Objectives, policies and organisation

The objectives of the Society are established in its Constitution & Rules which were last amended on 30 May 2011. The Society is established:

  1. to form and maintain orchestras for promoting the practice and performance of primarily Scottish Music in order that:
    1. the community’s interest in such music shall be encouraged and advanced by way of private and public concerts given by the Society or under its auspices; and
    2. the playing of traditional music shall likewise be preserved and encouraged.
  2. to further any charitable purpose or purposes as the Committee in their absolute discretion shall think fit but in particular through the making of grants and donations.

How we achieve our objectives

Three orchestras are currently maintained - one for all playing members and two for junior members of different age groups. All rehearse on a weekly basis during school terms and perform primarily in and around Aberdeen. The concert session runs from the first Monday in September through to the end of May.

The Society performs at numerous public and private concerts which vary greatly in size during the concert session. The majority of these are a result of long established relationships with various groups including local churches, nursing homes, charities and other organisations. Concerts may be either for entertaining and/or fundraising purposes.

The committee works with both Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeen Performing Arts, which runs three of the major arts venues in Aberdeen, to identify opportunities for performances. The committee also organises and promotes the Society's own concerts. In addition orchestra trips either in the UK or internationally may be undertaken where resources and opportunities permit.

Applications for new membership are actively encouraged, 4 new member applications were approved during the financial year. The member categories and subscriptions received for 2011/12 are:

Category (those with a * have no voting rights) Annual Subscription Number of subscriptions
Honorary members* £nil n/a 
Life members (who have been members for at least 25 years)  £nil 7
Ordinary members (discounted by 50% if in receipt of a state pension) £20 52
Junior members (members under the age of 16 at the start of a session)* £10 8
Non playing members* £10 nil

An annual competition is held for members to promote and encourage the playing of Scottish music. The Awards Ceremony is held immediately before the AGM.

Category Awarded on 30 May 2011 to
12 years and under - Jean Kidd Trophy
13 - 16 years - AS&RS Shield
Senior, Slow Air - AAF Trophy
Senior, March Strathspey & Reel - Les Wheeler Trophy

A Dreelan
S Bruce
N Cowling
S Reid
Accordion: Open age - Kenny Young Quaich M Donald
Violin, accordion or piano: Under 23 - Iain Fraser Award & Trophy S Bruce
Ensemble: Open age - Dave Beaton Trophy No Entries
Original composition: Open age - Caithness Bowl M Johnston

An annual trophy for the best junior all round achievement over the year, determined by the juniors’ conductor is also awarded. This was awarded to J Johnston on 30 May 2011.

The committee considers that organising a variety of social events throughout the year is integral to the maintenance of the orchestras. They include events that are open to any supporters of the Society and are intended to foster good relationships among orchestra members, their families and friends.

Where surplus funds exist the committee invites members to propose charitable causes that the Society may support by making grants or donations, such proposals are tabled at the AGM for approval by the membership as a whole.

Ensuring access to our activities

The committee ensures its activities are generally accessible through the following:

  • receiving only small donations towards our running costs from non-commercial and fundraising concerts;
  • ticket prices for concerts that the Society organises and promotes itself are normally set to ensure that the event will break-even, discounted concession tickets are usually available and prices are comparable to other similar arts events in the area;
  • membership subscriptions are approved by the playing membership as a whole at the AGM, with reference to our fixed rehearsal costs and available resources, including other funding sources from donations and commercial concert income. Discounted membership rates are available to those members under 16 or in receipt of a state pension. The committee is confident that subscriptions are at a low level and do not restrict access to membership;
  • by being as flexible as possible in accommodating a wide range of playing abilities within the orchestras whilst maintaining appropriate standards of public performance;
  • membership of the Society is open to both playing and non-playing members;
  • working with Aberdeen City Council to identify opportunities for free public performances by the orchestras, such as Aberdeen Tartan Day;
  • income from commercial events where the Society is not the promoter and does not control ticket prices helps balance our costs.