Being Orchestra Treasurer

While probably not as exciting as being John Malkovich, being your Orchestra Committee’s Treasurer can be a pretty interesting gig.

As we enter the “homestretch” of our 2013-14 seasons, orchestras are reassessing themselves internally, and looking towards the future. If you’re Orchestra Committee Treasurer is “making noises” about stepping down, consider the possibility of your stepping up. You don’t need a background in finance to serve your colleagues in this important role.

Our inimical colleague, Robert Levine, has written a primer on how to be an orchestra treasurer, called Treasuring for Dummies.  (He’s also written a very funny synopsis of Robert’s Rules — more about that in another post.)

His article about being the OC Treasurer is also amusing, but it truly provides you with all the information you need to assess whether this is a role you could assume for your orchestra.

The bottom line is this: “The job of a union, or orchestra committee, treasurer is to operate (and, if necessary, design) a financial system so that

1) decision-makers have the necessary information to make informed decisions about finances;
2) members can see how their money is being spent; and
3) the union or orchestra committee is protected against theft.

That said, Robert also talks about fiduciary responsibility, cash vs. accrual accounting, compliance, and the need for documentation and internal controls.

Trust me — if you’ve ever thought about volunteering to be your orchestra’s treasurer, read this article and it will alleviate all your concerns!

About the author

Ann Drinan
Ann Drinan

Ann Drinan, Senior Editor, has been a member of the Hartford Symphony viola section for over 30 years. She is a former Chair of the Orchestra Committee, former member of the HSO Board, and has served on many HSO committees. She is also the Executive Director of CONCORA (CT Choral Artists), a professional chorus based in Hartford and New Britain, founded by Artistic Director Richard Coffey. Ann was a member of the Advisory Board of the Symphony Orchestra Institute (SOI), and was the HSO ROPA delegate for 14 years, serving as both Vice President and President of ROPA. In addition to playing the viola and running CONCORA, Ann is a professional writer and editor, and has worked as a consultant and technical writer for software companies in a wide variety of industries for over 3 decades. (She worked for the Yale Computer Science Department in the late 70s, and thus has been on the Internet, then called the DARPAnet, since 1977!) She is married to Algis Kaupas, a sound recordist, and lives a block from Long Island Sound in Branford CT. Together they create websites for musicians:

Ann holds a BA in Music from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MA in International Relations from Yale University.

Read Ann Drinan's blog here.

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