the band sounds very good.







  • Ellen reported that Diane will be running the hour-long clinic at 9 a.m. on Fridays starting next week. Ron has agreed to the plan, and Diane will no longer be doing the Tuesday rehearsals. She will do some stuff from the rhythm book and Accent on Achievement 2 and then review music for the rehearsal at ten.
  • Ellen said she would email out the schedule changes. Maplewood rehearsals will be in Room C101, and will be from 9 – 10:50 on Feb. 7. Mar. 7, April 4 and May 2 with concerts the first Tuesday of each month.
  • It was reported that Michael Schaff will work with intermediate beginners at 10 each Friday in addition to the new members at 9.
  • There was discussion about a new music book. There is a patriotic book and a Christmas book much in the style of the Broadway book - with solo parts and band parts. Ellen was interested in getting them for Maplewood. She will look them over, and they may be added to the books band members purchase.


  • Cherie reported on plans for a fellowship/ get-together luncheon like the one held last year. She has checked out the First Presbyterian Church in Canton, and they let in non-profit groups. Costs include $15 for Fellowship Hall, $15 for use of the kitchen, and $6 toward heating fuel. The $36 will get us use of the hall on Feb. 25 from 11:30 – 4. She requested a check for that amount.
  • It was noted that while we don’t have money in the Events Budget we do have enough money overall. Kathy moved we have a social gathering on Feb. 25 and pay the First Presbyterian Church the $36. Jim seconded. The motion passed.
  • Ron J. noted that the paperwork he was given indicated payment was due on the day we use it, but Cheri had received an email requesting it be paid now. Cherie will send Ron that email to put with the paperwork for the records.
  • Cherie’s plan is that everyone brings something to share and each person brings his own place setting. The plan is to use the kitchen just for clean- up and the occasional utensil, but not to cook there.


Ellen reviewed membership terms. Ron J., Jim, and Ellen’s terms will be up in May.


  • Ron B. reported that he had an upcoming telephone conference about his appointment to be a NHIMA Delegate, Co-sponsor and Co-Camp Director of a New Horizons Rochester String camp this summer. It’s a Friday through Sunday camp that will include string groups and a full orchestra with band members participating. Roy Ernst told Ron that he was impressed with our band and tapped him for this honor. Board members offered their congratulations.
  • Ron B. also noted there are some upcoming gigs but none that are planned with dates. The Dekalb group received funding for this summer but no date has been set. He didn’t know about Colton, and he hadn’t heard about Potsdam Summer Festival. Board members noted that band members were surprised when we didn’t play in Potsdam last summer. There was discussion about the time slot and the amount of walking from the parking area. Members noted that that they thought the concert would be on July 15th this year, and Ron said he would speak with Mary Lee Ballou. There was some discussion about playing where some bands do on the street, and Ron said he would toss that idea out when he speaks to Mary Lee.


Ellen reported that she has received 20 yes votes for Dodge Pond (15 was the minimum to cover Diane and Teresa). The cost will be $125, and the committee will meet soon to set things up.


  • A news release with photos was passed around. Kathy O worked with a partner in the Ottawa band to complete it, and it has been submitted to the NHIMA newsletter.
  • Members agreed to ask Kathy to send it out to local press (with photo captions) and to include contact information if someone wants to join the band.


The next meeting was set for February 17.

Kathy moved to close the meeting. The meeting closed at 1:12 p.m

Respectfully submitted,

Carol Kissam

Secretary, The New Horizons Bands of Northern New York, Inc.


Board of Directors Report - December 2016

Posted by Tim Schwob on March 23, 2017 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (0)

The New Horizons Bands of Northern New York, Inc.

Board of Directors Meeting

Friday, December 16, 2016

Spurbeck Room, SUNY Potsdam



Present: Voting Members - Ellen MacMaster, Ron Johnson, Jim Murray, and Carol Kissam.

Non-voting - Ron Berry, Director and Ex-officio on the Board.

Meeting was called to order at 12:05 p.m.

Motion by Jim to approve minutes of November 18, seconded by Ellen. The minutes were adopted.

Treasurer's Report – Ron Johnson had emailed a spreadsheet and spoke about elements of the budget.

  • - He reminded the Board again that Artworks Creperie has not yet sent in its promised donation. Jim explained that he talked to the owner in person without any luck.
  • - Ron mentioned that since we gave to CYM we have received a general solicitation from SUNY Potsdam. I was agreed not to act on this request.
  • -Ron received an insurance audit form in regards to our policy. Ellen will complete it and return it.
  • -We are still awaiting our tax exempt number for New York State. Ron B. said he would call again to check on its status.
  • -Ron J. noted when dues are payable is not covered specifically in the BYLAWS. He thought that we may need to create a policy. There was discussion. Rather than a policy, it was agreed that each semester we set a deadline date. Ellen moved that dues for the spring semester are due by January 27, 2017. Jim seconded and the motion passed. The dues are $30.
  • -Leah has paid the $10 room charge (she will be reimbursed) to the St. Lawrence Arts Council, and Ellen explained that Leah planned ahead and secured the site for a rehearsal since the Crane space will not be available in early January.
  • -Ron J. asked about having an update of the asset list. Carol suggested it be done in January, and Ron B. said he would work on it.

Carol moved the financial report as presented. Jim seconded and it passed in a vote.


There was a question about the status of the donation letter. Carol presented a format and noted that the logo was outdated. Ron B. said he would update the logo and would email it to Carol. The letter will include the tax-exempt I.D. number. Donors noted for the past year were listed and Ron B. noted that we were tax exempt as of July 27th, so each should receive a letter acknowledging their contributions and thanking them. Ron J. will send the letters out.

Carol moved to approve the letter format with the new logo. Jim seconded and the motion passed.

RETREAT COMMITTEE - Ellen reported that Roland reserved Dodge Pond from Sept. 22 – Sept. 24, 2017. They would like 25% down as soon as possible. She said that if we get out a registration form in February with the details of the stay (lodging options and food) and include in the individual price the $220 to cover Diane and Theresa’s stay, we should be able to get the down payments then. Details about the lodging options were shared with the Board. There was a mention of an Early Bird registration deadline. Ellen said she is looking for one or two more people to add to the committee.

Jim asked about the rooms being unlocked for rehearsals. He arrives early to practice and has to find someone to open them. Ron B. said he thought they were being opened and would talk with Lorelei about it again.

Carol asked about the registration forms for new members. She suggested a permission statement be added to the forms so we get permission to share contact information. She also felt that the date be included on the form in order to keep record of when people joined.

Ron J. noted that we haven’t spent anything on publicity and wondered if there was any publicity happening. Ellen explained that Kathy O. had written an article for local papers and was working with Ottawa for a release to the NHB newsletter.


Ellen reported on Christmas Gigs and said that the Village Diner and Maplewood were well-received. For next year we might include the two nursing homes in Massena.

Diane did some research into Christmas Favorite – to order for next year for the band to purchase or individuals to personally purchase. Ron B. looked at information Ellen printed out and said he would research it. It was noted that the size of the books may be too small to read, and the music didn’t appear to include holiday favorites other than Christmas.

Director’s Report – Ron B. explained that he had checked on the tax exempt number status. He was going to continue to pursue it.

In January the Board will choose a goal to review at the meeting as part of its agenda.

The next meeting will be January 27.

Jim moved to adjourn and the meeting closed at 12:58 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol Kissam

Secretary, The New Horizons Bands of Northern New York, Inc.


Board of Directors Report - November 2016

Posted by Tim Schwob on December 15, 2016 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (3)

The New Horizons Bands of Northern New York, Inc.

Board of Directors Meeting

Friday, November 18, 2016

Spurbeck Room, SUNY Potsdam



Present: Voting Members - Ellen MacMaster, Ron Johnson, Kathy Benham, Jim Murray, and Carol Kissam.

Non-voting - Ron Berry, Director and Ex-officio on the Board; Kathy O’Shaughnessy, and Leah Zelkowitz.

Meeting was called to order at 12:07 p.m.

Motion to approve minutes of October 21 and special meeting to adopt the new BYLAWS on October 28 was made by Jim and seconded by Kathy. The minutes were adopted.

Treasurer's Report – Ron Johnson had emailed a spreadsheet and spoke about elements of the budget.

- He reminded the Board that Artworks Creperie has not yet sent in its promised donation.

-The Ottawa Event overspent the budget by over $184. Ron J. explained that we budgeted $60, and there was $120 for Trinity Hall, $100 for food, and the amount Karen W. spent for the paper items she purchased. He said we need to keep these items in mind as we plan our budget for next year.

- The budget set aside for federal incorporation was $400, but the expenditure for that was $275.

-Ron received an anonymous donation today to fund Theresa for next semester

Ellen agreed to let Theresa know that we have received a donation to cover her services for two additional times a month thus covering her for three times a month.

- It was agreed that we need to acknowledge that donation in the form of a letter.

- Ron J. requested feedback on the types of checks and notebook and stamp he should order. Comparisons between the Deluxe Checking orders and North Country Savings options were discussed. Costs and value per cost was also discussed. It was noted that the North Country Savings option was a one- time purchase of the notebook and stamp and that the costs per check will be spread out over several years.

A motion was made to accept the financial report. It was seconded, and all were in favor.

Carol moved that we purchase our checks (with notebook and stamp) from North Country Savings. Jim seconded. In a vote, there was one abstention, but the remainder were in favor. The motion passed.

Financial Policies – Ellen had provided a list of four policies to consider at the last meeting, and they were discussed at this meeting. Kathy O’Shaughnessy was on hand to offer expertise in the matter.

-Kathy O basically encouraged documentation, receipt submission, and records for payments.

Board members and guests explained some of the types of expenditures that don’t appear to meet that criteria in the policies such as a donation to West Stockholm Church for their donation of chairs for Ron’s Garage event.

Kathy said that an email or piece of paper accompanying that payment needs to be dated and signed for record of that donation.

There was also discussion about adding layers of complexity vs. how things are currently being done.

During further discussion, Kathy O’ clarified information about the process of payment for services. She said, for example, that an email from Diane or Theresa regarding their hours would serve as an invoice. It was also noted that generally invoices go to the Board or the President as an added check on that type of payment, and the Treasurer is then charged with creating the payment check.

Board members discussed purchasing items within the budget such as printer ink or music without the preapproval of the Board.

Carol moved that the financial policy be adopted with amendments, and her motion was seconded by Jim.

The group discussed the amendments.

The policy to be adopted – as amended – reads as follows:

1) All checks or payments will have an invoice or receipt or equivalent included in the financial records.

2) All receipts, invoices, vouchers or equivalent not budgeted for shall be approved by the Board before payment. All will be marked as paid when the check is written to avoid duplicate payments.

3) Payment for Services requests stating name, dates, and hours, will be done by email to the President for approval.

4) A letter of acknowledgment will be prepared and sent to donors.

On a vote on the amended policies, four were in favor and one opposed. The motion passed.


Discussion of Insurance

Ron J. had sent an email with several questions about the current insurance policy. He is seeking the ID number and a list of the officers to make the change for the incorporation. Ron Berry said we now have that information and can move forward.

Ron J. wondered if we still needed to keep Potsdam Central School on our list of insured locations. It was agreed that that was no longer necessary.

Ron J. was also concerned that our guest conductors are not members and not covered. Ron B. explained that the policy is a liability policy for suits against the corporation not for individual members.

Discussion of the International Event

Ellen reported that she heard from various people that the event went well. Looking ahead she is checking into the Presbyterian Church because they can handle more people, but they have a policy against alcohol.

Kathy B. asked if there was a venue on campus that could be used. She was told that there would probably be a rental fee for use of the space, and we couldn’t bring in food from off campus.

There was further discussion, and Ellen agreed to check about the alcohol policy at the Presbyterian Church as well as parking.

SOAR Review

It was reported that people said they appreciated the quieter music. There was concern expressed about hauling equipment for the half-hour gig. There was brief discussion on having the Swing Band perform at the function in the future. Ron B. said we could pull the plug on the event or make changes. He said this was the least orderly start of any of the performances we’ve done.

People were happy with the dancing element that was added.

Ron J. wondered what had happened to the brochures, and Ron. B. explained that he forgot and ran out of energy but that we used to put that information on the tables. He did note that someone approached him showing interest in becoming a percussionist.


Director's Report – Ron B. reported that we now have our incorporation letter. He noted that we still need to get the New York State Tax Exempt number. He handed out a copy of the Federal Approval letter to each of the Board members and gave the Secretary the records that need to be kept on the incorporation.

Other Business –

There was a question about playing in Waddington in December. No one had heard from the people there, so it is not being planned.

Everyone was reminded about the performance at the Village Diner as 12:30 on Dec. 11.

The next meeting was set for December 16.

Kathy B. moved to adjourned and that was seconded by Jim.

The meeting closed @ 1:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol Kissam, Secretary