The Lute Society: Constitution



The name of the society shall be the Lute Society, hereinafter referred to as the Society.


The objects of the society shall be to advance the study of and to educate the public in the history, playing technique, music, construction and other aspects of the Lute and related instruments by:
(a) the organisation of educational courses
(b) holding meetings
(c) presenting concerts
(d) issuing publications and music as may from time to time be determined by the Committee
(e) providing advice and information to members and to the public
(f) maintaining collections of microfilms and illustrations and by such other means as the Committee may from time to time determine.


The members of the Society shall be:
(a) Ordinary members : any person interested in the objects of the Society may become an ordinary member on
payment of the appropriate subscription.
(b) Corporate members : any institution interested in the objects of the Society may become a corporate member on payment of the appropriate subscription.
(c) Such honorary members as shall be elected from time to time by members at a General Meeting. Members shall be entitled to vote at General Meetings of the Society (Corporate Members shall be entitled to one vote). All Members not in arrears with their subscriptions shall be entitled to a copy of each appropriate issue of the Society’s magazines. Members shall in addition be entitled to such other privileges as the Committee may from time to time determine. The public shall be encouraged to attend meetings at the discretion of the Committee, but shall not enjoy the other entitlements and privileges of members.


Subscription rates shall be determined by the Committee and notified to members in advance of the year in which they take effect. Subscriptions shall be due on January 1st of the appropriate calendar year, and shall be remitted to the Secretary.


The Officers of the Society shall be as follows:
(a) The President
(b) The Chairman, whose duties shall be to chair Committee and General meetings of the Society, to decide on
Agenda in consultation with the Secretary and to ensure that Committee business is satisfactorily carried forward.
(c) The Secretary, who shall be appointed by the Committee with duties and conditions agreed between Secretary and Committee.
(d) Such other officers as may in the view of the Committee be necessary in order to manage the Society’s activities.
(e) The officers of the Society shall be responsible to the Committee in their duties.
(1) The affairs of the Society shall be managed by a committee (elsewhere termed the Committee) consisting of the President, Chairman, such other officers as may in the view of the Committee be necessary in order to manage the Society’s activities (all ex officio) and a minimum of five and maximum of twelve ordinary members of the Society including the Chairman and President.
(2) The Committee may co-opt such additional members as it may find necessary. Co-opted members shall not be entitled to vote in Committee decisions.
(3) In the event of a tie in voting the Chairman shall have a casting vote.
(4) A quorum of the Committee shall be five not counting co-opted members.
(5) The Committee is empowered to establish liaisons and to arrange joint and jointly-financed activities with other organisations having similar objects. These arrangements may include, at the Committee’s discretion, the co-option of members of other organisations to allow cross-representation between committees.


The President and ordinary members of the Committee shall be elected by ballot (normally at the Annual General Meeting). A Chairman shall be appointed by the Committee from the members of the Committee. The president shall hold office for three years. The others shall hold office for three years, when they shall retire. Except as provided for below, they shall be available for re-election. At each Annual General Meeting those members of the Committee who have served for six continuous years shall not be eligible for re-election until the following year's Annual General Meeting. In the case of the resignation of an Officer or Committee member the Committee shall be empowered to appoint a replacement to serve until the Annual General Meeting following.


Meetings of the Society shall be of two kinds: General meetings at which Society business maybe transacted and resolutions considered and approved and Ordinary meetings at which papers are read, concerts given and other activities of the Society carried out.

General Meetings

(a) The Annual General Meeting shall be held on a date decided by the Committee, but not normally later than 31st May, to receive Annual Reports from the Officers and the audited accounts, to elect the Officers and Committee and to consider motions for which due notice has been given. Due notice of the Annual General Meeting and of the agenda shall be 28 days.
(b) An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society shall be called within 42 days of the receipt by the Secretary and President of a request signed by the Chairman on behalf of the Committee or by not less than twenty members of the Society together with notice of the topics to be discussed. Members shall be given not less than 14 days notice of an Extraordinary General Meeting and of the agenda if living in the United Kingdom and the maximum practical notice elsewhere.
(c) Any member of the Society shall be entitled to submit any motion to a General Meeting of the Society, provided notice in writing of the motion shall have been given to the Secretary. Such motions shall be considered at the next General Meeting of the Society falling not less than 42 days after receipt of the notice of motion.


(a) Officers to whom management of funds has been delegated shall render accounts to the Secretary.
(b) The Secretary shall be responsible to the Committee for the management of the Society’s funds and accounts.
(c) The Annual Accounts shall be audited by a person approved by the Committee.
(d) Following the Committee's approval of the Annual Accounts they shall be submitted by the Secretary for adoption at theAnnual General Meeting.
(e) The financial year shall run from 1st January to 31st December.


(a) Any member of the Society may at any time resign membership by notice in writing, and shall have no right to a refund of any part of his subscription.
(b) Any member may be expelled from the Society by resolution of the Committee passed by a majority of Committee members present and voting thereon provided that all members of the Committee shall have been given at least 7 days notice of the resolution and of the meeting at which the matter is to be raised. The Committee shall be bound to give a reason for its decision. In the event of such an expulsion the member concerned shall immediately cease to be a member of the Society and the unexpired portion of his current subscription shall be refunded. Such a person may rejoin the Society only at the discretion of the Committee except in accordance with (c) following.
(c) Any member expelled from the Society may appeal in writing to the President within a period of one month following notification of his expulsion. An appeal panel consisting of four members elected by the General Meeting following receipt of the appeal by not less than 42 days shall be empowered to consider the appeal under the chairmanship of the President or his deputy. A member of the Committee shall not be eligible to stand for election to the appeal panel. The panel may, after due consideration, reverse the decision of the Committee, and the expelled member shall have his membership and full privileges restored, backdated to the date of expulsion. The Chairman or his deputy shall have a casting vote in the event of a tie.


In the event of the Society being dissolved any assets remaining after all liabilities have been met shall be given to some suitable charity of a musical nature as may be decided by the members and applied for exclusively charitable purposes.


The Constitution may be amended only by a two-thirds majority of members present at a General meeting provided that due notice of the proposed amendment has been given and that nothing therein shall authorise any amendment which shall have the effect of the Society ceasing to be regarded as a charity and provided further that no amendment shall be made to clause 2, 10, 13 or this clause without the prior written consent of the Charity Commission.


(a) Wherever above specific mention has been made to the masculine (Chairman etc.) it shall be taken to include equally the feminine (Chairwoman etc.).
(b) The interpretation of the Constitution and of any matters not provided for therein shall be determined by the Committee.


No member of the committee shall acquire any interest in property belonging to the Society or receive remuneration or be interested in any contract entered into by the committee.

Certified copy of the constitution adopted by the Society on 18th November 2000,. Ian Harwood (President) Peter Lay (Treasurer) amended at AGM of 5 May 2012