Issueing instruments to new members...

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Redhorn, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. Redhorn

    Redhorn New Member

    Seems our band has been a little bit 'gung ho' in recent years when it comes to issueing instruments to new members, and a few of them have gone walkies.

    Just wondering what your band does when new members join? do they have to sign an official 'lease' form? What happens about insurance? do they have to pay a 'deposit'? Is there any sort of legal agreement to be signed?
  2. JohnnyEuph

    JohnnyEuph Member

    Get them to sign an agreement with the instrument serial number and their address and contact details on it, In theory should be fine. However there's not alot you can do if one of your players disappears off the face of the earth with one of your instruments.
  3. postie

    postie Member

    Ouch Oh dear any member sigining an instrument out at our band provides a telephone number and mobile number plus if they have got one an e-mail address. Also obviously their home address. To be fair I don't think it's first time I have heard that happening at my wife's old band a few years ago a player booked an instrument out and it never came back. The person involved just vanished off the face of the earth. So these things can happen!!!!
  4. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Just ensure you/your band do all you can to protect your interests and your property. You should have an "instrument loan" agreement that clearly specifies the terms and conditions of the loan, this of course being signed and dated by both parties. Possibly a fully refundable downpayment could/should be included too.
  5. premacyblue

    premacyblue Member

    We used to have a computer whizkid who put everything on Microsoft Access that even printed a signing out card against the instrument. Even without this system the Band Treasurer should have an Inventory of what the Bnad has got or he/she is not doing the job properly.
  6. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Not necessarily ther Treasurers job that...!! I'd say it's the the Band Managers job to ensure that all instruments loaned out are accounted for. Sure, the Treasurer should ensure the money is billed or copllected and then 'accounted' in the books, but not necessarily to deal with the managemen and issueing of instruments.

    Each to their own though, but it does once again illustrate the importance of clarification of roles for the positions in the bands' management team.
  7. postie

    postie Member

    I would say the Equipment Officer's job to make sure everything is accounted for. That is how to works at our band.
  8. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Yep - band manager or instrument inspector responsible for day to day allocation - however most bands will have a Treasurer that will also be an officer of the band (formal position in constitution) and they will have a duty to ensure that all the assets of the band are properly recorded and accouted for. Band auditors should also ask to see the band records showing proper accountability of the instruments - considering they could be worth upwards of £100,000(including uniforms, music etc) that's quite a responsibility and it puts the accounting of "petty cash" well into the shade.
  9. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    Loaned Instruments

    Suggest you have a handover procedure, so you can demonstrate the state of the instrument and that everything works. Then when it comes back full of sludge and dents with stuck mouthpiece and valves you can charge a repair fee...
  10. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Just to expand on what BrianT said, you may also want to institute a policy that all repairs to band-owned instruments be coordinated through the equipment manager. When I had that position with my band, I was faced a couple of times with instruments that had been "repaired" wtihout my knowledge, which then required even more work once they were turned in, either because the player had attempted to fix something themselves or they had not used an adequate repair shop.

    Given the cost of instruments, someone who is given an instrument on loan and fails to return it when required has committed grand larceny and could potentially be liable to criminal prosecution, depending on the terms of the loan. Since instruments represent a major investment for most bands, it might be worth having a legal professional draw up a proper loan agreement that would be enforceable in court if necessary. Such an agreement would probably require specific terms of when an instrument has to be returned to the band, what happens if it's turned in with damage, etc.
  11. Bungle

    Bungle Member

    Our band has a sheet with address and serial number for new members. I have found when you are in charge of the band instruments you really need to restrict access to spare instruments to stop people 'borrowing' them out of the store cupboard without telling you. Regular checks also need to be made to ensure none have gone walkies. I was amazed once when trying to track down a band instrument to find a player had taken a cornet back to the shop and exchanged it for another without telling anyone.
  12. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Oh and don't forget a record of which mouthpiece is supplied, mutes, lyres, straps etc - how many of that lot go missing or get swopped?
  13. choirmaster

    choirmaster Member

    I am so glad this thread has started today. I can relate a story that has happened to my band in recent months. Back in the early part of the year we had somone who joined our band to play flugel. He stayed for a few months but around June i had a very quick message from him saying that he would need to move to another part of the country for just a short while to look after a relative. This person has not been seen since and now has possession of a flugel horn which was incidentally borrowed from another band (what an embarrasing situation as that band are now asking for their instrument back), a band jacket and approx. half a dozen pieces of music, with a total value of about 900 quid. This person also recently was the subject of a 4barsrest article which said he had been appointed the conductor of a band and that he had recently been the resident conductor of my band. This was a complete surprise to me and other band members as we were unaware of this! He had conducted 1and a half practises. We have made countless attempts to contact this person but he obviously recognises our phone numbers on his mobile and fails to answer them. I did manage to speak to him last week when I used a person's phone that he wouldn't recognise the number of. He assured me he would contact me the following day to arrange to hand back our property but, you can guess, that's been it. Bands beware!!
  14. Ipswich trom

    Ipswich trom Member

    Sounds like give him one chance with a deadline before contacting the local consatabulary! We had something similar with a cornet player and it took over two years to get it back. Turns out she was cornet cleptomanic with instruments from several bands!!
  15. postie

    postie Member

    What a shocking story you do wonder sometimes don't you. I agree with the previous post get the police involved if he doesn't return said items!!!!
  16. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    I have a form that has to be filled in now before we release an instrument. It states quite clearly that it remains the property of the band and must be returned if requested. All personal details are entered onto the form, and unless known to a band member, ID is required, ie passport or driving license. The player taking the instrument has to sign this form.

    Admittedly this is not foolproof! But all you can do is keep records as up-to-date as possible.
  17. JDH

    JDH Member

    I am always surprised at how casually most bands lend out instrument worth potentially thousands pound (for a tuba) to someone they may have only seen on a couple of occasions.

    Yes, surely proof of identity should be required (if they are not previously known) and full contact details and a signed contract clearly stating under what circumstances the instrument must be returned. Maybe something like if they do not play with the band for a period exceeding one month (to allow for holidays, or sickness).

    I have known players to go off and play with another band for months, even years using a band instrument - really not on!
  18. Kiz7

    Kiz7 Member

    or maybe post a "stolen items" post on the appropriate area of TMP! I appreciate that naming and shaming isn't allowed but surely there is a way to warn other bands that don't break tmp rules - like a "stolen items" post?
  19. Bass Man

    Bass Man Active Member

    I couldn't agree more. At the end of the day it's theft we're talking about here. If the matter cannot be resolved the police must be involved

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