A Dying Band

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by alanl58, May 27, 2006.

  1. alanl58

    alanl58 Member

    Sad though it is, I have been asked to prepare some changes to a band's constitution in the probable event that they do not recruit any new players, and the band is then "disbanded".

    Has anyone else had this unsavoury task?

    How do you dispose of the instruments and music?

    My own feeling is that the remaining players should be able to purchase instruments and music at, say, 10% of market value, so that a new band could be quickly formed if recruits were forthcoming (unlikely though). The remainder be sold off at whatever price could be obtained.

    The assets of the band be held in a Trust fund for, say, five years, then if no-one was forthcoming to re-establish the band, the funds would be distributed to local charities.

    Any legal eagles out there know of the pitfalls or problems that must be overcome?

    Any help would be gratefully received..... this is really a job that I do not relish...

    PM me if you do not wish to reveal details in public......

    A Band Secretary
  2. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    It is a sad day for a band when they have to consider the possibility of this. Although, luckily, we have not been in this position, our Junior Band, run seperately from the Senior band, disbanded over 10yrs ago (I appreciate that this is a slightly different scenario than the one you have described). The funds remaining and instruments were held by one person until a time when another Junior band was able to be set up. The instruments and remaining funds were passed to the Senior band a few years ago when they started a junior band. However, after a while, the players of the junior band either left or joined the senior band and the junior band had to close down. The instruments are now held by the senior band and we are trying to encourage youngsters so a new junior band can be formed.

    Another consideration is whether the instruments of a band considering disbanding where purchased with lottery money. If this is the case, the instruments have to be passed to another local band for their use. This has to be done officially and the lottery kept informed. Lottery purchased instruments do not technically belong to the band. A point to bear in mind for those bands that have been lucky enough to have received new instruments from the lottery grants.
  3. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    An extremely mute point this is Sue... especially considering that usually for a band to receive any lottery funding, they have to match the amount requested pound-for-pound. Surely then, one way or another, the band legally owns half of the instruments.

    Darned lottery.... grrrr....
  4. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    Hi John, I don't know about the requirements in the more recent years for lottery grants, however, when they first came into force, a band did not have to match funding when applying for a grant to purchase a new set of instruments. I do know this, because out of the 3 Doncaster bands that applied, 2 received the grant and were able to purchase their bright, lovely, new instruments without having to match funding. I may sound a little jealous, because we were the 3rd band that were not successful, 4 times!!!!!!! Not that it has affected us, one of the said bands is now no longer, and the other struggles for players. But still, it would have been nice.........
  5. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    I hear you Sue, things may be easier for bands now then, which is most certainly a good improvement. The two bands I have been associated with who applied for (and obtained) lottery funding both had to match those requested funds on a pound-for-pound basis though.

    It is good to hear that a positive step has been taken by the lottery commission and this may have changed. Bands are simply not presented with the same opportunities needed to raise these amounts of funds... how in all possibility can we, when councils will only pay £100-£200 to engage a band. We have to change peoples perception of us as a movement... we simply have to...

  6. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    You are on very dodgy ground if you are proposing that a failing band's members profit in any way from the music and instruments.

    Are you suggesting that only the last hangers on profit? What if a person joined in the last 3 weeks before the band goes under do they take part in the share out . What about those that have just left before the wind up but were regulars for the last 10 years. I hope you see where I'm going with this argument. Its a recipe for disaster, corruption, litigation and back biting that would last years.

    The best solution on wind up is to give all instruments and music to another local band. This is what happened at our band, we have inherited instruments from 2 wound-up bands. I was actually issued with a replacement sovereign cornet only last week from one of these wind-ups. We have a thriving training band and allocating instruments to newcomers is never a problem.

    When a band fails the majority of players find other bands to play with so perhaps the instruments could be shared out to their new bands.

    Also donation to local schools would be good. I know my 3 daughters' schools have awful unplayable battered brass instruments so any kids who express an interest are started on violins and woodwind. The only brass players being those kids who have private lessons and their own instruments. I would suggest if their music department had an influx of good quality brass instruments it would spur them on to teach it to more kids.

    I also think that when lottery funding is involved there is always a clause about what happens when the charity/organisation fails. This applies to all lottery capital projects not just brass bands. It would be too easy for criminals to set up charities, receive lottery funding then wind it up and pocket the cash if these safegaurds were not in place.

    You say you are making changes to the bands constitution. If you are a registered charity doesn't the Charity Commission need to approve the constitution? I doubt very much they would approve individuals profiting personally from a charity.
  7. BandTaxi

    BandTaxi Active Member

    How about considering donating at least one of your instruments in this direction???? Or ANYONE else/ ANY band that has instruments that are no longer required???

    As it says ALL donations would be very gratefully received.

    "May 2006= Trefor Evans Trust
    During March, we sadly reported the death of one of Gloucestershire finest brass musicians, Trefor Evans. Trefor's partner Joanne, has now set up a trust to continue Trefor's dreams of helping anyone to play a brass instrument. She has the following appeal:

    We Need Your Old Brass!!!
    The day after returning from a very happy and successful tour to Latvia and Lithuania with the Lydbrook Band, my partner Trefor Evans tragically had his life taken from him at the age of 36, due to the effects of Epilepsy. He had lived with this terrible condition for 19 years. He was an incredibly brave and proud man who never let his illness prevent him from living his life to the full, which included playing Solo Horn for Lydbrook Band. Through his work as senior technician for the Gloucestershire Music Service, Trefor strived to give the youth of the community the best quality of instruments that was available to aid the next generation of musicians. He campaigned tirelessly for the re-formation of the Gloucestershire Youth Brass Band, which as a result, now has a membership of over 100 players.
    When visiting a small village in Lithuania Trefor was horrified to discover that only five brass instruments were available with twenty children desperately wanting to learn. At that point Trefor vowed to help these children by sending unwanted instruments out to them. My aim is to fulfil his last wishes by setting up a trust in his name with the purpose of collecting 100 unwanted brass instruments and accessories and to personally hand them to the children of Lithuania.
    Please, I need your help. If you have any unwanted instruments you would like to donate to this very worthwhile cause, please contact me:- Joanne Millin on 07855 424550, or alternatively Trevor Moss (Chairman) on 07974 429421 or Robert Morgan (Secretary) on 01594 860944. If you live some distance from Gloucestershire don’t worry, through the brass band network I’m sure we can arrange collection. Any cash donations received will help towards purchasing second hand instruments for the trust.
    The Lydbrook Band and the Gloucestershire Youth Brass Band will be holding a memorial concert in support of this trust on Sunday 18th June 2006 at Lakers School, Five Acres, Coleford at 7pm."

    Source: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/gbba1/News.htm
  8. alanl58

    alanl58 Member

    Some very positve suggestions here, thank you.

    No the instruments were not purchased with Lottery money so that does not apply.

    Yes we are all in other bands in the area, hence the idea that one could purchase the last instrument that you played at a nominal cost, thus forming the nucleus of a new band should the occasion arise. The remainder could equally be purchased by players or given to local bands and/or schools. We have it in mind to put the money into a Trust Fund so that maybe someone else could benefit at a future date. But how long do you keep it going? What happend to the funds after a set period?

    No, most of the players who might feel litigious are either gone to join that big brass band in the sky, or beyond doing anything with an instrument other than hang it on the wall!

    Keep the ideas coming...

  9. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    If the remaining members have shown long-term commitment and loyality to the band, I think it would be a nice gesture to allow them to purchase their own instruments. Not everybody can find a new band in the short term and it would give them a chance to keep their lip in! If there are any funds left after a while, why not donate them to a worthwhile charity ... one that supports the use of music making for under privileged or handicapped kids?
  10. Drewdan

    Drewdan Member

    you could donate your music to schools or charities like the salvation army:) i think you are correct in saying instruments should be offered to the members of the band, however i am not sure about if they are bought with a lottery grant! in my opinion bands should never be allowed to die! Brass Band should live on to eternity:)
  11. MaxPressure

    MaxPressure Member

    when the old jaguar cars band collapsed they auctioned their instruments, i know this because i bought ne of them.
  12. Drewdan

    Drewdan Member

    but did they buy them with a lottery grant to begin with? cos we are not sure if you can sell your instruments if you aquired them with a lottery grant
  13. MaxPressure

    MaxPressure Member

    i doubt it they sold them early to mid 90's
    and alanl58 said they weren't paid for by lottery
  14. Drewdan

    Drewdan Member

    oh did he? must have missed that bit then, in that case auction them:) after offering them to the band members, i think that anywho!
  15. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Our constitution states that if the band were to "die" all assests go to pre-appointed trustees. Its the trustees job to try and re-start the band, however if they fail and (important wording this) they feel there is no possibility of a band starting in the area the instruments and any other assests will be either donated to other musical groups in the area or sold and the money raised given to local charities. That seems entirely sensible to me.

    As for lottery funded instruments, if I remember correctly, they imply "ownership" for 10 years, by stating that you can't sell or trade stuff paid for by the grant for profit in that period, but I'm not sure how they would react to a band actually going to the wall. I guess you'd need to speak to the Arts Council.
  16. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    Yes, I think our bands constitution is like Wooden flugel's with trustees (usually retired ex members) overseeing such matters and likewise I think that it is sensible.

    I disagree that selling the instruments at a tenth of their value to the final members (especially when they are already nicely set up with other bands) is any recipe for the bands future revival - surely the opposite is true. Also such a scheme is a very strong incentive for the final members to wind up the band early rather than go out and recruit new members.
  17. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    How about throwing a big 'closing down' party for all present and past members? Some may feel it would be a waste of money that could be donated to worthy causes, but after all, the money is there because of the hard work of all the players. I seem to remember our Junior band throwing a big party to 'celebrate' the end, the remaining money, as previously said, was left in trust until the time when another junior band was formed.
  18. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    The constitution at Killamarsh initially requires a 100% vote of any remaining members before disbandment is considered - the idea being that if only one person is prepared to carry the band on then that's it - it keeps going.

    However if disbandment was agreed to, then yes all band assets should to be given to other local groups of a similar nature. We had lottery funded instruments 8 year ago which I believe finally become the property of the band after 10 years - we had to provide an element of "match-funding" but this was by way of buying instruments - so our lottery bought instruments were totally funded by the lottery.
  19. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    This all depends on when the grant was obtained as the rules changed.
    For a grant made 9/10 years ago, the co-funding principle wasn't the same. In addition, an acounting principle was used to isolate lottery funded assets for a period of 10 years - they were not considered as an asset of the band until after that 10 year period.
  20. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    I suppose how you wind a band up depends on whether there is any hope of restarting at some point in the future. AFAIK, all the bands I've been involved in have had constitutions which require the committee to vote to wind the band up. The assets of the band are then placed in the care of trustees, either pre-appointed or appointed by the committe at the time of winding up. The trustees then decide the eventual fate of those assets (except in the case of lottery funded assets, in which case I'm pretty sure there is a set procdure to follow). The usual course would be either to donate to another local band, often a youth band, or to sell items off piecemeal and then the trustees vote on what to do with the money. Moston and Beswick are, sadly, going through this latter process at the moment. Incidentally, this is a compelling reason why bands should be careful to keep a register of who has their instruments, music, uniforms, etc. - it often amazes me how bands will give out expensive items to new members, guest players, etc., without at least making them sign for them.