In three months’ time, we shall be celebrating Yorchestra’s 30th anniversary, our Pearl Jubilee. This is a hugely important occasion and one that should make us all proud. It proves that the late Lizzy Edmundson’s inspiration in 1992 was no mere flash in the pan but one that answered a powerful need. When my own sons were involved 25 years ago, I was struck by the standards that our orchestras achieved in a course lasting a few days at most, sometimes only one day. Today I am even more amazed at what our young musicians are able to do, despite all the hardships they have gone through in the past two years. Standards are actually rising.
None of this comes free. Although we pay well enough to get the very best conductors and tutors available – and keep them on board – everybody else in Yorchestra donates their services. Ultimately what this means is that you and I value the organisation so strongly that we feel impelled to put our shoulders to the wheel and keep it turning. I know that the organising committee can always use more help. My own search right now is for two more trustees to replace two who have retired.
Anyone can be a trustee. Basically the trustees keep an eye on the financial situation, help to dictate policy and appoint the course directors, although under the upgraded charitable status we are moving into, trustees do not have to put their own finances on the line should things go wrong. Let me quickly add that we are in very good financial health. But we need to strengthen our financial position still further. Many families’ budgets are coming under strain for any number of reasons. So we need not only to keep our fees at the same level, but if possible even to lower them. That is why we are mounting a serious fundraising campaign over the summer, in which we hope to include a new Friends of Yorchestra organisation.
Being a trustee need not be taxing. Basically we meet no more than three times a year, for about an hour at a time. If you happen to have been in the programme within the last 15 years or have expertise in fund-raising, we would especially like to hear from you. But do not be put off if neither of these applies to you: we need your enthusiasm. Please apply, by June 20 if possible, with a very brief resumé about yourself – no more than three sentences – to this website and we will get back to you as soon as we can. If you feel unable to apply but know someone who might be interested, please encourage them to put themselves forward.
In the meantime, I do hope you will all have a happy and refreshing summer and I look forward to meeting you at our course in August.
With all good wishes,
Martin Dreyer, Chairman of Yorchestra Trustees