Your Busy Council
Over the last two months, since our face-to-face and goal setting meeting, your BHA National Council has been getting down to the various tasks that we set ourselves. Some of the most important outcomes that affect members are outlined below.
Music scholarships are available to both BHS Harmony University (up to $3,000 available) and BHA Harmony College (this year termed “Masterclasses” due to the shorter duration) (up to $500 available). Please contact our Music VP, Andrew Howson (email@example.com) for an application form if you are interested.
We are also making available scholarships to assist with the re-training of BHA judges in the Presentation category to the new Performance category (to a maximum of $1,500), and funding of BHA Judges to attain International accreditation (to a maximum of $1,500) upon application to the Chairman of AGBJ, Alex Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A special Youth Harmony College will be incorporated into the 2016 Convention Masterclass programme, with the second half to be run afterwards, utilising members of the National Education Faculty (NEF), subject to there being sufficient numbers. Youth Development VP, Trevor Rootes has more details (email@example.com).
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with BHNZ for the future running of PanPac Conventions (see separate news item).
Your Council has been trialling new technology to conduct its meetings to save the costs of across the monthly country teleconferences. We still have some way to go, but our goal is to save money for members.
A new policy manual (containing policies on membership, scholarships and subsidies and a number of other relevant issues) is being assembled. In due course, when completed, this will be a valuable resource for all members to consult on the website.
A review of our Regional structure is also underway to ensure that we are operating with maximum efficiency and non-duplication. At present the preliminary outline of this is being worked on by a subcommittee of Councillors, with Regional Chairmen to be involved in the next stage.
Training for Club Secretaries in using our website (especially for updating membership details) is available upon request. Please contact our Executive Assistant, Jeannie Hattendorf (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like this arranged.
A new Charter document for the continued operation of our Australasian Guild of Barbershop Judges (AGBJ) (shared with BHNZ) is being drawn up by the Chairman of AGBJ, Alex Morris. This will ensure that our judging standards are maintained and improved into the future, and that our judges are utilised to full effect and efficiency.
Owing to recent changes in copyright law in the USA, some of our Clubs and quartets have been experiencing difficulties in securing song arrangements. After an extensive investigation, the Council has drawn up some guidelines that we hope will help. These are referred to elsewhere in this newsletter, and have been posted to the BHA website. Please note that while every effort has been taken to make these guidelines as complete as possible, BHA does not take any responsibility or accept any liability for them. If you are in doubt about a copyright issue, you should contact the relevant authority for advice. BHA does require all of its members, quartets and choruses to follow copyright laws.
Our Secretary, Kieran Hutton, is working on securing DGR status for BHA, which allows tax deductible gifts to be made to BHA, and allows us to more effectively raise funds for such things as Youth Development.
We continue to trial our Mixed Harmony contests in the same format as last year, with the intention of then putting the issue to a vote by members at the next AGM.
We eagerly look forward to our first Annual Convention in Newcastle this year, with the PanPac Convention to follow in Sydney in 2017. The Council is currently calling for Expressions of Interest for Clubs or Regions to assist in hosting a Convention in their home town in either 2018 or 2019 (the Convention in 2020 will be the next PanPac in Auckland, NZ). If your Club or Region is interested, please contact our Events VP, Keith Thornton (email@example.com).
So, you can see your Council is working very hard for members behind the scenes, and the above activities are just a snapshot of what is going on.
I will have the pleasure of attending both the Sunshine Region and Western Region contests this year, and I look forward to catching up with those members then. Otherwise, see you in Newcastle!