New Horizons Bands of Northern New York


Old Minutes

Board of Directors Report - February 2017

Posted by Tim Schwob on March 23, 2017 at 7:35 AM

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#.








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