New Horizons Bands of Northern New York


Old Minutes

Board of Directors Report - May 19, 2017

Posted by Tim Schwob on July 17, 2017 at 9:20 AM

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

Categories: None

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