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FFHG
04-09-2009, 07:58 PM
Looking for direction as we want to add in a band manager and lead instructor to our band By-laws. Any suggestions on duty descriptions for either or both?

Iain Sherwood
04-09-2009, 08:04 PM
For the band manager, your main concern is the handling of funds; this can usually be covered by requiring two signatures on a check (band president or treasurer is most often the choice here). You may want to include fundraising and promotion in the job description, and co-ordinating the purchase of uniforms and equipment with the quartermaster. I'm sure there are other qualifications that need to be added...

For the instructor - is he going to be paid? If so, goals must be set. If not - just show up and teach....

sheldon hamblin
04-10-2009, 03:33 AM
I realize you are looking for ideas, but it really depends upon your band, and what, exactly, your executive board, Pipe Major, and Drum Major need this "Band Manager" to do. Our band has evolved over the years, and I must admit we have a rather "loose" set of written, but official by-laws. Under the previous pipe major, he and the pipe sergeant pretty much ran the band with little input from anyone else, except myself who had little official power, but they listened to my financial planning ideas as treasurer. As I took over as Pipe Major, I have attempted to rewrite some of the bylaws, to make the band more representative. I have found the more people are involved in planning, the more they develop loyalty to the band (to some extent), but that's a story for another time. Our "Band Manager" seeks out and negotiates gigs with parade committees, wedding planners, etc. but under some specific direction from the board, which the pipe major and drum major serve "ex-officio". The band is actually run by concensus, but it is not a democracy. The Pipe Major, as music director, answers to the executive board. The executive board answers to the band members. I'm very fortunate that my suggestions are often accepted and followed. Regardless of official positions, the official leaders must listen to what people want to do, and listen to others with experience. So....that is why I say, "it depends upon your band"....

bob864
04-10-2009, 03:09 PM
I've recently been appointed "Band Manager" for our band. It's a new position. For our band it's basically what Sheldon said: go out and find some gigs. The treasurer handles the money.

If you have enough people with both skill and inclination, and if you have real money, then the best practice is to have two or more different people who can write checks (in case one becomes unavailable), neither of whom keeps the books. If the bookkeeper is also the cashier, you have created an easy opportunity for embezzlement.

Stuart Barr
04-10-2009, 09:29 PM
Looking for direction as we want to add in a band manager and lead instructor to our band By-laws. Any suggestions on duty descriptions for either or both?

Hi FFHG,

Here's an except from my band's by-laws that you may recognize:

"The Business Manager shall be appointed by the Executive Committee. The
Business Manager shall be responsible for all public relations. The Business
Manager shall be the agent for the Band in setting up engagements and
performances subject to Band acceptance. The Business Manager shall be
responsible for giving information and instructions to all members regarding
engagements"

Regarding a 'lead instructor', it's not clear if you are talking about an instructor of students, or of the pipe and drum corps. In either case, responsibility for instruction of each surely lies with the PM and/or DS, whether or not an internal or external Instructor is sourced. Do you really need a separate position of Lead Instructor?

We used to have a designation of Lead Instructor, but this has been since retired, and student instruction is now clearly under the direction of the PM and DS...

Stuart

OKiepiper2
04-11-2009, 10:57 AM
I never have understood all the organizational stuff that goes on in pipebands. Yeah -- if you are a 501c(3) in the states then you need some things on paper. But that's really all you need it on.

But for the life of me we are making music not a social club. Piping is the only musical organization I have been in where so many bands seem to "need" to have it on paper. I once was in a band with a 17 page set of by-laws!

Here is the ROT. You can write down anything and it is meaningless unless someone will do it. If someone agrees to it and doesn't do it -- then you can hang them! Whoop-T-Do! If you can find someone who will do the job, you don't have to write it down. Turn 'em loose!

This stuff is not rocket science.

Big Dog
04-13-2009, 10:28 AM
I disagree. I think it's very important to have the rules, obligations, duties, and expectations written down so that everyone is clear on what they are. And by what procedure they may be revised or amended if warranted. Then, if someone goes "out of bounds" and it's decided that some form of discipline or dismissal is called for, there is less chance of (or at least less justification for) somebody whining and complaining about lack of fairness, or claiming they're being picked on or are a victim of a personal vendetta, etc.

Just because we may be a musical organization, and whether or not we're a 501 (3) (c), doesn't mean we don't have to deal with human nature and the politics, disagreements, and conflicts that affect any organized group of people. Written bylaws make it possible to apply the rules and guidelines in a more fair and consistent manner, and if they are created by consensus and agreed upon by everyone in the organization, everyone should be (and usually is) more willing to abide by them.

John Haack
04-13-2009, 12:06 PM
"The Business Manager...

Mr. Barr's got something important here.

I think there's a great distinction here that needs recognition. Sure, it may be semantics, but with perceptions and reality and such....

"Business" manager is a much better thought process than "band" manager.

I don't want a "CPA" type managing a musical organization anymore than the "CPA" type wants a "musical" type person managing the business of the band.

Let Sterling and Campbell manage all the business of it and let Don handle "creative". Sorry...couldn't avoid the "Mad Men" reference. It just fit perfect.

Pipercollins
04-14-2009, 10:08 AM
I never have understood all the organizational stuff that goes on in pipebands. Yeah -- if you are a 501c(3) in the states then you need some things on paper. But that's really all you need it on.

But for the life of me we are making music not a social club. Piping is the only musical organization I have been in where so many bands seem to "need" to have it on paper. I once was in a band with a 17 page set of by-laws!

Here is the ROT. You can write down anything and it is meaningless unless someone will do it. If someone agrees to it and doesn't do it -- then you can hang them! Whoop-T-Do! If you can find someone who will do the job, you don't have to write it down. Turn 'em loose!

This stuff is not rocket science.

Many bands ARE social clubs. In fact, having some clear rules is what allows the group to function as a performance group, a social club, a service organization, and/or whatever else the organization's membership and management want to accomplish. Less is more, but some kind of organizational charter is usually needed for groups to outlive the personalities that founded them. Especially in an organization that involves some cash flow.

With that said, a couple points to add: In any formal documentation, leave yourself some wiggle room. Use "may" and "should" instead of "must" or "shall" whenever possible. Like Okiepiper suggests, by-laws may not be enforced. But I think that's OK. You still may need something to lean on when persons or personalities change and unexpected questions come up.

OKiepiper2
04-14-2009, 05:29 PM
If you have communally owned equipment you need to have written down how that will be disposed of in case the band folds. On the other hand if it is owned by one or a few, it is a non-issue. Again 501c(3) is an exception.

Anyone ever hear that old saw about rule #1, the PM is always right. Rule #2 says for all exceptions, see rule #1. Pipebands are not democracies they are lead by one person and only one. If the leader wants to delegate, he will delegate the tasks and parameters as he sees fit. It doesn't matter how you write things down it is going to come down to the leader's judgment and enforcement. By-laws do nothing to do away with whining, b-ing people who think they have been wronged (real or otherwise). The cases I have seen they find some by-law to hang their hat on and carp about that.

There is no way to write down and make rules for what can possibly take place. Go with the leadership. If you cannot -- then find another band.