Twenty-four members including Patricia Routledge CBE, an Honorary President, attended the AGM of the Association. It was heard that membership had increased a little and the total of subscription and honorary members was 180. Funds had increased by £1500 and were healthy and there was no need for an increase in subscriptions. There was a lively discussion about ways of increasing entries to the three AESS competitions and it was decided to hold an open committee meeting in the future to discuss this further. The Chairman’s Report, the Report to the Charities Commission from the Trustees and the Accounts can be viewed using the links below.
Forty-five Members and their guests attended the Dinner. They were treated to a wonderfully compiled programme of poetry and prose on a culinary theme, superlatively delivered, after what must have been extensive rehearsal, by Marilyn Cutts, Marian Lines and Rosamund Shelley. This set the relaxed and humorous tone for the evening and after an excellent dinner our Guest of Honour, Gabriel Woolf spoke entertainingly on the pitfalls of speaking and lecturing in America and England, both historically and from his own experience.
Report to the Charities Commission and Accounts
The final of the first Courtney Kenny Award for singers aged 18-23 was held in the Recital Room of Tonbridge School. Thanks are due to the Arts and Facilities Manager, John Marshall, for arranging use of this space at no cost and for all those on the staff who assisted on the day. Stephen Miles co-ordinated the competition and Graham Trew organised the day itself and welcomed the audience and performers. Courtney Kenny was able to be present to lead the panel and to present the prizes. The other members of the panel were Eileen Price and Marilyn Cutts.
Seven finalists were selected from two preliminary days held in Whitgift School, Croydon and the Leeds College of Music. Both venues donated their buildings for which the AESS is most grateful.
The winner of the first prize of £1000 was Angharad Lyddon, whose programme was titled ‘Hopes and Dreams’. The runner-up was Alicia Gurney, who won £500, performing on the theme of ‘Sacred and Profane Love’. Third, also winning £500 was Ruth Jenkins who sang and spoke on the ‘Guises of Love’ and the accompanist’s prize of £500 went to Rupert Compston.
Courtney Kenny has offered to sponsor this prize for at least four years and it is to be hoped that many students of AESS members will take advantage of this Intermediate competition to gain experience of communicating in both speech and song.