Board Minutes

June 13, 2018
May 9, 2018
April 11, 2018
March 14, 2018
February 14, 2018
January 10, 2018
January-December 2017
December 2015; January-December 2016

June 13, 2018

Call to Order
The meeting of the Board of Trustees was called to order at approximately 7:18. Present were Michael Kemp, Janet Easlea Kemp, John Neff, Mark Blume, John Conlon, Joanne Jenkins, Annabel Grote and Kathleen Haskell. Andrea Maurer and Peter Heinemann were absent. Loann Scarpato (a non-board member) was also present.

Approval of Minutes from May Meeting
The first order of business was the approval of minutes from the May 10th board meeting. John Neff motioned to approve and Joanne Jenkins seconded. Unanimous vote for approval ensued.

Financial Report

  • The Financial Report was presented by Board Treasurer, Mark Blume. Mark passed out papers for the old budget as well as the new budget. Mark wanted to save the new budget till last. On the income side Mark noted that we received a couple of donations totaling $40. Mark also noted that we received both checks from Iron Hill Brewery totaling $372. April’s total was $143 and May’s total was $229. Total income for the month was $412.
  • On the expense Mark noted there was not a lot of new activity here. We had Michael’s normal stipend. The bills for use of Wissahickon Middle School finally came in totaling $135. We had a couple of small charges for concert supplies including $38 for concert flowers, $11 for postage and mailing, $13 for supplies including the disposable table cloths for the reception. Total expenses for the month totaled $1197.
  • Mark wanted to call attention to information on our end of year budget. Our total income for the fiscal year was $51,117.01 and our total expenses were $48,445.26, which was $4,345.26 over budget. We expected to be over budget because we were required to deal with some complicated issues. Cash on hand at this point was $17,416.90. We do have four checks outstanding totaling $1585. When we deduct those monies from the total it brings us down to about $15,831 which is consistent with other years. One other item is the licensing fee for ASCAP which is anticipated to be about $200.
  • Janet asked about transferring [funds from] PayPal and Mark noted that he wanted to talk about PayPal, saying we did very well with it this year. There were 103 gifts donated using PayPal. The gift total was $23,846 and 21% of that total came from PayPal which ended up being about 13% moneywise. We ended up paying a very small amount for fees, so he thought that was a great deal for us. The percent amounted to about 3% of the total PayPal amount as compared with 7% we were paying for Fractured Atlas.
  • Mark then moved on to the new budget overview. He included in this budget overview the two previous budgets for the fiscal year. Mark budgeted $5,400 for this fiscal year chorale dues which amounts to 90 singers but both he and Michael think we will actually get around 100 chorale singers. For orchestra dues he once again budgeted $1,800 which amounts to 30 orchestral musicians. He budgeted $5,000 for program sponsors reflecting the same amount as the two previous years. He budgeted $10,000 for receipts from admissions to our concerts. We did better than that last year but he wanted to be conservative with that. Total income budgeted is $22,200 a slight bump up ($600) from last year.
  • On the expense side Mark thought it prudent to increase our budget for extra musicians an additional $1,000 to $7,000. For performance venue costs Mark wanted to increase the budget by $250 to $6250. This includes 2 concerts at Upper Dublin and 1 concert at Christ Lutheran. We are budgeting $3,000 for rehearsal space – chorale rehearsal at Christ Lutheran and orchestral rehearsal at Wissahickon Middle School. Under other expenses now that we have a few years under our belt we tried to make adjustments both up and down to better reflect certain expenses. Those adjustments can be seen on Mark’s budget overview under Other Expenses. Under social events we decided that one reception in the cafeteria at Upper Dublin and a reception after the Chamber Concert should be budgeted for. Everyone thought there was added value with both receptions this past year. The board voted to increase the budget for social events from $200 to $1,250 to allow for receptions at Christ Lutheran after the February Chamber concert and at Upper Dublin after the May concert. The final total for budgeted expenses came out to $44,935 amounting to a small increase of $835.
  • We then discussed raising the dues for members. Annabel said that Philomusica members pay $200 per year but they don’t have to pay for their music. She said that Ambler Choral Society members pay $75 in dues and they pay for their own music. Thus Annabel suggests we raise the dues to $75. Joanne suggested that most people don’t realize how much is involved in running the whole organization. We thought that Mark could speak to the chorale at a rehearsal about what it costs to run the organization for the entire year including specifics about some of the larger expenses. As was noted in the new budget it costs us nearly $45,000 to run the ACCA for an entire year.
  • We decided to have a straw poll on how much to raise the dues. Six board members voted for a $15 increase and one member voted for a $10. It was decided that we could not have a binding vote without input from Peter Heinemann and Andrea Maurer. We would finalize decision by email.

– Mark to do list: Prepare a revised budget after the dues have been finalized for the board to vote on.
– Post meeting decision: After much discussion by email it was decided to leave the dues at $60 for both chorale and orchestra.

Artistic Director’s Report

  • Michael said that last year’s summer sing got us turned around the corner. Michael wanted to have everything in place for Haydn’s Creation at the Summer Sing. He knew that we would need a lot more orchestra members for this year’s Summer Sing. Michael was very pleased to report we will be having a full orchestra for it – denoting counts of orchestra participants. For orchestra fees Michael sent the participants 4 options to choose from for being paid: (1) play for no fee and not bother with a tax deduction; (2) play for their normal fee but immediately donate back to ACCA for a tax deduction; (3) play for their normal fee but donate half that fee back to ACCA for a tax deduction; and (4) play for full payment. Michael said only one player needed full payment, 2 or 3 said they will donate half back, and everyone else said they would donate all back or play for free.
  • Michael said that for the Haydn’s Creation we need three top notch soloists so he immediately got a response that Mark Hightower is in, Brian Hoyos is in and Judith Goltz will come back from Israel to participate. Michael’s sister Peg said she would like to sing also so Michael divided up the arias between Peg and Judith. Both Judith and Peg are excellent cellists so when one is singing the other will play cello. For the December Concert Judith will do the singing and Peg will play the cello.
  • As to the music for the creation, Michael ordered 100 copies of the Shaw/Parker score. He thinks with those 100 copies and other sources we should have around 200 in total. We may get almost 270 copies. Loann offered to bring the copies to the summer sing. Michael mentioned that he would like to get the word out to the Heritage Chorale for the summer sing to keep that momentum going.

– Michael to do list: (1) Contact Mark about all the checks which need to be prepared for the orchestra members for the summer sing. (2) Work with Peter to figure out seating arrangements for orchestra and soloists for the summer sing. Also work with Peter to look at logistics to avoid bottlenecks in signing up for scores and distributing them.

Fundraising / Program Sponsorship
Annabel is ready to submit all the materials for the PA Partners in the Arts Project Stream Grant. Annabel wanted to have a post meeting discussion with Janet, Loann and Mark to finalize everything for submitting the grant. They all agreed and the meeting was held at that time. Loann mentioned that we might become eligible for a program grant once we have established a three year history of obtaining this grant.
– Post meeting follow up: The PA Partners in the Arts Project Stream Grant was successfully submitted on time.

Publicity / Marketing

  • Janet sent out one flyer about the summer sing. Janet will come up with a flyer for John Neff to get to Councilman Spiegelmann for the summer sing. Michael offered an idea about contacting choir directors in the area and inform them about the summer sing. We thought it best to do the contacting through emails. We need name tags for the summer sing. We need to have score distribution lists so we/ can be sure to get all the scores back. We need to have Peter give us options for avoiding the bottleneck for distributing the scores. John volunteered Mary to take photos for the summer sing. Loann thought Phyllis, who had volunteered for whatever we need, should be the greeter at the door.
  • George had sent information to Janet about the external publicity company. There was some discussion about whether this would be helpful for us and Janet opined that this would probably not be an appropriate fit for ACCA.

– Janet to do list: (1) Create a “facebook event” so others can see details about the summer sing. (2) Create a flyer for John Neff to give to his councilman.

Search Committee
Kathleen reported that we have now received 5 quality applicants for the ACCA Conductor and Artistic Director position. These are quality applicants and they are all local. Kathleen is convinced that we will be able to find a quality individual to carry on the tradition of the ACCA. For next steps Kathleen wants to get together with the search committee to figure out how they would like to proceed with these candidates, i.e. whether we want to conduct phone interviews or something else.
– Kathleen to do list: Arrange for a meeting with the entire search committee in July to determine next steps.


  • Member Profiles: Loann mentioned that Janet has created a database with all this information. We want to have a place on the website where this information can be accessed by any ACCA board members. Janet said that would be easy to do and it would password protected so only ACCA board members could access it. Also the financial reports should be on this restricted list as well.
  • Wissahickon Choir Room: Peter had investigated the use of this choir room for chorale rehearsals in lieu of Christ Lutheran, but was not in attendance to talk about it. There are problems with the middle school orchestra and choir room for rehearsals. It seems that the choir room would not be large enough for the choir and parking would be a potential problem as well. The high school facilities were also offered for consideration as it seems they would have a good deal more space/options.

To do list:
– Kathleen to send out the lists of items for board to decide what should go where on the website.
– Michael, Peter and Wendy to make a site visit to Wissahickon to get more information and come back with a report.

Adjournment / Meeting adjourned at 9:28.

May 9, 2018

Call to Order
The meeting of the Board of Trustees was called to order at approximately 7:25. Present were Michael Kemp, Janet Easlea Kemp, John Neff, Mark Blume, John Conlon, Joanne Jenkins, Andrea Maurer, Annabel Grote and Kathleen Haskell. Peter Heinemann was absent. Loann Scarpato (a non-board member) was also present.

Approval of Minutes from April Meeting
The first order of business was the approval of minutes from the April 11th board meeting. John Neff motioned to approve and Joanne Jenkins seconded. Unanimous vote for approval ensued.

Review of Action Items from April Meeting
In lieu of reviewing action actions Kathleen Haskell printed out a sheet of action items. She noted that since most items were related to the May 8th concert, having already occurred, were completed. She highlighted in red the items which may not have been completed and said we should probably talk about them when they come up in the agenda.

Financial Report
The Financial Report was presented by Board Treasurer, Mark Blume. Mark had earlier passed out a paper detailing results. Mark noted we have had a lot of activity since the last board meeting. On the income side we had donations totaling $224, cookie sales of $113 and proceeds from the concert of $4,472. Total income since the last board meeting was $,4824.

Most of the activity was on the expense side which was expected. Director’s compensation was $1,000. There was $200 for orchestra manager, $266 for publicity manager, $200 for the chorale manager, $750 for rehearsal accompanist, $7,155 for extra musicians. For the occupancy items the performance venue totaled $3207 and the rehearsal space was $600. In the other expenses category we had extra scores expense of around $47, for the use of the cafeteria $750, orchestral parts was $106, equipment expense was $495, postage and mailing was $22, and printing/copying expense of $1,200. We have a plus $20 as someone paid for his/her choral music. Total expenses since the last meeting were $15,981. Cash on hand will come down to around $16,000. Our carryover to the next fiscal year should be around $12,000 or $13,000.
Mark to do list:
– Prepare a budget for the new fiscal year and have it ready at the next board meeting.

Artistic Director’s Report
Michael doesn’t have much to say about our concert but wanted to hear our appraisal. We on the board heard many comments about how much everyone loved the concert. Michael mentioned that when we engaged the audience in singing the last verse of “We Shall Overcome” it was a powerful experience for everyone. There was a discussion about how so many people stood for “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Kathleen asked if asking for help with logistics worked for Michael. He was quite pleased with it. Annabel helped to form a reception committee. The summer sing has been confirmed for August 1st at 7:30 at Peter’s church – Calvary Presbyterian. This was one of Peter’s action items which he has discharged. People should arrive at 7:00 to pick up the music and get seated.
Michael to do list:
– Contact all the people he knows who have scores of Haydn’s Creation and have them send those scores to us.
– Get a recording of Annelies to Annabel for the PA Partners in the Arts.

Fundraising / Program Sponsorship
Annabel started by saying that we just got the check from the last Iron Hill Brewery fundraiser totaling $142. Annabel wants to have a talk about raising the dues at our next board meeting in June. Our percent of members donating is around 60% which everyone thought is really good. Annabel would like the board to approve a one-year subscription to Pennsylvania Grant Watch for $199. Motion to approve was made by Annabel seconded by John Conlon and it was unanimously approved. Annabel moved on to the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Project Stream Grant. She sent out a document sometime after the meeting detailing what needs to be done. It needs to be uploaded on or before June 20th. The grant is for $2,500 and is repeatable in coming years.
Kathleen to do list:
– Put the raising of dues on the agenda for June.

Publicity / Marketing
Janet spoke with George Bihn briefly at the concert and he said he was going to be here tonight. However George was not present to make his comments in person. He did say that he had posted all the posters he said he was going to post. Janet sent out a press release to the local Upper Dublin Enterprise. John Neff said that Normandy Farms sent a bus of residents to the concert. George Bihn also had an idea for paying a fee of $300 to a publicity company to help us get more publicity. Janet thought it sounded interesting but she doesn’t have any more information to impart. Michael said that there were 5 people who had never been to any of our concerts but came to this one and they wrote glowing reviews of the concert. We have many testimonials like that which we can use to generate interest in the Chorale. Janet said that Don Gutekunst had posted details of our concert in the Christ Lutheran bulletin. Mark said that our concert coordinator (Elizabeth Wendelin), our orchestra manager (Janet Easlea Kemp) and our chorale manager (Loann Scarpato) did a great job getting the concert to run without a glitch.
Janet to do list:
– Get information from George Bihn about the publicity company to see if we want to use them.

Search Committee
Kathleen and Peter have drafted proposed requirements for applicants. Kathleen said that to date we have two applicants. When people send in their qualifications and a letter of interest for the position we have generated an automatic response thanking them for their interest in the position and that the ACCA is currently accepting applications and will be accepting applications until early in the 2018-2019 season.

Reception Committee
The reception committee is composed of the Chair, Mary Mack, her husband Bob, Peggy O’Connor, Linda Ewald, Marguarite Holliday, Janice Goltz, Andrea Emmans, Nancy Lawrence Hill, Paula Mandel. Board members assisting were Annabel Grote, Mark Blume, and Peter Heinemann. Cindy O’Neill said that she was willing to help when needed but did not want to be on the committee in an official capacity.
Publicity Committee
The publicity committee is composed of Janet Easlea Kemp, George Bihn and Mary Conlon.
Basket Committee
The basket committee is composed of Charlotte Biddle (chairperson), Carol McGuckin, Betsy Scherer, Maria Mack, Melissa Miller, Cecilia Dougherty, Joan Paltenstein (orchestra liaison), and Mary Conlon.
Adjournment – Meeting adjourned at 8:45.

April 11, 2018

Call to Order
The meeting of the Board of Trustees was called to order at 7:18. Board members present were Michael Kemp, Janet Easlea Kemp, John Neff, Mark Blume, Peter Heinemann, John Conlon, Joanne Jenkins, Andrea Maurer, Annabel Grote and Kathleen Haskell. Loann Scarpato (a non-board member) was absent, though Elizabeth Wendelin, also a non-board member, filled in for her.

Approval of Minutes from March Meeting
The first order of business was the approval of minutes from the March 14th board meeting. Peter Heinemann motioned to approve and Mark Blume seconded. Unanimous vote for approval ensued.

Review of Action Items from March Meeting
The second order of business was to review the action items from the March 14th minutes. Kathleen Haskell asked each owner of each action item whether it was performed or not.

To Do Lists
– Prepare breathing marks for the three ACCA only hymns (My Lord what a Morning, Hold On, and We Shall Overcome) – Yes and he also prepared danger notes and phrasing styles.
– Contact Donald Dumpson to have him fill in the spaces between ACCA chorale members with names and parts (SSAATTBB). – Not yet. Needs seating charts from Elizabeth. Elizabeth needs his group alone, our group, and the combined group.
– Contact Donald Dumpson to get information on the orchestration for “Total Praise” – Yes.
– Work out the timing for the May 1st rehearsal at Christ Lutheran – Yes.
– Visit several Baptist churches and encourage them to attend the May 5th concert. Be sure to take some posters. – Yes a very enthusiastic response from Keith Williams and he is going to encourage his and other congregations to attend.
– Talk with Susan Lohoefer at Upper Dublin about logistics for final dress rehearsal. – Yes done.
– Adjust Haydn’s Creation for Summer Sing to the first two movements. – Michael has decided to use almost all the choruses and he is almost done.
– Prepare a list of tasks needing to be performed for the May 5th concert and give to Elizabeth. So Michael is free to escort Donald around. – Not yet done, but will get together with Elizabeth to get it done.
– Michael, Janet and others to write up some ideas for the PECO proposal. – No longer necessary.

– Get in touch with Steve Sweetsir to see if he is available to play French horn for the concert. – Yes but he still cannot play. She has given more names to Janet but noted that there a lot of concerts scheduled for that weekend.

– Let Susan Lohoefer at Upper Dublin that we are going forward with using the UD cafeteria for our reception. – will talk later about it.
– Try to come up with some names of French horn players. – No because he thought it was solved. Michael added that he may be able to solve the problem with 3 French horn players.
– Check on status of his church (Calvary Presbyterian) for the summer sing on August 1st. – Yes though not formally but assumes it will not be a problem as there are no conflicts.

– Complete (along with others) document specifying requirements for a new artistic director. – Yes and she shared copies with all of us.

John C.:
– Ask Mary if she is willing to take photos of rehearsals and concert. – Yes and she agreed.

Financial Report
The Financial Report was presented by Board Treasurer, Mark Blume. Mark had earlier passed out a paper detailing results. Mark noted we are in pretty good shape as can be seen that we have over $29,700 cash on hand. This represents 212 percent of budgeted income. Income change for the month amounted to $1766. The bulk of that total came from four donor gifts totaling $1274. We have received 97 gifts totaling $23,367. We have a grant from Mark’s company of $159. Janet mentioned that she knows that Bank of America does this and their and other employees need to find out how to do that. Additional income from cookie sales ($104) and dues ($60) from an orchestra member and sales of Messiah recordings ($169) were obtained. On the expense side the total since last time was about $2009. We had extra musician costs and expenses for recording of the Chamber Concert. All the other expenses were recorded on Mark’s handout.

Artistic Director’s Report
Michael mentioned that both the chorale and orchestra rehearsals have been really great. The chorale rehearsal last night was way ahead of where we usually are at this time. Michael handed out a sheet of the entire concert. Donald really wants to have some Gospel music in the concert. Michael thought it would be a good idea to have all the concert attendees sing the last verse of “We Shall Overcome” just before intermission. Many board members thought it would be a great idea. Michael said that he is going to conduct the Beethoven and have Donald conduct the Faure. The reason is that the orchestrations for the Beethoven are very complicated technically, whereas the Faure is more straightforward. Michael found a straightforward setting for “Amazing Grace” that allows for everyone to sing and play. Michael thought that we should drop one of the Dvorak Legends to save time. However, after some discussion it was decided to leave it as is. Michael wants to send emails to all chorale and orchestra members with the proposed repertoires and dates for next season. The dates and times are December 1st at 3:00PM, February 9th (snow date on February 10th) at 4:00PM (may be changed to 3:00PM), and May 4th at 7:30PM.

Andrea brought up that since the May concert next season will be Michael’s final concert, he might want to consider inviting some of his friends and colleagues or people whose lives he may have influenced. After a good deal of discussion Michael asked that this be tabled for a later Board meeting.
Michael to do list:
– Prepare a list of tasks needing to be performed for the May 5th concert and give to Elizabeth.
– Prepare an email with the proposed repertoire for the new season to send to chorale and orchestra members.
– Make sure that Elizabeth gets names for our chorale members, Heritage Chorale members and the combined chorale members for making seating charts.
– Inform Donald Dumpson about what things are allowed for the reception after the concert.

Fundraising / Program Sponsorship
Annabel started by talking about the Iron Hill Brewery fundraiser saying it is going to be on May 8th. She wants to have coupons printed out for that fundraiser ready for the May 5th concert. She followed with membership sponsors update. She hasn’t yet given up hope of getting to 100%, but it seems to be an elusive goal. She’s going to try a few more reminders and asks. She moved onto Grant updates. She has started writing the Pennsylvania State Partners for the Arts grant as it is coming up soon. She said we would need a title for the grant proposal and she thought that something like “Music Inspires” would be fitting. It is quite complicated and requires a lot of information about ACCA. Kathleen suggested that she should send emails to those people to remind them. Denial of PECO grant needs to be recorded for these minutes. Annabel wants to ask the board for money to subscribe to “Grant Watch”. She said it was $18 per week, $45 per month, or $200 per year. Peter suggested we try a yearly subscription. Mark asked if there was any other information to help inform the board for their decision. Annabel will find out more and email to the board. Peter and Joanne will help look at the site to help Annabel. Annabel wants to create a calendar of grants and times to make it easier to see what we need to do and when.
Annabel to do list:
– Tell Mark how many donor envelopes we have on hand so he can decide how many more to order.
– Prepare emails for board members to obtain specific information for the Penn State Partners for the Arts proposal.
– Find out more about Grant Watch and send to the board.
– Prepare a chart with dates and times for available grants in the coming season.

Publicity / Marketing
Janet sent out a press release for the May concert to a few local papers. She also sent copies to George (Bihn), Andrea (Emmons), and John Conlon. Iron hill coupon has been uploaded to the website so it’s there for anyone’s use. Janet wanted to thank John for getting Mary to do the photographing for the concert. Janet wants to have a conversation with her so she can get some idea of what we are looking for. Janet wanted to know about the posters and flyers for the program. John Neff said his commissioner was going to post a flier on his website. John Conlon put up posters at Blue Bell Country Club. Kathleen suggested that we should think about have extra people selling tickets for the concert since we are likely to have a fairly large turnout. Mark says we may want to ask Caroline Weisman’s husband as he volunteered to help with ticket sales for the raffle baskets. Kathleen said we probably should have four tables for ticket sales. We are going to eliminate the will call sales because no one ever uses it.

Janet wanted to know how many programs we should have printed. It was decided we should probably have 600 programs. Janet needs to get pricing for the programs from Wendy. We also want to have envelopes for donations for the program. We should order a thousand envelops. We also want to try to get information for a mailing list. Janet wants things for the program by April 21st.
Janet to do list:
– Ask Wendy for the pricing to prepare on concert tickets and programs.
– Arrange a meeting with Mary to give her guidance on what we are after regarding photos.
– Along with Annabel try to begin forming a reception committee.

Search Committee
Kathleen said that she and Peter are co-chairs of the search committee with Loann, Janet, Joan Paltenstein and Elizabeth filling out the committee membership. Kathleen and Peter circulated a search document with criteria desired for a new artistic director. There were several sections to the document, including information about the ACCA, expected time commitments for the candidate as well as having demonstrated effective musical and personal skills, qualifications, job description, duties and responsibilities, and how to apply. It was noted that if we agree on this document tonight Kathleen will send it out on behalf of the board to all members of the chorale and orchestra. We would put it out on Constant Contact as well. It will also be on our website. Andrea said that she had serious concerns with the minimum of three years of experience. Andrea wants it to be rewritten. There was a lengthy discussion about how to change the requirements. Peter suggested using the term demonstrated experience as a conductor or director. The board felt that this would be a major improvement over three years of experience so that will be changed. Annabel thought that the document should say assist in the promotion of both orchestra and chorus instead of just orchestra. Everyone agreed. Peter thought it would be important to include that the successful candidate to be somewhat local (something like Delaware Valley).

Kathleen will be drafting a retirement announcement and sending it out to the board. Michael asked if something should be mentioned in the program about his retirement. Some discussion ensued and Andrea suggested we say something like “Come celebrate Michael’s last concerts with us.”
Kathleen to do list:
– Remind everyone in the May 5th concert that all personal items must be removed from choir and orchestra rooms immediately after concert finishes.
– Prepare a retirement announcement for Michael.

Susan Lohoefer said she has to meet with the reception committee. Michael said that he and Elizabeth had already met with her. Peter said that he would give Wendy a call to see if she would head up the reception committee. There was a good deal of discussion about what can and cannot be brought to the reception. There cannot be anything that needs to be cooked on site and there should not be anything that needs to be refrigerated. Peter did say that there is a small refrigerator we might be able to use but it would be better to have our own coolers for that. All this information needs to be communicated to the Heritage Chorale as well. The janitorial staff are the only ones who can set up and move tables. Annabel and Janet thought that this would be a good time to find volunteers for the reception committee.

Michael said that everyone needs to know that they must remove all their belongings from the choral room immediately after the concert has ended. Kathleen said that we need to remind everyone to remove personal stuff immediately. They need to be reminded early and often about that.

Annabel asked how long we have been performing at Upper Dublin. Mark said this was our second year. Call time for the orchestra is 6:30 and for the chorale is 6:15 for the dress rehearsal.
Peter to do list:
– Contact Wendy Bender to see if she will accept chairmanship of reception committee.

Adjournment – Meeting adjourned at 9:05.

March 14, 2018

The meeting of the Board of Trustees convened shortly before 7:20. Board members present were Michael Kemp, Janet Easlea Kemp, John Neff, Mark Blume, Peter Heinemann, John Conlon, Joanne Jenkins, Annabel Grote, Andrea Maurer and Kathleen Haskell.

The first order of business was to mention that Kathleen, Mark and John Neff have agreed to remain on the board for a second 3-year term. Their first 3-year terms are up at the end of this season. The second order of business was the approval of minutes from the February 14th board meeting. John Neff motioned to approve and Mark Blume seconded. Unanimous vote for approval ensued.

The Financial Report was presented by Mark Blume. Five new donations have come in since the last meeting totaling $1348, one new choir member paid dues of $60 and the cookie sale money was another $171. There was a donation of $500 from a sponsor that John Neff brought in. Iron Hill fundraiser take was presented by Annabel at a later time and it totaled to $142.20. Total income for the month was $2115. Total expenses were broken down by categories and totaled $2196. Member donations are higher this year than in the past. Mention was made of the use of PayPal which generated a net of $193.90. Our donation status has improved enormously from previous years. There are additional expenses for music received from Michael which are not in this month’s expenditures.

Michael followed with his Artistic Director report. Michael mentioned that he received a box of posters for the May Concert. Annabel said she would like to applaud Ann Markle and the publicity committee for getting these posters out as early as they did; also opining how wonderful they look. Everyone thought they were beautifully done. Michael said he was not going to scan the anthems for breathing marks, but he will prepare breathing marks for the three anthems our choir will perform. Michael noted even at this early date of rehearsals the chorale sounds steadier and stronger than he ever remembers. Michael is having some trouble with the Orchestra preparation. There have been a lot of absences for a variety reasons. He needs four French horn players, but he was having a great deal of trouble getting an additional two French horn players. Janet, Andrea and Peter mentioned some additional possibilities. For the May 5th Concert Michael was mentioning how difficult it was to coordinate. Heritage chorale has no financial obligation for the concert as they are guest artists. Michael mentioned that the spirituals are not going to be performed a cappella. Michael said that the Faure required the use of an organ, but since we don’t have one readily available he is reworking the woodwind parts so as to make them sound like an organ. Michael said that we would reorder the concert so that we could have the choir members mixed together. Michael completely reordered concert to help with this. Michael mentioned that he will be pushing Donald Dumpson hard to give him a total of his singers by category (SSAATTBB). Michael has sent emails to Donald but has not received responses. Michael made a copy of the latest email he sent to Donald and gave them out to us.

Andrea was asked to contact Steve Sweetsir to see if he could play the French horn as he originally declined because of a conflict. He has rescheduled the conflicting concert. Michael will send to Mark a list of all the paid orchestral players who have been at which rehearsals. Michael is concerned about the stamina of some of the orchestral players. There are 58 minutes of playing time for some of them. Peter mentioned that he didn’t think it would be a problem. Michael has ordered of copies of Amazing Grace, the final hymn with audience participation. Michael has not received any information on Total Praise, one of the Heritage hymns requiring orchestration. He needs to get that soon so he can prepare the orchestration. Michael needs to work out the timing of the May 1st final dress rehearsal, because the orchestra has to play for the separate Heritage pieces, the separate Academy chorale pieces and the combined pieces. Timing and efficiency of this final dress rehearsal will be difficult. We have a timeline of 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM. Michael plans to visit several Baptist churches in the area and invite them to the concert. We would like to have a large audience for this concert and he believes they would love to attend and support. Michael should take some of the posters when he visits these churches. Michael will talk with Susan Lohoefer about the logistics of the dress rehearsal. Michael will provide several suggestions for consideration by the repertoire committee, to be considered along with any suggestions from chorale and orchestra members. Michael’s suggestions include Haydn’s “Creation”, parts 1 and 2, which will also be used for this coming summer’s “Summer Sing” on Wednesday, August 1st at 7:30 PM at Peter’s church (Calvary Presbyterian). There is a meeting of the repertoire committee on March 24th to consider the rest of the repertoire for next season. Andrea has prepared a list of things she would like to do for next year. Michael needs to give to Elizabeth Wendelin a list of tasks associated with the concert.

Annabel gave the information about Iron Hill fundraiser. Details are above under the financial section. The next Iron Hill fundraiser is scheduled for May 7th. PECO gave Annabel information about what they like for grant proposals. They don’t fund operating costs. Annabel was thinking that if Michael, Janet and others could write up some ideas for a proposal for this May concert, she would submit to PECO for review. PECO said they could do a quick review if this is something they would like to fund. Annabel will call PECO to find out if some of the costs would be covered. Cultural Arts project stream is due soon. They want to know to know specifically about our concerts and venues. It’s for $2500 and the proposal is due by June 20th so we will get going on that right after the May concert. For the Pressor grant we were told that ours is too small a group with too small a budget. We knew that going in but it was good experience for us in preparing grant proposals. If anyone knows or reads about grants for concerts, they should contact Annabel so she can look into them.

Kathleen thinks now is the time to have a discussion about the CD’s and she asks Loann to lead the discussion since she did the research on the topic. Loann said that a non-professional recording of the Messiah was made and copies were given to the board members. Two separate CD’s were prepared: one for Messiah and one for the standalone orchestral parts. An offer to purchase them was made to the singers. However at the February board meeting there was a discussion about the propriety of distributing CD’s of the Chamber Concert and that prompted Loann to investigate the propriety of making and distributing CD’s of the December concert as well as doing so in general. Loann followed with her understanding of the legal ramifications of making and distributing these recordings. Loann distributed a white paper she prepared on guidance of the legal ramifications and what we can and maybe cannot do. She mentioned about what would be considered “Fair Use”. Kathleen asked Loann why these recordings would not be considered “Fair Use”. Loann said because “Fair Use” is it refers to educational purposes and not a concert performance, to which Kathleen voiced a disagreement, because recordings are often necessary for applying for grants. There followed a discussion about the selling of such recordings though we are technically not selling them but asking for a donation. Loann followed with an opinion from the leader of the Susquehanna Valley Chorale. She says first ask yourself whether you are making any money off the sale of these recordings and second did someone else make a profit from recording the performance. If the answer to these two questions is “no” then you may be okay under the “Fair Use” principle. The ultimate question for us is whether we are following the “Fair Use” principle, though Kathleen suggests that the question is whether we are making a profit. There followed a discussion about the risk/benefit of making these recordings. There were divided opinions about whether the risk/benefit was favorable or not. Kathleen thinks we she should vote on whether to make these copies available or not. Kathleen made a motion that ACCA does not make copies of the December concert available to members. Mark seconded the motion and a vote ensued. Peter wanted to amend the motion to “at this time” because he thought information might come about later that might make a difference. Kathleen added that to the motion. There was still confusion about the wording of the motion so Kathleen made the motion to make the recordings available at this time. The vote was 3 no’s, 4 yes’s, and two abstentions.

Janet followed with Publicity and Marketing. George picked up 22 posters for the retirement communities. Janet needs someone to take pictures of rehearsals and concert. John Conlon volunteered his wife, Mary, to take these photos. We need high quality photos. Date for the Summer Sing is August 1st at 7:30 at Peter’s church, Calvary Presbyterian in Wyncote.

Kathleen followed with a discussion on the search committee to replace Michael as director of ACCA. The committee is comprised of Kathleen, Loann, Janet, Peter, Joan Paltenstein and Elizabeth Wendelin. She said we need someone with experience in both choral conducting and orchestral conducting. Janet has already started preparing a document that details the requirements for the position. When that is ready it will be presented to the board. Andrea asked who would retain the final vote on who is selected. It would have to be a consensus from the entire ACCA as they need to be comfortable with the selection.

For any other business we need to select a venue for the post-concert reception. Peter suggested that we could use the cafeteria at Upper Dublin. The cost would be $750 to use the cafeteria from 6:00 to 11:00 PM. That cost includes capacity for 500 people and 80 tables with each table using 10 chairs if needed. Custodial fees are listed at $60, but we don’t know whether that is total cost or per hour cost. To offset this cost we $200 allocated for this event as well as over $700 in cookie sales and $500 in production expenses which has not been spent. A motion to approve the Upper Dublin cafeteria for the reception was made by Peter, seconded by John Neff and unanimously approved.

We want to suggest that the Heritage Chorale may want to bring some things for the post-concert reception at the UD cafeteria but it must be stated that no alcoholic beverages are allowed and not to bring anything needing to be cooked or refrigerated (except in their own cooler). We should have name tags for the joint rehearsal, which will be held at Christ Lutheran Church in Oreland on Saturday, April 28th from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM. Note that ACCA will be solely responsible for food and drink for this joint rehearsal at Christ Lutheran. It worked very well for the reception following the Chamber Concert.
Meeting adjourned at 9:20.

February 14, 2018

The meeting of the Board of Trustees convened shortly before 7:15. Board members present were Michael Kemp, Janet Easlea Kemp, John Neff, Mark Blume, Peter Heinemann, John Conlon, Joanne Jenkins and Kathleen Haskell. Annabel Grote and Andrea Maurer were not present. First order of business was to welcome Joanne Jenkins to the board. Second order of business was the nomination of John Conlon for the position of Recording Secretary. Nomination was made by Kathleen Haskell and was seconded by Peter Heinemann. Vote was taken with unanimous approval. The third order of business was the approval of minutes from the January meeting. Mark Blume motioned to approve and John Neff seconded. Unanimous vote for approval ensued.

The Financial Report was presented by Mark Blume. Some new donations came in totaling $170 and the cookie sale money was another $54. Total income was $2294 including $2060 from the Chamber Concert. Total expenses were broken down by categories and totaled $5109.71. Michael talked about the situation of Donald Dumpson’s lack of efficiency. Michael ordered and paid for “Lift up your Voice and Sing” because it was supposed to be in the program. However, it has been removed from the program and he is unable to return it. He proposes to give it to them as a good will gesture. Because this is an important community concert, we’re going to have to take control of it. Michael wants to do everything together and not separately. Michael congratulated Mark for his diligence. John thinks that Mario from West German Auto may no longer provide any sponsorship money after this year since his son is assuming the presidency. Michael and Kathleen waxed eloquent about the high level of musicianship at the Chamber Concert.

Michael followed with his Artistic Director Report. Firstly, there followed a long discussion about the recording of the Chamber Concert. It was stated that we must be very careful about recording to sell music that might have licensing restrictions. Michael stated he will not do anything with the recordings without Peter’s okay. Michael wants more help with setting up and cleaning up. The board noted to Michael that we must be apprised of the list of tasks to be performed so we can help. For the May 5th concert Michael has had to work diligently to coordinate this. Michael read some notes from Loann about the music being used for the May concert. Heritage Choral has no marketing capability, so we will need to help them with that. Michael noted that ACCA is doing extraordinary things and we should be proud of it. Michael also noted that the high level of musicianship could probably be a recruiting tool for singers and musicians who want to be able to perform at this high a level.

For Fundraising we used Annabel’s wonderful notes for discussion. She mentioned to publicize the Iron Hill Brewery event one more time. Kathleen mentioned that we need to mention that the coupon can be used anytime on that day and not just for dinner. The second item was to start asking for membership sponsors. Our rate is in the 50% to 60% range but she wants it at 100%. Our 60% rate is the highest it’s ever been. It was mentioned that getting grants helps us get more grants. Annabel is going to start the application for the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Project Stream grant. Because the due date is June 20th she will start right after the May Concert with the help of Janet and Loann. She has mentioned that we are in a position to have a successful application for PECO grants. We can ask for a specific amount. She has started the application process but is unsure of the deadline but thinks it is November 1st of this year. She mentioned that PECO will need demographics like gender, age and ethnicity.

For Publicity and Marketing Janet showed a press release that appeared in a local newspaper. We did get some new subscribers from Constant Contact. Michael said that we will have a big crowd at the May concert so we need to get the information out about the Chorale. We should invite Donald Dumpson to our next board meeting to help coordinate our efforts. It was noted by Loann that one of the tenors who sang in the concert, Don Gutekunst, seemed to be very interested in promoting the ACCA and its concerts. He is a member of Christ Lutheran and put an article in the Bulletin about the concert that afternoon. Kathleen will approach him. The concert went out on WRTI and that should be good advertisement for us. We discussed some themes for the May concert. We need a theme soon for the poster. We thought that “Coming Together” might be a good theme.

For any other business (AOB) we need to have a venue for the reception. We want to have the reception right after the May concert which will end at 9:30. To do that we need to have a clear list of tasks, which need to be done so that Michael can escort Donald Dumpson immediately to the reception. Peter suggested that we could use Upper Dublin for the reception. There was unanimous agreement to pursue that idea for the reception venue. For the member profile questionnaire we had only 28 people responded. We think that we should have paper copies to get the success rate up. We suggested repertoire planning early as possible. The first week of April was decided upon for the repertoire planning meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 8:55.

January 10, 2018

Meeting of Board of Trustees convened at 7:15. Board members present were Michael Kemp, Janet Easlea Kemp, John Neff, Annabel Grote, Peter Heinemann, John Conlon and Kathleen Haskell. Loanne Scarpato, Mark Blume and Andrea Maurer were not present. Joanne Jenkins was invited to attend as a potential new board member.

First order of business was the approval of minutes from the December meeting. Annabel motioned to approve and John Neff seconded. Unanimous vote for approval ensued.

Financials were presented by Kathleen since Mark was absent. Particular noteworthy was that the budgeted $13k has already been covered by the $18k of income from donations. Also noteworthy was the increase from 44% to 56% of Chorale and Orchestra members having donated to the ACCA. Discussion about increasing dues was brought up but will be discussed later.

Michael followed with his Artistic Director Report. He gave out CDs of the Messiah Choruses and the CDs of the Orchestral sections. He commented about how good the recordings were as well as how special the musicality was. There was talk about whether we could sell copies of each CD. Much discussion ensued and it was decided that the Chorale would probably love to have copies (since they really don’t ever get to hear themselves), not so much the Orchestral members. It was decided that we would ask for a donation of $10 for each CD with a discount to $15 for both. Since we are a non-profit organization we could not “sell” the CDs but only ask for donations. Michael talked movingly about the Chamber Chorale singing the Randall Thompson Alleluia. He mentioned that this Chamber Concert may stimulate other singers to join the Chorale. We thought that we should encourage members of the Chorale not participating to come and give their support. There was more discussion about raising the standards of Chorale members perhaps by offering workshops to those who cannot read music. We don’t necessarily want to have auditions since we pride ourselves on not requiring auditions to participate. Finally he talked about having some choruses of Haydn’s Creation for the Summer Sing. We are anticipating using choruses from Haydn’s Creation for our Fall concert.

Annabel followed with a discussion on Fundraising Activities. We decided that we would suspend asking the members to pursue new program sponsors for the spring concert but would make it part of our fundraising efforts again in the fall. There was talk about ordering more envelopes to put with the programs. Putting the envelopes with the program was highly successful for the Messiah concert. Annabel also talked about the Iron Hill Brewery fundraising and the need for coupons. There is a Iron Hill fundraising event on February 21st and another one on May 8th. Annabel made note that an internal deadline for preparing the PA grant application should be June 1st. She asked John to help her with the application and he agreed to do so. She also talked about other opportunities for grants. She also pointed out that the address for sending checks to the ACCA need to be updated.

Janet followed with her updates on Publicity/Marketing. There was a good deal of talk about newsletters. It was too late to get the January newsletter written so we decided to forget it. We thought that perhaps we should ask someone to prepare a newsletter using a profile of some member. They made note of the nice mention of Wendy Bender and thought perhaps we should try something like that. Janet followed with a discussion of press releases to post in different places. There was discussion about posters and postcards. Everyone liked the idea of using postcards. There was some discussion about a theme for the February concert. We know what is being performed so we can move forward with it. We wanted to prepare press releases for the May concert, but we’re not sure whether the Heritage Chorale has their own publicity manager and whether they want a single poster or separate posters. Michael will contact Donald Dumpson to iron out those details.

In AOB, we talked about the desire for post-concert receptions. For the concert at Christ Lutheran Church we can have the reception immediately following in the basement. It was noted that alcoholic beverages are not allowed. We are going to ask members to bring food and beverages to share. For the May concert reception we thought we would have it at the Wissahickon Fire Station. The venue needs to be close to the Upper Dublin Performing Arts center and it seems that Wissahickon Fire Station fits the bill. Peter will determine the availability and cost. There was much discussion about the member profiles. We all thought that these profiles would constitute a gold mine for determining useful skills to tap. We will have profiles which can be prepared electronically as well as printed out and prepared manually.

Kathleen then talked about the Terms of Membership for the ACCA Board of Trustees. Length of service is three-years with an option of a second three-year term. If member has served two three-year terms he/she may not serve again unless he/she has a hiatus of at least one year. She mentioned that Mark Blume, John Neff, and Kathleen Haskell will have finished their three-year term this year since the new rules were adopted. We need to find potential new members going forward.

Meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:00 PM.
Post-Meeting Note: It was decided by the board to charge $10 for each CD from the December concert. To purchase both CDs it was decided to charge $15. We also are going to have Michael and Janet decide on the themes for the February and May Concerts as soon as possible.