Saturday 5th November


Speaker Will Todd,

Beaufort Wind Quintet

In its 75th Anniversary year Leicester Music Society is proud to welcome our parent society to Leicester. The FRMS Annual General Meeting will be held in the city’s prestigious Mercure Grand Hotel. The AGM will be followed by an illustrated presentation by composer of the moment, Will Todd. The evening continues with a three-course dinner and a live recital by a local wind quintet.

Report from the FRMS Secretary

Our first live AGM since 2019 was a much-anticipated event and the Leicester Music Society had gone to great efforts to create an interesting and stimulating programme for us all to enjoy. Unfortunately, as with all best laid plans, things did not go quite as smoothly as we had hoped. One major obstacle was the national rail strike which was scheduled to take place that weekend and created serious problems for travellers on the Saturday. It meant that neither the Chairman, Secretary nor Treasurer were able to get to Leicester. We were fortunate that a Zoom attendance option was available for the actual AGM – so that we were all able to attend remotely and the business part of the meeting was able to go ahead. However, numbers were lower than anticipated for the rest of the day: the talk by composer Will Todd, the dinner, and the live music entertainment from the Beaufort Quintet. This was a real shame, particularly when such work had been put into making the day a success. It is hard for me to say very much about these events as I wasn’t there – so I have asked Ron Mitchell, our Website Manager and the Secretary of Leicester Music Society, to add a few comments here.

However, before handing over to Ron, I wanted to say that the national committee is now starting to plan for our next AGM in 2023 and we have asked affiliate societies, through a survey, for their views on the format that this should take. We can continue to offer a live AGM as we did at Leicester. Sadly, though, we must acknowledge that, even without the rail strike, attendance was much lower than has been the case previously and there appears to be a continued reluctance to travel that the post-Covid normal has not reversed. It may well be that the days of holding a live AGM are now behind us. Alternatively, in 2020 and 2021, we held an exclusively digital meeting using Zoom technology, and this was well attended. I hope to be able to confirm what is agreed after our next committee meeting in January. In the meantime, I’ll hand over to Ron …

Adele Wills, FRMS Secretary

[Note that when the results of the survey were considered by the FRMS committee on 25/01/23, it was decided that the 2023 AGM will be Zoom only, with no live event.]

Report from the LMS Secretary

Attendance for the rest of the AGM Day, though low, was not tiny. We had around twenty, most of whom were members or guests of the Leicester Music Society.

Will Todd was a very engaging speaker.

Although the subject concerned his own music, he spoke about it very modestly and humorously. We heard how as a child he found he couldn't play a black-note glissando on the family piano and ingeniously solved the problem with the aid of a screwdriver from his father's toolbox. Then early attempts with school friends to record music on cassette recorders and whatever other equipment gradually became available. We learned what was involved in the modern recording process. For example, how for his Jazz Passion Music the drum-kit track was recorded first in a carefully controlled close studio acoustic, then the instrumental parts layered on, and finally the vocal parts recorded in the warm ambience of a church, with choir, conductor and soloist all listening to the previously recorded material on headphones.

Will illustrated all this with YouTube videos.

And he was very happy to be interrupted by questions from the occasional member of the audience bewildered by all the technology. Such as 'What exactly is a click-track?'

The dinner that followed was praised as excellent by all our guests.

The evening ended with a very entertaining recital by Leicester's Beaufort Wind Quintet.

Their material ranged from light to serious: Holst, Anton Reicha and Eric Hughes. And a set of variations on the Welsh ‘Sospan Fach’ to celebrate the birth of Prince George, compiled by several composers, including our own Leicester Chairman, David Fisher.

Finally, we asked Will to present LMS President Neil Crutchley with an engraved plate as a token of the Society's gratitude for his very many years of service to the Leicester Music Society.

It was a shame that so few were able to attend. Those who did had a very enjoyable day.

Ron Mitchell, Leicester Music Society Secretary