The most current version (last updated 27 May 2013) of the constitution is displayed below.

PDF versions including archives of prior constitutions are in the attachment below.

1 Constitution

Clause 1 – The Society shall be called ‘The Aberdeen Strathspey & Reel Society’.

Clause 2 – The Society has charitable status in Scotland and is established:
a) to form and maintain orchestras for promoting the practice and performance of primarily Scottish music in order that (i) the community’s interest in such music shall be encouraged and advanced by way of private and public concerts given by the Society or under its auspices; (ii) and the playing of traditional music shall likewise be preserved and encouraged;
b) to further any charitable purpose or purposes as the Committee in their absolute discretion shall think fit but in particular through the making of grants and donations.

Clause 3 – Membership

The membership of the Society shall be as follows:-

a) Honorary Members shall be persons who have either rendered outstanding service to the Society, or in furthering music as stated in Clause 2 above. Said members shall not have any voting rights unless otherwise qualified in terms of Clause 3 (b) or (c).

b) Life Members shall be persons who have been members of the society for at least 25 years.

Life Members shall have full voting rights but will be exempt from paying the annual subscription.

c) Ordinary Members shall be persons who have been accepted by the Committee for membership of the Society and who shall pay the annual subscription fee as determined by the Society at its Annual General Meeting. In respect that any member is in receipt of a Retirement State Pension then the annual subscription fee shall be half the subscription fee for Ordinary Members. Ordinary Members may practise/play with Junior Members at the discretion of the Conductors.

Ordinary Members shall have full voting rights.

d) Junior Members shall be persons under the age of 16 at the commencement of a session who have made application to the Society and been accepted for membership.

Junior Members will not have voting rights.

The annual subscription fee shall be half the subscription fee for Ordinary Members. Junior Members may practise/play with Ordinary Members at the discretion of the Conductors.

e) Non-Playing Members shall be persons who have made application to the Society and who shall be accepted by the Committee as suitable persons, the subscription rate to be determined at the Annual General Meeting. Said Members shall not have any voting rights unless they are acting in the capacity of a Committee member at any meeting of the Society.

Clause 4 – Office Bearers

The Office Bearers of the Society shall consist of a President, Vice President, both of whom shall serve for a maximum of five years then vacate that post for at least one year before being eligible for re-election to the same post, a Secretary, an Assistant Secretary, a Treasurer, a Conductor, all of whom shall be appointed at the Annual General Meeting and shall be eligible for re-election

Clause 5 – The Society, at its Annual General Meeting, shall also appoint a Deputy Conductor, an Assistant Conductor, a Pianist, a Leader, a Librarian, a Deputy Pianist, a Deputy Leader, a Leader of the second violins and a Welfare visitor.

Clause 5A

Nominations: Proposals for Office Bearers, Committee Members and other positions should be given to the Secretary at least 14 days prior to the A.G.M. Such proposals to be in writing, proposed, seconded and with approval of the nominee.

Eligibility for nominations: Subject to the requirements of Clause 4, Life and Ordinary members shall be eligible for nomination to any position. Non-Playing Members shall only be eligible for nomination as Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer or Other Committee Member.

Clause 6 – The affairs of the Society shall be managed by a Committee consisting of the Office Bearers and three members from the Life, Ordinary or Non-Playing Members (“Other Committee Members”) who shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting provided always that no more than two Non-Playing Members may serve on the Committee at any time.

In the event that:

i) any committee member vacates their position in accordance with Clause 6A, and/or

ii) a Committee position is vacant following an AGM as a result of no nominations for that position being received either in advance or at the AGM,

then the Committee shall have the power to fill the vacancy.

Clause 6A – A member of the Committee shall automatically vacate office if:

a) he/she becomes debarred under any statutory provision from being a charity trustee;

b) he/she becomes incapable for medical reasons of fulfilling the duties of his/her office and such incapacity is expected to continue for a period of more than six months;

c) he/she ceases to be a member of the Society;

d) he/she resigns office by notice to the Society;

e) the Committee resolve to remove him/her from office because either he/she is absent (without permission of the Committee) from more than three consecutive meetings of the Committee, or he/she has a significant ongoing conflict of interest between the Society and any other party that prevents them from fulfilling the duties of his/her office.

Clause 7 – The Income and Property of the Society, whencesoever derived shall be applied towards the promotion of the objects of the Society as set forth in this Constitution, and at the discretion of the committee.

Clause 8 – If, upon the winding up or dissolution of the Society, there remains, after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities, any property whatsoever, the same shall not be paid to, or distributed amongst the members of the Society but shall be given or transferred to some charitable Institutes or Organisations determined by the members of the Society, at or before the time of dissolution.

Clause 9 – A Music/Concert/Competition Committee shall consist of the Conductor, Deputy Conductor, Assistant Conductor, the Leader and the Librarian.

Clause 10 – Junior Members shall have the right to nominate one of their number as an observer who shall have the right to attend all Committee Meetings but will not have the right to vote at said meetings.

Clause 11 – The foregoing articles shall form the constitution of the Society and neither these articles nor the following rules shall be changed except with the assent of at least two thirds of the members voting at any General Meeting of the Society. Intimation of any proposed change shall be required to be made to all members in writing at least 14 days prior to the Meeting.

Clause 12 – a) The expression ‘charitable purpose’ shall mean a charitable purpose under section 7 of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 which is also regarded as a charitable purpose in relation to the application of the Taxes Acts.
b) ‘Charitable Institute’ and ‘Charitable Organisation’ as appropriate in the context of the constitution and ‘charity’ shall mean a body on the Scottish Charity Register which is also regarded as a charity in relation to the application of the Taxes Acts”

Clause 13 – Any notice which requires to be given to a member under this constitution & rules shall be in writing or given using electronic communication. The Society may give any notice to a member (using the address last intimated by him/her to the Society) either:
a) personally; or
b) by post in a postage stamped envelope addressed to the member; or
c) by leaving it at the address of the member; or
d) by giving it using electronic communications to the member’s address.

A member present in person at any meeting of the Society shall be deemed to have received notice of the meeting and of the purposes for which it was called.

A notice shall be deemed to be given 48 hours after the envelope containing it was posted or, in the case of an electronic communication, 48 hours after it was sent.

2 Rules

Rule 1 – The annual subscription fee for members shall consist of two parts: (a) a membership fee; and (b) for playing members only a fee for the provision of facilities and services. Each part of the annual subscription fee shall be set by the Society at the Annual General Meeting. The total annual subscription must be paid by the later of: the first Monday in November of the Session, or in the case of a new member application 4 weeks after the date of approval of the application by the committee. Any member still in arrears 4 weeks after the due date shall automatically cease to be a member of the Society. Annual subscriptions will not be pro-rated and are not refundable.

Rule 2 – All persons wishing to join the Society must complete a Membership Application Form, these applications to be considered at the next Committee Meeting. The applicant shall thereafter be notified by the Secretary of the decision of the Committee.

Rule 3 – The Committee shall have the power to reprimand, suspend or expel any member for objectionable conduct or breaching any rule. A member shall not be suspended or expelled without first being summoned before the Committee to explain his/her conduct and being given an opportunity to advance a defence. Any member so summoned shall receive at least seven days clear notice in writing from the Secretary. Such notice shall contain a statement of the charge to be brought against him/her.

Rule 4 – There shall be a quorum at any General Meeting of the Society when at least 25% of the Life/Ordinary members are present. Five shall form a quorum at any committee meeting. The Chairman shall have a casting vote. Special General meetings can be called upon the direction of the Committee or, on a requisition signed by one seventh of the Life/Ordinary Members stating the special objects thereof. Such meetings shall be held within 28 days from the date of receipt by the Secretary of the requisition – with at least seven days notice in writing to members.

Rule 5 – The Society’s Session shall normally commence on the first Monday of September and continue until the last Monday in April or as may be determined by the Committee.

Rule 6 – The Secretary/Assistant Secretary shall keep regular Minutes of the Meetings of the Society, and of the Committee, which Minutes shall be open to inspection by the Members. The Secretary/Assistant Secretary shall convene all meetings and conduct correspondence on behalf of the Society.

Rule 7 – An Annual General Meeting of the Society shall be held not later than the 31st day of May of each year and shall elect Office Bearers and others, in accordance with the Clauses 4, 5, 5A and 6 of the Constitution. The Treasurer shall submit a statement of the Society’s accounts for the past year and this statement along with the Draft Minute of the previous Annual General Meeting shall accompany the Notice calling the Meeting which shall be circulated to all Members not less than 14 days in advance of the meeting.

Rule 8 – The Society through the Committee shall have the power to hire performers or to purchase instruments for its convenience.

Rule 9 – Any Member unable to be present on the occasion of a Performance is expected to notify the Secretary. Any Playing Member absent from three rehearsals without an adequate excuse, acceptable to the Committee falls automatically into the waiting list.

Rule 10 – The Treasurer shall keep an account of the financial affairs of the Society and make all payments sanctioned by the Committee. He/she shall submit a statement of his/her intromissions when required. The Committee shall prepare annual accounts, complying with all relevant statutory requirements; if an audit is required under any statutory provisions or if they otherwise think fit, they shall ensure that an audit of such accounts is carried out by a qualified auditor. A summary of the accounts shall be presented at the Annual General Meeting.

Rule 11 – The Librarian shall take charge of Music required for the Society.

Rule 12 – The Secretary shall keep a correct list of the names and addresses of the Members, record the attendances at rehearsals and keep a record of all admissions and resignations.

Rule 13 – Ex Members wishing to rejoin must also make application through the Secretary.

Rule 14 – Any change of residence should be promptly intimated to the Secretary.

Rule 15 – Code of dress for any performance shall be as determined by the Committee. Any breach shall be subject to procedure as in Rule 3.

Last amended: 27 May 2013

Annual competitions


12 years and under – Jean Kidd Trophy

13 – 16 years – AS&RS Shield

Senior, Slow Air – AAF Trophy

Senior, March Strathspey & Reel – Les Wheeler Trophy

Accordion: Open age – Kenny Young Quaich

Violin, accordion or piano: Under 23 – Iain Fraser Award & Trophy

Ensemble: Open age – Dave Beaton Trophy

Original composition: Open age – Caithness Bowl