August 13, 2013

The August Board Meeting of the Northwest Choral Society was held at the home of Mary Jane Matecki, 311 N. Prospect Manor, Mount Prospect, IL.  The meeting was called to order at 7:10 PM by Board President Penny Perles.  The following board members were present:

Greykell Dutton            Penny Perles
David Hitch            John Schindler
Noreen LaValle            Diane Szuberla
Mary Jane Matecki        Ruta Veitmanis                
Also present: Alan Wellman, Artistic Director, and Dick Knepler, guest.

The meeting minutes of the July 20 board meeting and retreat were reviewed and no corrections were needed.  Diane Szuberla made a motion to accept the minutes.  The motion was seconded by Noreen LaValle    .  The motion passed.

Noreen presented the treasurer’s report for July.  Cash disbursements totaled $477.78.  There were no cash receipts.  Our regular account balance was $12,574.57.  Including the J. Melcher Memorial Fund and petty cash, our final total was $15,646.57.  Ruta Veitmanis made a motion to accept the treasurer’s report.  John Schindler seconded the motion.  The motion passed.
Two additions were made to the proposed 2013-2014 budget that was drawn up at the July 20 board meeting.  Under expenses, two new items will be added:
◦  #8503 – Graphic design.  $750.00 will be set aside for this.  A graphic design intern earns about $11.00/hour.  It could take about 20 hours per concert to design our program book, posters and tickets.  If we could find a chorus member to be our web master, then we could probably use the same graphics for the website as for the posters, etc.  David Hitch recommended using Vistaprint for our printing.
◦  #8519 – Marketing.  This will cover expenses such as those we incurred with our participation in the Des Plaines Summer Fling.  
Mary Jane made a motion to accept the 2013-2014 budget proposal with the two additions.  Ruta seconded the motion.  The motion passed.

Mary Jane stated that Martha Conlon has been sending out thank you letters to our donors.

Alan Wellman has contracted a harpist and the Dolce Strings to accompany us at our December concert.  Dolce Strings will come to our last Tuesday evening rehearsal, December 3rd, and the harpist will come to our Friday rehearsal at Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest.
He has also contracted the organist at Grace Episcopal Church, Oak Park, to accompany us in our May concert there.
Alan also is requesting all present chorus members to sign up for an individual voice placement and evaluation with him.  The voice placement will consist of two components.  First, each singer is asked to prepare a piece.  The piece could be a favorite hymn, an art song, a Broadway song, or some other piece that demonstrates the vocal strengths of the singer.  The second component will be vocalizing each singer to determine in which voice part they would be best placed. 

Diane Szuberla announced that we have received $746.00 in donations from the people who received our Early Bird brochures.

Greykell Dutton is working on getting our forms for advertisers into electronic format such that they can be edited each year as needed.

David Hitch reported that the Summer Fling went well.  Several people showed genuine interest in perhaps joining our chorus.  Also, two companies indicated that they may be willing to donate to us.  Future summers, he recommends that we look for similar events in other nearby suburbs and rotate through them.  Our biggest expense will be the booth rental.  Other items left over from one year can be used the next.  Also, we might have some sort of prize drawing.  This would encourage people to leave an email address which we could then also add to our audience/donor database.
Dick Knepler submitted a sample donation request letter which will be reviewed by the committee.  Alan emphasized the need to include in the letter a definite goal for the money and the amount needed to achieve that goal.  Dick also submitted a database of possible corporate donors.  One list included companies with between 50 to 250 employees within our three neighboring zip codes.  The second list included companies with 1000 to 5000 employees within 20 miles of the 60004 zip code.
David suggested that at the end of each concert we thank the audience for their presence, donations, etc. and announce our next concert.

Greykell has heard from about eight or ten people this summer inquiring about our chorus.
She is also finalizing plans for our Meet & Greet next Tuesday.  She will provide name tags and NWCS buttons.  Alan will provide songs we can all sing that evening.  Mary Jane is preparing a folder with information potential new members may need.  Refreshments were also discussed.

Penny stated that we have received next season’s contract from St. Martin’s.  There is no mention, however, about piano tuning.  Alan will prepare the rehearsal schedule.

An article about our Meet & Greet was published in the August 9th Daily Herald.  An article was also sent to the on-line edition of the TribLocal.  

Chris Stukel and Ann Jensen sent flowers to Margie Crichton during her stay at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.  Also, flowers were sent to Loryn Ankeny for her mother’s passing.

23 people have signed up for the trip: 6 sopranos, 8 altos, 4 tenors, 2 basses, Alan, Lori Mackie and David Hitch’s wife.
Besides singing at the Cathedral of Saint Paul on Sunday at 5:00 PM, Group Travel Planners has booked us for several more concerts.
An update on the plans and payment information will be sent out soon.
We will not change our Vision statement this year.  However, at the July 20th retreat, board members discussed the goals already fulfilled and new goals for the next one, three and five years.  We did draft an addition to our Mission statement:
“Northwest Choral Society believes that music transforms our lives, develops creativity and musical expression and unites all people into a community.  We draw upon singers from the greater Chicago area with the purpose of performing a diverse repertory of the highest caliber for the joy, enrichment, and education of our membership and our audiences.”
At about the third rehearsal, Alan will introduce the full membership to our fulfilled and new goals and the revised Mission statement.  Approval by the full membership is need for the Mission Statement.
David has arranged our Heartland Alliance Outreach concert for December 1st.  Alan will not be available, but maybe Lori or a chorus member can accompany us.  The concert will consist of holiday music and may be attended by 250 kids.
Kelsey Green will get more information about a possible Cabaret fund-raiser.

Penny posted an ad on the internet for a graphic design intern.  She received four resumes with portfolios, but none of them seemed appropriate for our needs.  She will also ask the general membership if anyone can recommend a graphic designer and web-master.
Since Geoff Green will no longer be our graphic designer and web-master, we need to sit down face-to-face with him.  He has not sent us a bill for his work this past season nor answered many of our concerns.  What has he developed for us?  What templates is he using?  How can we best take over from him?
Penny will be helping out at the Chamber of Commerce table at the Des Plaines Fall Festival, Saturday, September 14th, 6:00 to 8:00 PM.  Anyone is welcome to join her.
Several updates are needed in our Handbook:
◦  Page 1 – Penny will provide a new ‘A Message From Our President’.
◦  Page 2 – Our organization’s personnel information will be updated.
◦  Membership dues have been increased to $80.00 per concert season.
◦  In our By-Laws, section VIII, the first sentence will begin: “The Annual Meeting of the Society shall take place before the end of each fiscal year for the purpose of………”
Alan has been working with the Church of the Cross, Hoffman Estates.  They have invited us to participate in a concert on the afternoon of December 15.  We will use music from our December concert.
For the present, we are postponing any name change for our organization.  This might be something to consider when we celebrate our 50th anniversary in a few years.
Greykell is almost ready with the CDs of our last April’s concert.

Our next Board Meeting will be September 10, 6:30 PM, before rehearsal at St. Martin’s.
The Board Meeting was adjourned at 8:55 PM by a motion from Noreen and a second from Diane.  The motion passed.

Ruta Veitmanis
Recording Secretary
Northwest Choral Society