2015 Chairman's Report

Annual General Meeting - Friday 6 May, 2016

Last year, 2015 was another highly successful year for the Tasmanian Youth Orchestra (TYO), and a very significant one being our 50th birthday. Since starting in 1965 the TYO, one of Australia’s oldest youth orchestras, has come of age to become the best and largest it has ever been with over 150 players across five ensembles.

The year provided a full program, with two anniversary concerts, a highly successful northern Tasmanian tour as part of the 10 Days on the Island Festival and even a special performance for our development ensemble Academy Strings at Government House. We again enjoyed a fantastic development opportunity for our senior orchestra TYO1 with the TSO Big Rehearsal. We really appreciate the continued support of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and especially the new opportunity for the 2015 Big Rehearsal pieces to be performed again at the 2016 TSO Symphony under the Stars concert.

As per most years, a number of our players were accepted into the UTAS Conservatorium of Music and have participated in the Australian Youth Orchestra. We congratulate these players as they progress through their orchestral journey. Both the University of Tasmania and the Australian Youth Orchestra are important partners for the TYO.

Last year we were saddened by the loss of the talented and beautiful Vivian Wain, one of our long standing wind players who gave so much to the Tasmanian Youth Orchestra and the Tasmanian music community through his passion, personality and performances. Vivian we miss you greatly!

I am always particularly proud when, at any music event in Tasmania, I meet at least one person who was at some time in the past part of the Tasmanian Youth Orchestra and they speak so positively about that experience. The TYO has had an enormous impact on Tasmanian musicians over its 50 years. To celebrate this TYO launched its Alumni program, having identified over 1500 past players. There is still a great deal of work to do, to induct these past players into the Alumni.

Our conductors are the ones who make the magic happen on the ground, each and every week at rehearsals, between rehearsals and at concerts to develop the players to be the very best they can be. Thank you to our core conductors Jamie Allen, Greg Woodward, Dale Brown and Sarah Matthews, plus our newest conductor of TYO Winds Sean Priest and guest conductors Greg Stephens and Simon Reade.

The Friends School and Hutchins School continued to support the TYO through the year with access to excellent rehearsal and concert venues. Thank you both for this incredibly valuable support.

While the audited financial report shows a loss for the year, this was not unexpected. It was planned by the Board to invest some of our financial reserves into the year and into future growth. The investment continues this year with the recruitment of our first ever full time general manager Michelle Forbes to take the TYO to the next level. Thank you to both Bob Catchpole and Cherie Stewart for assisting through the year in part time and interim general manager roles while we celebrated our 50th anniversary and reset our strategy for the future.

This report would not be complete without thanking the Tasmanian Youth Orchestra volunteer Board for their tireless and dedicated efforts to govern and effectively run the orchestra. Without this team we could not have achieved so much. Tracey Patten successfully led the artistic direction, Mark Donnelly as always meticulously managed the finances and Jeremy Young quietly and effectively managed the player administration (in fact all things administration!). We were very lucky to elect a new Board member this time last year, Caroline Sharpen, bringing strategic insight, new connections and fundraising experience. Thank you to you all.

We often talk about how challenging our roles are, especially to fit in alongside our full time paid roles and our family commitments. What I can say is that this contribution continues to pay off for the TYO, big time! TYO is more stable and more viable than it has been for a long time, perhaps for over a decade. We now have a solid platform from which to grow so that we can continue to influence the lives of Tasmanian musicians, their families and the community for next 50 years.

Welcome again to Michelle Forbes, an experienced administrator from our Victorian peer orchestra Melbourne Youth Music, who is only a few weeks in as General Manager. The Board are looking forward to becoming less operational and taking on its rightful strategic governance role, to set strategy, oversee our performance, ensure that we continue to responsibly manage our finances, further strengthen our external stakeholder relationships and grow our financial supporter base.

Thank you,
Jonathan Duddles
Chairman
Tasmanian Youth Orchestra Board



Read the TYO 2015 Annual Report here.

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