Our approach to music-making is to strive to achieve high performance standards while having fun and developing friendships in the process. We have an ‘open door’ policy – there are no auditions or other restrictions to joining our groups, or upon the numbers within them.
The Ensembles continually attract and retain people of all ages and backgrounds with a remarkable range of skills and talents, in part because we focus on a strong social scene as well as rehearsing and performing. We endeavour to keep subscriptions low (with concession rates), and enjoy a close-knit, family-like community as a result. Members volunteer willingly to help not only their group but the individuals within it, with the more able musicians helping others to improve.
Ensembles have no performing base, instead seeking out events where they can engage with communities and charities – we play on bandstands, at local festivals and fairs as well as at high-profile events and venues such as the London Marathon and Lambeth Palace. In addition, the groups usually tour in both the UK and abroad about once a year, taking their London-based activities well beyond the capitol.
Our Ensembles operate on a subscription basis. To ensure membership is as affordable as possible, subscriptions, including concessions, are kept to a minimum. Additional funds are generated by the groups themselves through income earned by performing. As a result, SLCM has always had a sound, self-funding financial base, with grants only ever being sought for specific, additional projects.
SLCM’s overall administration and financial management are provided by the Board of Trustee/Directors, who are drawn from both within SLCM and co-opted.
In addition each Ensemble has its own organising committee, drawn from within their group. They take on a range of tasks including serving as Committee Officers, managing performances, publicity, budgeting and management accounts, managing the Ensemble’s website, and the music library. As well as ensuring the smooth running of the organisation, getting involved with the management gives members the opportunity to learn management skills and/or use those they have for the benefit of their group as well as themselves.