MCCCC (Mourne Community Choir Committee Constitution)

  1. Name
    The choir shall be known as ‘The Mourne Community Choir’ hereafter referred to as ‘MCC’ or ‘the choir’.
  2. Aims
    The main aim of MCC is to celebrate the musical and folkloric heritage of the Mourne area, County Down and the province of Ulster.
    Together we endeavour to:
    A. learn and publicly perform songs (although not exclusively) from the Mourne area, County Down and the province of Ulster
    B. commission and/or arrange music by local songwriters and composers
    C. promote lesser-heard folk songs from the Mourne area, County Down and the province of Ulster
    D. support like-minded community initiatives by performing publicly in support of same
  3. Equality
    MCC is not aligned to any political party or religious denomination. The committee and public performances reflect MCC’s commitment to cross- community initiatives in Northern-Ireland. MCC does not discriminate on the grounds of religion, disability, gender, age, race, nationality, sexual orientation, ethnic heritage or cultural origin and welcomes members from across the community.
  4. Objectives and Powers
    – To employ a Musical Director
    – To book and hire premises for the purposes of rehearsal, performance and/or any other work to further the aims of the choir
    – To offer performances at community events including those organised by the Mourne Heritage Trust
    – To raise funds and receive monies and other forms of assistance to further the aims of the choir
  5. Membership
    Membership is open to anyone and members will be encouraged to attend a majority of rehearsals. Members are asked to be proactive in encouraging other members to join us and in promoting the aims and objectives of the choir. Members must be 18 or over. Musical experience is not necessary and auditions will not take place.
  6. Membership fees
    The membership fee* will be used to subsidise the costs incurred by MCC. The annual fee will be £64 (based on a contribution of £2 per member per session). All monies should be paid to the treasurer either at rehearsal or directly into the MCC bank account. Members are asked to pay promptly without the need for reminders.
    *The MCC membership fee will be determined at the AGM
  7. Attendance
    Members are asked to attend both rehearsal and public performance during the year as often as possible. If you are unable to attend a rehearsal or performance, then members should let the MD or Secretary know in advance.
  8. MCC Management
    MCC shall be the responsibility of the Musical Director and organising committee. The committee will ensure that MCC is managed in a democratic way and all committee members shall take collective responsibility for the decisions made at a meeting of the committee or sub-committee.

The committee shall regularly consist of:
– Musical Director
– Chairperson
– Secretary
– Treasurer
Members can be co-opted into roles such as events co-ordinator, press officer, website co-ordinator as necessary. The committee can also co-opt sub committees from time to time to take on specific tasks such as the organising of fundraising ventures.

9. Term of office
The honorary officers (Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer) shall serve for a period of 12 months and be eligible for re-election in subsequent years.

10. Areas of responsibility
Musical Director – The Musical Director (or MD) shall have responsibility for the musical direction of the choir. The MD shall be appointed for their values, professionalism in music and choral production, and performance. The MD shall oversee all choir tuition, stage presentation and concert management, as well as other choral activities. The MD will be paid for this tuition, and the fee will be set in agreement with the choir committee. The MD will also encourage members of the choir to contribute expertise and songs and assist the musical development of choir members. The MD shall consult with the honorary officers of the committee and liaise with them in decision making.
Chairperson– The role of the Chairperson is an honorary position appointed from the membership of the choir. The Chairperson must be of good standing and promote the interests of the choir. They shall, jointly, be the official ‘spokespersons’ of the choir in consultation with the MD. The Chairperson will preside at meetings of the committee and sub committees (where possible) and direct members through the agenda and maintain good order in all choir proceedings. They will oversee the democratic decision-making of the choir. The co-chairs will also encourage the active participation of everyone in fundraising and social activities of the choir.
Secretary – The Secretary is an honorary position to be appointed from the membership of the choir. The duty of the Secretary is to be a point of contact for the public and also to take and record minutes of all choir meetings. The Secretary will notify committee members of meetings and also provide them with notice of agenda. The Secretary will notify choir members of rehearsals and singing events.The Secretary will also write communications on behalf of the choir. The Secretary will assist in the production and copying of sheet music and songsheets.
Treasurer – The Treasurer is an honorary position, appointed from the membership of the choir. It is the responsibility of the treasurer to keep the accounts up to date and in good order; to pay invoices promptly (including the fee paid to the MD) and to form a good professional relationship with funders. The Treasurer must keep the committee informed of the financial position of the organisation.
All three honorary office bearers will be signatories for financial transactions. A minimum of two signatories will be required for any one transaction.

11. Role of the committee
The committee has the responsibility to ensure the organisation meets its aims and objectives and that members observe the constitution. The committee will also receive the accounts of the choir and decide on fundraising actions and policy. The committee will ensure that activities are carried out and decisions are made in a democratic way and in the best interests of the choir. If necessary, the committee can organise sub-committees to take on specific tasks such as finance or fundraising or the organising of a specific event. No member of the committee shall exercise their right to power for the adverse affect of the choir.

12. Meetings of the committee
The committee shall meet to discuss MCC business and finance quarterly. However the committee can meet as often as required and a meeting can be called at any time by the Secretary, Chair or the Musical Director.

13. Annual General Meeting (AGM)
The AGM shall normally be held on the first Monday in October of each year. The purpose of the AGM shall be to:
– Elect a new honorary officers (or to re-elect)
– To receive the report from the Musical Director
– To receive the statement of accounts from the Treasurer
– To receive the report from the choir chairperson(s)
– To decide the amount of membership subscription
Matters can be debated at the AGM after prior notice has been given in writing to the choir Secretary at least seven days prior to the meeting.

14. Extraordinary General Meetings (EGM)
An EGM can be called at any time provided the request has been made in writing- proposed and seconded. At least seven days’ notice has to be given for any motion to be raised at an EGM.

15. Member code of conduct and attire
Each member of MCC shall conduct herself in keeping with the expected standards as stated by the Musical Director and as laid down in the choir constitution, rules and regulations. Members shall attire in accordance with the dress policy of the choir for choir performances.
Members are asked not to be under the influence of drink or drugs at a rehearsal or public performance. Any member thought to be so may not be permitted to participate.
When engaged in MCC business no member shall take it upon herself to make any official complaint to the hiring organisation. If a member has a concern or grievance with the booking agent or venue then the member will bring the issue to the attention of the MCC secretary who will bring the matter before the committee for consideration.

16. Public performances
All members of the choir should engage in a ‘sense of occasion’ and conduct themselves in a manner fitting to the occasion at all times.

17. Medication issues
Members required taking regular preventative medication (e.g. for epilepsy or diabetes) MUST inform the Secretary and also must ensure that this medication is up to date and taken as necessary prior to performance. Anyone on medication is expected to take sufficient care of their own welfare.

18. Health and safety
Members have a duty of care under health and safety law for themselves and others affected by their action. Members will always be notified of H&S issues at a performance venue. MCC cannot take responsibility for any injury, however caused. If a member has a health and safety issue with a venue then they must speak with the Choir Secretary. Health and safety matters will be dealt with by a member of the choir committee, and should not be dealt with individually by a member of the choir.

19. Public engagement and fees
Requests for performances should be directed to the Choir Secretary who shall seek authorisation from the committee and Musical Director. The choir may perform public concerts in order to fund raise for agreed causes, organisations or for choir funding. Bookings may be accompanied by a voluntary donation. The choir will attempt to support sister organisations that share our ethos by performing at events at no charge. Fees and donations should be paid to the choir treasurer by the organising body.

20. Patron scheme
The choir shall operate a patron scheme which will come into effect during the first formation year. Patrons will be issued with a regular electronic update informing them of choir performances and news. The amount of patron subscription shall be decided at the AGM and be subject to revision each year. The patronage scheme fees shall be decided at the AGM.

21. Issue and use of choral music
Members will be issued music free of charge.

22. Social activity
The social aspect of the choir is to be encouraged wherever possible. The choir as an organisation is to nurture a friendly atmosphere and social meetings are to be encouraged. In addition, choir trips can be organised. Members will be asked to pay towards the cost of such trips.

23. Massed choral participation
From time to time the choir may be asked to participate in combined concerts or massed choral events. Participation at such an event is subject to the consent of the Musical Director and this decision will be taken in light of our diary and financial position.

24. Fundraising
The committee will arrange a number of fundraising events during the year and members of the choir are expected to support as many of these events as possible.

25. Winding up the organisation
In the unlikely event of winding up the organisation any revenue after debtors will be distributed to organisations with the same or similar objects to The Mourne Community Choir.