WAOS Constitution and Rules

1. Title
The Society shall be called WOKING AMATEUR OPERATIC SOCIETY.

2. Objects of the Society
The object of the Society is to educate the public in the operatic and dramatic arts, to further the development of public appreciation and taste in the said arts; to assist and further such charitable institutions and charitable purposes as the Committee shall from time to time determine; and in furtherance of this object but not otherwise the Society through its committee shall have the following powers:
(a) to perform operettas, opera, drama, comedies and other operatic and dramatic works of educative value.
(b) to purchase acquire and obtain interests in the copyright of or the right to perform or show any such operatic or dramatic works.
(c) to purchase or otherwise acquire plant machinery furniture fixtures fittings scenery and all other necessary effects.
(d) to raise funds and invite and receive contributions from any person or persons whatsoever by way of subscription donation and otherwise provided that the Society shall not undertake any permanent trading activities in raising funds.
(e) To do all such other things as shall further the objects of the Society.

3. Constitution
The Society shall consist of Acting and non Acting members and may also include Student members as hereinafter provided.

4. Eligibility for Membership / Application for Membership
Membership shall be given to all those having sympathy with the objects of the Society and desiring actively to further it and to pay the annual subscription prescribed by the Rules.
Applications for Acting Non Acting or Student membership shall be made in writing, signed by the application, to the Membership Secretary, who shall submit the
same to the Committee for its decision.

5. Management
The business of the society shall be vested in a Committee consisting of Chairman, Treasurer, Business Manager, Secretary, and three other Committee Members.

6. Appointment of Sub-Committees
The Committee shall have power to appoint sub-committees as they shall deem necessary. The decisions of any such sub-committee shall be subject to the approval of the Committee.

7. Student Members
Student Members may be admitted to the Society at the discretion of the Committee on payment of the annual subscription prescribed within the rules. Student members must be in full time education and shall be entitled to the same rights and benefits as Acting members.

8. Capabilities for Membership
Prior to election all candidates applying or reapplying for Acting membership and/or Student membership shall satisfy the Committee as to their musical and/or histrionic ability.

9. Annual Subscriptions
The annual subscription to the Society shall be decided at the Annual General Meeting by the members voting in accordance with Rule 19.
The annual subscription for the year beginning 1st January 2016 shall be:

Acting Members £120
Non Acting Members £30
Student Members £50
Under 16’s £TBC

Members joining for the first time will pay a year’s subscription, which will be collected either in January or July as appropriate. For members who have joined prior to this amendment, annual subscription will be due in January.
Acting members shall provide, at their own cost, the necessary music and libretto for each production in which they take part.

10. Non-Payment of Subscriptions
Any member failing to pay his or her subscription as provided in the Rules shall not take part in any of the Society’s activities except at the discretion of the Committee.

11. Expulsion of Members
(a) Any member of the Society who in the opinion of the Committee confirmed by an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society shall be guilty by his or her actions of misusing the privileges of the Society or of otherwise bringing the Society into contempt or disrepute may be suspended or expelled from the Society.
(b) The committee may by a unanimous vote remove from the list of members the name of any Acting member who has persistently neglected the work undertaken by the Society and the name of any member whose conduct they consider likely to endanger the welfare of the Society.

12. Retirement of Members
Members may retire at any time by giving notice in writing to the Membership Secretary.

13. Financial Year
The financial year of the Society shall commence on 1st June.

14. Funds of the Society
a) The funds of the Society shall be applied solely towards the stated objects of the Society.
b) No member of the Society shall receive payment directly or indirectly for services to the Society or for other than legitimate expenses incurred in its subject to approval by the Committee.
c) All monies payable to the Society shall be received by the Treasurer or such other officer appointed to receive the same.
d) All funds of the Society (except such petty cash as shall be kept at the discretion of the Committee) shall be invested and/or kept in a banking account in the name of the Society. The disposition of such funds shall be at the discretion of the Committee.
e) All cheques or authorisations withdrawing sums from such investments or accounts shall be signed by at least two named members of the Committee.

15. Annual General Meeting
The annual General Meeting of the Society shall be held as soon as possible after 1st June but no later than 31st July when the Report of the Committee and the Accounts for the past year, duly audited, shall be presented. Members of the Committee and an Auditor shall be elected and all general business transacted.

Election of Officers and Committee
The Committee and the auditor shall retire annually but shall be eligible for re-election at the Annual General Meeting. The names of the candidates for these positions shall be submitted to the Secretary in writing prior to the Annual General Meeting. Election shall be by ballot if necessary.

16. Notice of General Meeting
Notice in writing of every General Meeting shall be sent to each member of the society at least 14 days prior to the date fixed for such meeting.

17. Extraordinary General Meeting
An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society may be called at any time at the discretion of the Committee. Such meeting shall also be called within 21 days following receipt by the Secretary of a requisition in writing signed by at least 12 Acting and/or Non Acting members of the society. Every such requisition shall specify the business for which the meeting is to be convened and no other business shall be transacted at such

18. Resolution at General Meeting
Unless otherwise provided by these Rules all resolutions brought forward at a General Meeting shall be decided by a bare majority of the votes properly recorded at such meeting and in the case of an equality of votes the Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.

19. Quorum at General Meeting
No business other than the formal adjournment of the meeting shall be transacted at any General Meeting unless a quorum be present and such quorum shall consist of half the membership eligible to vote plus one.

20. Selection of Shows and Production Team
The Committee shall decide the shows to be produced and shall appoint a Director, Musical Director, Stage Manager and, where necessary a Choreographer for each show.

21. Selection of Cast
(a) The cast for any production shall be chosen by a selection panel which shall consist of the Director, Musical Director, and the Choreographer where appropriate, for that production with the assistance of at least one member of the Committee who is not seeking selection for a principal part.
(b) The Committee shall have the power to fill any parts not cast by the selection panel, to revise the cast from time to time if any member to whom a part has been assigned shall, in its opinion, prove unsuitable for the part, and to recast any part becoming vacant for any reason whatsoever

22. Responsibility of Acting Members
Acting Members shall play the parts assigned to them to the best of their ability, whether principals or chorus, and will attend rehearsals regularly. Any Acting Member who consistently avoids rehearsals or otherwise acts in a manner which may, in the opinion of the Committee, prejudice the standard of the production may be precluded from taking further part in that production.

23. Production Account
Within two calendar months of the final performance of any work produced by the society the Treasurer shall prepare a full statement of income and expenditure relating to each such production and the same shall be open for the inspection of the members at such time and place as the Committee shall from time to time decide.

24. Patrons
Any person or group of persons may at the discretion of the Committee become “Patrons” of the Society on payment of an annual subscription which shall from time to time be determined by the Committee. For the period of 12 months following payment of the said subscription such patrons shall be entitled to receive:
(a) Advance notice of the Society’s productions.
(b) Advance booking facilities so long as such facilities are available to the Society.
(c) To have their names listed alphabetically in the programme.
The term “Patron” shall not be construed as meaning “Member” as referred to herein.

25. Payment for Tickets – Advance Booking Facility
So long as advance booking facilities are available to members all tickets must be paid for by those members to whom they have been allocated. Such payment must be made in full by ten days prior to the first public performance.

26. Committee’s Powers
The Committee shall have power to decide any questions arising out of these Rules and all other matters connected with the Society (other than and except those which can only be dealt with by the Society in General Meeting).

27. Dissolution of the Society
The Society shall only be dissolved by resolution passed by a majority of at least five sixths of the members present and voting at a Special General Meeting called for the purpose of considering such dissolution. In the event of dissolution any balance of cash remaining in hand after the realisation of assets and payment of debts shall not be distributed among the members of the Society but shall be applied for charitable purposes similar to those of the Society or be paid distributed or transferred to such charitable institutions or institution having objects similar to the objects of the Society as the Committee with the consent of the meeting shall determine.

28. Alterations to Rules
(a) No alteration of these Rules shall be made except at a General Meeting nor unless 21 days prior to such meeting a written notice of the proposed alteration or of one substantially to the like effect shall have been given to the Secretary who shall give 14 days notice thereof to the members and the resolution embodying such proposed alteration shall be carried by at least two thirds of the votes recorded thereon at the meeting.
(b) No alteration may be made to Rules 2, 28 and 29 without the approval of the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales or other authority having charitable jurisdiction from time to time and no amendment shall be made which would cause the Society to cease to be a charity at law.

29. Insurance
The committee shall effect and maintain insurance cover in the name of the Society. The extent of such insurance shall be at the discretion of the committee but must include Third Party Public Liability cover and loss of or damage to property owned by or held in trust by the Society and for which it is responsible together with loss of cash or other monies held by the Treasurer or any other officer or person appointed to receive the same.

30. Liability of the Committee
Nothing in these rules shall be deemed to imply that members of the Committee or sub-Committees shall be solely or collectively responsible for any financial losses to the Society or its members, or any act of commission or omission of any Committee Member, Committee or Agent thereof, provided that the Committee Members shall be liable for their acts and obligations to the same extent as other Acting and Non-Acting Members.