NACUSAsf meeting Friday, May 14, 2004, 7:30 at the home of Bob Hall


Attending: Owen Lee (President), Herb Gellis (Vice-President), Anne Baldwin (Treasurer), Joanne Carey (Secretary), John Beeman, Lori Griswold, Ken Takara, Bob Hall, Sondra Clark, Art Bodin and Anne Baldwin.


Committee Reports


Publicity: Lori said she had sent out e-mail announcements to the media.


Treasurer: Anne reported that we currently have $4,400 in our treasury, enough to fund our next two concerts without extra income. She also mentioned that some of us have not paid our annual dues; of those, a few may have dropped out, namely Chris Enni and Bruce Hamill.


Fundraising: Herb reminds us that we still need donations for the silent auction that will accompany our June 12th concert. Anne named several possible donation items, suggesting that we ask businesses that we frequent ourselves if they would donate goods or services.  Along with restaurants and wine, she suggested plants and flowers. Herb said that Barbara Day-Turner was again donating season tickets to the San Jose Chamber Orchestra concerts. In response to Art’s question about the minimum price, Herb said that it is common to start the bidding at 1/5 the stated value.  Some thought that was too low, but Herb defended this scale, which KTEH uses for their auction. Owen said that since Herb has experience with this, we should let him use his judgment.  Herb agreed to use a starting price between 1/5 and 2/5 depending on the item.  Some items will go for less than value and others may get bid at or over the value.  We want people to feel good about what they purchased.  Herb asked us to contact him right away with auction donations; he needs a description and a value and will write up a list of all items donated.


May 23rd Concert


Owen told us that the Foothill Presbyterian Church in San Jose would take care of publicity for our concert there.  Their choir director is Owen’s friend.  Owen said he would ask them to MC and he volunteered to help with the stage.  He reminded us to bring CD’s and music to sell; there would be tables available.  The church would be available for set-up and rehearsing any time after 12:00 on the day of the concert. 


June 12th Concert


Staff assignments: 

            Door:  Lori

MC: Owen offered after asking around the table. John suggested each composer talk a little about their pieces; this would help to engage the audience. Most agreed that this was a good idea as long as no one talked too long.  We decided that a good time this would be during the stage set-up for each new piece.  We also need to talk about the auction at the beginning of the concert and at intermission and invite our audience to add their name and address (e-mail or snail mail) to our computer guest-list.

            Refreshments: Nancy is in charge – we all bring cookies to sell.

Post-concert Party:  John suggested going to Max’s Opera Café at Stanford Shopping Center instead of Gordon Biersch where we have gone previously.


John said that we should let people know that they need to prepare their own program notes and biographies and send them to Mark, preferably by e-mail, but not an attachment. Mark needs all notes one week before the concert.   John said that the programming committee would send a reminder to all who are selected for future concerts.  Herb said he would put this information on the website.   He also said he would like a postcard count one week before our mailing meeting.


September 25th Orchestra Concert


There was a great deal of discussion as to whether it would be worth funding an expanded string section for this concert, one of our first orchestra concerts. 


John, who is a string member of the orchestra highly recommended augmentation of the strings and felt that composers would be disappointed if they weren’t able to write for a string ensemble sound.  Owen expressed his opinion that a lot of good music, especially early 20th century music, has been written for this kind of one-on-a-part ensemble. He suggested that we try to write for this particular ensemble and what it can offer, with Bob agreeing.  John countered that the SFCCO doesn’t have all professional quality musicians, particularly among the upper strings; he himself would be reluctant to write for this group.


John advised us that we would get more submissions for this concert than we can program. 


Motion:   John Beeman motioned that we add three violins and 1 viola to our base group to give us a string count of three-1st  violins, two-2nd violins, two viola, one cello and one bass.


This brought up discussion of cost; at $200 a player, this will add $800 to our budget.  Reviewing our finances, we figured, roughly, that we would have $400 left over to apply to this concert.  Herb reminded us that we would have money coming in from our silent auction and from our garage sale, as well as the 60% of the door we will get from our extra Composer’s and Friends Concert on May 23rd.  Anne said she felt hesitant to spend money we don’t have yet and she herself is writing a piece for this concert.


Second:  The motion was seconded by Anne Baldwin and passed with four in favor and two opposed.  


Then we further discussed the possibility that composers would not write for the whole ensemble that we are paying for.  Sondra asked what the priorities of the selection committee would be; would use of the full group be a deciding factor in choosing pieces?  Herb was adamant that the rules be stated clearly now so that no composer would get surprised by unstated rules. After some discussion of the kind of orchestral ensemble music the group would like the selection committee to program, we came to a good compromise.


Motion:  Art Bodin proposed that all pieces on this program use at least seven different instrumental parts.

Second:  Lori Griswold seconded the motion; it passed with no dissents.



Establish Procedures for programming of the 2nd Composers and Friends Concert at the Foothill Presbyterian Church in San Jose.



Owen first told us that putting together the program for this concert was a last minute effort, taking many pieces on faith so we could have a full program. Since we can add a concert at the church every season, we need to decide how we will handle the selection process in the future and when we would like to present this concert.  In discussing our options, we noted that there was a large gap between our Fall Concert, especially this year, and the composer’s Concert in March.  Anne suggested we move the first Composer’s Concert to February and have the second one in April, after Easter.  We decided to list both dates on the score call for Composers and Friends and ask composers which dates they are available.


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The example of Composers Inc.


Owen handed out an e-mail interview with Jeff Dunn, who is Board President of Composers Inc. Members who missed this meeting should ask Owen if they would like a copy.  While the goals of this organization are quite different from ours, we might be able to use some of the same strategies for developing our group.  One of these is to have a dedicated Executive Director.  The paid Executive Director of Composers Inc., Frank La Roca, started out working for free, a labor of love.  Owen also showed us their season brochure, which was very professional looking.  Owen expressed his opinion that a season brochure, with all our pieces on it for the year, would be beneficial to our group.  Herb seemed to agree.


Anne shared her experience with the successful Contemporary Music Players.  She said that this group decided to dispense with the brochure this year, because funds were low and their budget is in the $400,000 category.   She mentioned also that the Executive Director of CMP is paid a $70,000 salary.



New Score Call Dates and other Baby Steps


Owen suggested as a first step toward improving our status that we adopt a new submission schedule and make plans to eventually select the programs of more of all our concerts a year in advance.  John expressed his support for trying this out with one concert.  After some discussion, those present agreed to go ahead and plan one very professional concert a year in advance, while still maintaining our ‘workshop’ concerts.  For this concert, John suggested the score call be August 2005 for a concert in June 2006.  Herb added that Barbara Day-Turner says you have to have great performers. John recommended getting a good recording of this concert and paying for a separate recording session.  A polished CD with some of our best music on it would give us some leverage for fundraising.


We returned to the idea of procuring an Executive Director, possibly a Stanford graduate student in business or Arts Management.  We could offer an internship the first year and possibly pay the second year. Art Bodin offered to check on Arts Management Programs.


Owen proposed the new schedule for score-call and concerts:


Score Call:

            August 1, 2004            >  September 25 (SFCCO concert)

            January 10, 2005         >  February & April (Composers and Friends Concerts)

            March 1, 2005             >  June 2005 (CPE Concert)

            June 1, 2005                >  October 2005  (full CPE Concert)

August 1, 2005            > June 2006  (guest group – perhaps Stanford Wind






Nominations for new officers:


Treasurer:  Anne Baldwin

Secretary:  Joanne D. Carey


            Herb Gellis

            Dale Victorine

            Nancy Bloomer-Deussen

Vice-President:  (in charge of membership)

            Dale Victorine

            Bob Hall


Important Addendum: Since the meeting Dale and Nancy have declined these nominations, however, Nancy asked to run for Vice-President instead.



Owen asked for a non-nominee to volunteer to count votes.  John Beeman offered to do this.  John then moved to change the future meeting day to Thursday.  This motion passed; all agreed to try it to see if more members would come.  Next meeting was scheduled for Thursday June 17, the week following our June concert. 


Meeting adjourned at 10:30 PM.



Respectfully Submitted,


Joanne D. Carey

Secretary of NACUSAsf