Well, we have reached the mid-point of the OCRS 2017–2018 Season, and it is worthwhile to stop and take a look at where we are on several fronts. First, membership this season has dropped to ~45, where last year there were 53 memberships and not that long ago there were 66 memberships At the current membership level, OCRS doesn’t cover its expenses; and it is only thanks to several generous donors that OCRS is in as good a financial shape as it is.
Decrease in memberships is not unique among recorder societies. Membership is down at our sister chapter SCRS, at the Denver Recorder Society, and at many other recorder societies across the country. This is probably due to a number of factors. For example, many recorder players who started in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s are no longer able to drive or to play the recorder, and the pool of younger players have such busy lives these days that they do not have the time or energy for record-playing. Many of you play in other groups or know of other recorder players who are not OCRS members, and it would be helpful if you would bring them to a meeting and encourage them to join OCRS.
The second concern, although related, is the low attendance at meetings this season. We have had 17‑25 people attending the 5 meetings so far. Traditionally we have had 30‑35 at a meeting. Again, this is perhaps due to several reasons – again former members who no longer drive or play the recorder, busy schedules, a terrible flu season, and difficult traffic and excessive travel times. This last one is not easy to solve. One could consider moving the meetings to Saturdays, but a number of members who I have talked to would not come to Saturday meetings and tie up what little downtime they have on the weekends. I personally have that same objection. This is also true with a number of potential conductors that I have talked with ‑Saturdays would eat into the time they would have with family and friends. There are no easy answers and if you have any thoughts, please pass them on to a Board member.
The third concern is Board membership. This year we had several Board positions unfilled because nobody would volunteer, and we have had to make due. I would like to sincerely thank those that did volunteer to serve on the Board: Susan Mason as Treasurer, Jim Forrest as VP for Hospitality, and Carol Jacoby as Webmaster. And also the team of Gloria Martin, Lee and Bill Waggener, and Gwen Rodman, who have stepped in to help ensure that we would have a workshop this season. The OCRS Bylaws state that we need to appoint a Nominating Committee shortly to seek out candidates for the Board elections to be held in June. Personally, I have been on the Board now for 6 years and feel that it is time for me to move on. So there will be a number of Board positions that will need to be filled in June to ensure the continuation of OCRS next season. So give it some thought, step up to volunteer and as we enter our 44th year, help OCRS continue to be a strong, vital, chapter serving the interest of recorder players.
At this month’s meeting we will have Rotem Gilbert, a long-time favorite, leading us. I hope to see you all there.