Supporting Yorchestra with your time
Although we hire professional tutors and conductors, from an administrative perspective, Yorchestra is 100% run by volunteers, and since ‘many hands make light work‘, we are always very keen to receive offers of practical help.
All parents of players booked on a particular course are asked, where possible, to lend a hand with the basic running of that course (making refreshments and supervising break-times). In addition, we need as many people as possible to help by taking on some of the other jobs involved in running Yorchestra, by joining our organising committee.
What needs doing?
There are a wide variety of different roles, requiring different levels of commitment. Some need to be done during the courses themselves (“on-course roles”), but others may be completed outside those periods. Most don’t need any specialist skills – just enthusiasm and a willingness to get involved. Several of the roles can be undertaken by more than one person.
Off-course and on-course role. The chair’s role is largely a co-ordinator position: ensuring that all the various tasks that need to be undertaken to make each course a success are in hand, and making sure that nothing is overlooked. In addition, the chair: acts as the public “face” of Yorchestra (eg. at the end of course concerts); liaises with the Yorchestra Trust charity trustees at regular intervals; and convenes and chairs Yorchestra committee meetings.
Off-course role. Process all incoming and outgoing payments, including: course fees; donations; tutor fees; venue hire; and other running costs. Prepare accounting records as required by charity law and arrange for these to be audited and filed. Report on financial position to the Yorchestra committee and to the Yorchestra Trust charity trustees at regular intervals.
Off-course role. Prepare on-line application forms (currently done via Google Forms) and linked spreadsheets to receive application information. Monitor levels of applications in each ensemble and section. Respond to queries received from parents about applications. Follow up missing payments or discrepancies in payments as advised by Treasurer. Confirm places to successful applicants. Assist Treasurer with administration of “bring-a-friend” refunds and bursary awards.
Off-course role. Prepare and circulate minutes of Yorchestra committee meetings (see below).
The librarian role has both an off-course and an on-course element, which can be shared out according to availability. Some knowledge of music is helpful for this role.
Off-course role. Liaise with Y1 / Y2 conductors and course directors to obtain lists of repertoire. Where required, arrange to hire or purchase repertoire, and make up desk folders according to the number of players in each section. For Y2, transpose parts for any non-orchestral instruments (eg. saxophones). After the course, ensure hired music sets are complete and clean, and return them to the library / publisher who supplied them.
On-course role. Distribute folders at the start of each rehearsal or sectional and collect them at the end. Make copies where extra or modified parts are needed. Sign music out and back in where players take folders home to practise overnight. Distribute folders as required during each section of the final concert. Empty folders at the end of the concert and check that all parts are present.
On-course role. This effectively means being the “face” of the Yorchestra committee on one or more days of a particular course – being on hand to: guide and direct parent helpers; deal with queries from parents, staff or conductors; help supervise players at break-times; and generally do whatever needs to be done to ensure that the course runs as smoothly as possible each day.
Off-course and on-course role. Because our beginner and less advanced ensembles take place at Heslington Church, it is helpful to have one or more committee members who are specifically responsible for booking the church for courses and liaising with the church administrators over practicalities (eg. access, photocopying etc), as well as assisting the course director with other aspects of the Y3/Y4/Yo-Yos courses.
Website content editor
Off-course role. Update and develop the content of the website as required. Familiarity with website content editors, particularly WordPress, would be helpful here (or a willingness to learn!). Back-ups and other back-end technical processes are all handled by our website provider, so no expertise in those fields is required.
Off-course role (mainly). Prepare and send out mailings as required to appropriate sections of the Yorchestra mailing list. Familiarity with Mailchimp (or a willingness to learn!) would be helpful here.
Off-course role. Identify and pursue opportunities to publicise Yorchestra – eg. local media; leafleting; contacting instrumental teachers; stands at local music events; organising a system of “school reps” etc. (Social media publicity is a separate but linked role – see below.)
Social media co-ordinator
Off-course and on-course role. Update Yorchestra’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) with relevant content, including photography taken during the course, and respond to queries / comments sent through those channels.
On-course role. Arrange the purchase of supplies for player and staff refreshments (tea, coffee, squash, biscuits etc) ready for the start of the course, and check at intervals throughout the course whether supplies are running low – re-stock as required.
On-course role. Take ticket orders from parents for Y1/Y2 end-of-course concerts; prepare appropriate numbers of tickets to fulfil each order; arrange for distribution of tickets and collection of payment.
Programmes (Y1 / Y2 / Y3)
On-course role (though much of the preparation can be done a little in advance). Compile player / staff / conductor details and repertoire information for the Y1/Y2 and Y3 end-of-course concerts and prepare programmes for printing.
Parent rota co-ordinator
Off-course role. Using availability information from application forms, prepare parent-helper rotas for each day of the course, and liaise with the relevant individuals to confirm their slot(s).
Off-course role (but needs to be completed shortly before the course begins). Using information from application forms and from course directors, prepare sign-in registers for players and staff for each day of the course, and player information lists (emergency contact details; relevant health information) for use on the course. Print name labels for players and staff (Y3 / Y4 / YoYos) and purchase supplies of blank labels for use by players and staff (Y1 / Y2).
Would I have to attend lots of meetings?
Not at all! We don’t have lots of meetings – in fact, we have just 3 regular meetings in a year (one after each course), for no more than 2 hours, on a weekday evening. Ideally, committee members will be able to come along to these, but it is not essential to be able to attend every meeting.
Are there any other ways to help?
If you don’t feel that you are in a position to take on one of the above roles, but are still keen to help, we are always open to other suggestions. For instance, perhaps you could act as a “school rep” for Yorchestra at your child’s school, by taking in posters or leaflets, or passing on information for school newsletters? Even “liking” and commenting on Yorchestra social media posts all helps! So if you have any ideas of practical ways to help which we haven’t covered, please do contact us with your thoughts.