In attendance: Beth Freeman, Marian Marsh, Sandy Riccardi, Laurie Goldstein, Vaida
Falconbridge, Susan Witt-Butler, Mary Beard, Sarah Oppenheim-Beggs, Linda Manuilow,
Thelma Ahner, plus Marilyn Simpson and Kathy Allan by speakerphone
Minutes: Minutes of August 2013 meeting approved as stands.
The Jan. report was a review of calendar year 2013. Started with balance of $5,539.61 and ended
with $5,751.97. Total profits from Libiamo were $2,135.56. Nationals have reported on dues
being paid by 9 of our members as of Dec. 31. If dues haven’t been paid by Feb. 28 2014, a
member will be dropped to inactive status for the rest of the year or until they are paid. After that
they will be dropped from membership. Linda will send a list of all currently paid members every
time she gets a report from Nationals.
Sandy is the current web-master and did some updating 2 days ago. Wants to be sure old web-site
is closed. Will is checking on this. She will add photos of Libiamo to new site. The group
offered, but Sandy declined, receiving a stipend for her work. If any of us see something that
needs changing, etc., pass it on to Vaida or Sandy. Mary and Vaida will work on getting our
website link on letters, emails, etc.
Definition of “member in good standing”:
What is required to enter students in scholarship auditions and workshops? Currently our by-laws
say that teachers of participants must be “members in good standing.” [The By-Law definition
currently reads: “a member in good standing of the REC is one who contributes to the healthy
functioning of the chapter by participating in the annual fund-raiser, attending chapter functions
(meetings, programs, etc.) and paying annual dues.” Added after the meeting.--Mary] In the
application forms for the Scholarship Auditions, the instructions to teachers are more specific (a
decision made several years ago by the membership): Only students of Redwood Empire NATS
teachers in good standing are eligible. To be in good standing, a member must have paid dues for
the current year, attended at least one NATS event and participated in fund-raising. Some of our
members don’t meet these current requirements yet are important members (i.e. some of faculty at
SSU). Since we want the “healthy functioning of the chapter” to be primary and don’t want to
police members, yet ask all members to contribute their fair share of the “work”, we proposed,
voted and approved, that in the future we try the wording:
“a member in good standing [contributes to the healthy functioning of our chapter by]* paying
dues and participating in fundraising. It is highly recommended that they attend at least one event
and participate in the fall fundraiser.”
*The phrase in brackets comes from the By-Laws which were not read at the meeting. I think it adds a nice flavor
and I recommend we vote on its inclusion at the August meeting. –Mary
A preference for dates for next year seems to be mid-October rather than Nov.The decision was: if we stay at Fountaingrove next year, we will try for a Sunday at 4 p.m., perhaps the second weekend. If we choose another venue, we will try for the second
Saturday in October. The first weekend in November would be second choice.
Why were the ticket sales lower and fewer singers participated? Is this a trend? Some suggested
possibilities: many of us are older, our studios are smaller, we don’t sing as much ourselves any
more; also this year info came out a bit late. Next year we will begin notices specifically about
Libiamo (i.e. not combined with other announcements), at lease 6 weeks before the date, and each
notice will remind members that they are asked to donate one or sell at least two tickets (this
counts as “fund-raising”). (We have dropped the word “requirement” but will remind members
that for a healthy program we need every member’s participation in this project.)
Some newer members have asked about including some students. We discussed that the
fundraiser Tea or Libiamo is a teachers’ recital and a chance to represent our studios with our own
singing; the only “students” asked to perform are Scholarship winners from previous years. Of
course, a teacher may perform an ensemble with one or more of their students. Next year we will
ask the chapter members to nominate one of their students who was a previous winner if they
wish, assuming they know that student is still singing at a high level of achievement. The Board
will make the final two selections.
Scholarship Auditions on Feb. 9 2014
The following jobs are needed/assigned:
Set-up team (arr. 9:00 a.m.): Susan, Vaida, Mary,
Reg. team (set up 9:15): Sarah (chair)
Morning: Sandy R., Marian M.
Afternoon: Kathy A., Linda M.
Inside door monitor a.m.: Linda and Kathy p.m.: Marilyn S.
Early morning coffee: Simone
Judges’ orientation: Mary
Judges’ assistants: Mary (chair)
Morning: Bonnie, Simone
Afternoon: Laurie, Melva
Tally sheets, evaluation sheets and organizing program: Marilyn S.
Accompanists: Yvonne W. and Richard R. will be there all day. Yvonne assigned Div. I-III and
Richard Div. IV-VI, but they want to be flexible, especially with SSU students.
Timers: Susan (chair) with Thelma assisting in p.m.
Warm Up Rooms: 4 are needed
Judges’ lunch: Beth assistant: Melinda
Clean-up team: everyone
Teachers will bring their own sack lunches.
For divisions with more than 3 singers we will offer a green room and late entry for singers later in
the group. The reg. team will need to get them from the green room or hallway and have them
enter BEFORE the singer IN FRONT of them.
Mary and Marilyn will look at what happened last year that rushed the judges in the morning so
that they were late for lunch and had little time to eat.
Simone brought up a high school Honor Choir conflict that has its big program the same weekend
as our auditions each year, ruling out many of her students. We discussed possibly moving our
date to the last weekend in January (not much enthusiasm for that) or the last weekend in February
(preferred), with the winners’ recital the following day, on Sunday. Susan will check to see if
Warren Aud. or other auditorium can be available next year.
Mary will send Marilyn info about the judges to be added to the program for the auditions.
Mary will do programs for winners’ recital and include info on the judges
Beth and Vaida will see about fortunes for cookies: can they have a performing or musical theme?
Can we send some choices ourselves to a company that makes them?
Vaida will check with Will about certificates.
Sarah, as historian, asked for a small photographer team since her camera does not do well in the
dim or special lighting of performance halls. She’d like to contact someone on the team for each
event and ask them to be the photographer for that day. Mary volunteered to be on the team.
Looking for another volunteer or two (can be a husband, friend, responsible student, etc.) that she
Eugene Villanueva (a student of Bonnie Brooks when he was in high school) will be asked to do
an Italian Art Song master class with advanced students on Saturday April 5. It is rare we get a
currently performing singer to be available for a master class. His focus will probably be stylistic
interpretation. Time to be decided, based on his schedule.
Meeting adjourned 4:04 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Mary Beard
Edited version Jan. 22, 2014NATS General Meeting – Redwood Empire Chapter 8/25/2013
Start: 2:45 pm by Susan Witt-Butler
Present: Susan Witt-Butler, Mary Beard, Sarah Oppenheim-Beggs, Thelma Ahner, Beth Freeman, Sandy Riccardi, Marilyn Simpson, Kathy Allan
Minutes: stand as read
Treasurer report: will be included in minutes (Linda unable to be there).
Dues: Chapter dues will now be paid with national dues, due between Oct.-Jan.
National sends out request for dues in early fall. National asks us to promote NATS foundation with donations.
Website: Will can no longer oversee our website. Sandy volunteered to talk with Will and take over this project. Sarah will forward Sandy the email from Will about his recommendations for where to go next.
Wesley Balk Workshop
Sept 28 with Bonnie Brooks at SSU Ives rm 119. First part intro and group
exercises. Second half Bonnie will work with 6 chosen students (all levels) from our studios. Deadline for nominations Monday Sept 23. Participating soloists will be chosen by Weds. 25th for a well-rounded workshop. Students are encouraged to come and participate in the workshop even if they are not one of the chosen 6 singers. Accompanist Vaida. Remember: must buy SSU parking ticket. Carpool. Flier available on this website on Event Information page.
Libiamo Fundraiser Nov. 9, 3-5 pm. Same location Fountaingrove Country Club. Will open entire room and use mics. Theme: celebrating the lighter side of life. Songs to be lighter fare: Caberet, musical theater, operetta, well known opera arias. Ensembles encouraged. Aside from group numbers all music should be memorized—even ensembles. Brought up that even group numbers should be memorized to show our professionalism. We must always remain professional. We decided to try to memorize opening chorus this year; Sandy will prepare an Mp3 to send out for Libiamo to help us memorize it. Sing it in Italian with English poetic idea in Program. Food : last year we all got charged per head whether we ate or not. Reduced our profits a lot. Should we have $15 food only member tickets available? A row of nofood seats be available.? Board asked to make decision on this. Susan will talk with Margot to see whatʼs possible. Sound check and rehearsals of solos and group before 2:30 on that day .Send song names and composers and length to Sandy Susan and Mary.