Annual General Meeting 14th March 2020 Wagga Wagga, NSW
The AGM saw the following members elected to the MCAA Committee’s positions:
President: Neil Fleming (Australian Rugby Choir, Canberra)
Vice President: Peter O’Driscoll (Cantorion Sydney MVC)
Secretary: Brian Buckley (Wagga City Rugby Men’s Choir)
Treasurer: Gerald (Ges) Hogg (Australian Welsh MC, Melbourne)
Committee: Bruce Sharpham ( Ku-ring-gai MC, Sydney)
Paul Whiting (Ku-ring-gai MC, Sydney) – co-opted
Ken Mascord (Arcadians Lamplighters MC, Wollongong)
Tom Coghlan (Sydney Male Choir)
Lew Wilson (Australian Welsh MC, Melbourne)
Public Officer: Ron Brown (Sydney Male Choir)
Web Administrator: Phil Tomlinson (Melbourne Welsh Male Choir)
Immediate Past President: Neil Kinsey (Australian Welsh MC, Melbourne) – ex officio.
Neil Kinsey did not seek re-election as President but remains as an ex-officio member of the committee as IPP. Neil Fleming moves from Vice President to President. Peter O’Driscoll moves from Treasurer to Vice President and we welcome Ges Hogg to the committee as Treasurer. Phil Tomlinson did not seek re-election to the committee but remains in the Web Administrator’s position. As well as Ges Hogg, we welcome Lew Wilson as a new member of the committee. Congratulations and thanks to all continuing members of the committee: Neil Fleming, Peter O’Driscoll, Brian Buckley, Bruce Sharpham, Paul Whiting, Ken Mascord and Tom Coghlan, and to Ron Brown who remains as the MCAA’s Public Officer.
A huge vote of thanks and recognition goes to Neil Kinsey who has stepped down as President after six years in the top job. Previously, as Vice President, Neil co-organised the 2012 MCAA Festival in Melbourne at the Dallas Brookes Hall and, as President, headed the MCAA during the 2017 Festival in Wollongong. His corporate knowledge and experience will be invaluable as he remains on the committee as IPP.

Weekend: Saturday, 31st October – Sunday, 1st November 2020

Your committee is cognisant of Covid-19 Coronavirus implications and is monitoring advice and decisions of higher and appropriate authorities as matters develop. At the recent AGM, the committee decided, that with 7-8 months to go before performance date, organisation and planning for the Festival Concert would proceed as though no impediment was in place.

Obviously, your committee will periodically and promptly advise all member choirs of progress and of any necessary changes.

The Sydney Organising Committee, comprising members from the three Sydney-based choirs (Sydney MC, Cantorion, and Ku-ring-gai), and headed by Vice President Peter O’Driscoll is doing a fantastic job of managing the project. Closer to the date, fully detailed information will be distributed about organisation, timings and expectations. For the moment, in summary:

The weekend itself:
– Saturday afternoon: rehearsal with MD Paul Jarman and all associated artists in the Pitt Street Uniting Church, 264 Pitt Street, Sydney.
– Saturday evening: 3 course dinner for all choristers and partners aboard a Captain Cook Cruises vessel on Sydney Harbour, 7.00 – 10.00 pm. $80 per person.
– Sunday morning: seating protocol & final rehearsal – Sydney Town Hall
– Sunday afternoon: 2.00 pm, Festival Concert
– Sunday, post-concert – arrangements are being made with several nearby hotels in which choristers, partners and concert goers may wind down.

Fuller details, information and promotional material will be distributed soon regarding:
– Tickets, ticketing, ticket prices and offers – it is expected that patrons will be able to book allocated seats
– Recording of the performance
– Concert programs will be free to all audience members, choristers and associated artists.

In particular, regarding the proposed Saturday evening dinner, and in conjunction with interim likely chorister numbers:
– Before the end of April, the Secretary will survey all member choirs seeking an updated indication of numbers of choristers expecting to participate on stage on 1st November, by Choir Sections T1, T2, B1, B2, and;
– The total number (choristers and partners) attending the Harbour Cruise Dinner @ $80 pp
Responses will be expected by the end of May.
Member choirs will be expected to survey their members promptly on both counts and receive dinner monies and maintain an accurate inventory of attending choristers and partners. At a later date to be confirmed, the MCAA Treasurer will receive a single whole amount of money from each participating choir together with its inventory.
By mid-August, choirs will be surveyed again to determine final numbers of choristers expected to be performing on the day.

Your committee is aware of the suspension of practices and performances by several member choirs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

I urge you all to continue your practice at home of the songs in the Red Book. Most importantly, look after yourselves and your families and keep healthy. Wash your hands and gargle your throat!

Hopefully, more positive and improving news and information in coming months.

Neil Fleming

Male Choirs Association of Australia