1. The name of the Association is the Association of Teachers of Singing. The address of the Association is that of the General Secretary.
2. The object of the Association is to advance education in the teaching of singing and subjects connected therewith for the public benefit. In furtherance of the above object the Association shall have the powers:
i) to bring together at annual conferences and at other meetings teachers of singing and other persons concerned with the work of the Association
ii) to print, sell, lend or distribute books, journals, treatises and sound or video recordings concerned with the Association on a non-profit basis
iii) to employ and pay any person or persons to supervise, organise and carry on the work of the Association in accordance with current legal requirements as directed by the Charity Commissioners.
3. A member will be someone concerned with the training and use of the singing voice. Corporate membership is open to institutions and organisations connected with the teaching or performance of singing. Corporate membership does not carry voting rights. Corporate members’ benefits are as agreed by the Council from time to time. Emeritus and Associate membership may be awarded at the discretion of the Council. These members will have full voting rights. All applications for membership are subject to approval by the Council.
4. The management of the Association shall be entrusted to a Council of trustees. No elected member of Council shall be appointed to any remunerated office of the Association. Each Councillor shall be eligible for re-election to Council having been out of office for at least 12 months.
i) The Council shall consist of:
• Chair Elect
• Past Chair
• General Secretary
• Conference Director
• Training Director
• Communications Director
• Magazine Editor
• four Area Representatives (North; Central; South East; South West)
• EVTA and Overseas Representatives
• two Councillors At Large.
ii) Council shall appoint an Administrator; a Treasurer to oversee its finances; and a Webmaster to service the AOTOS website; all shall be members of Council ex officio, without voting rights or trustees’ responsibilities.
iii) Council shall choose a Chair Elect from among past and present Council members, to serve two years as Chair Elect and two years as Chair. The Past Chair remains on Council for two years without portfolio.
iv) The General Secretary, Conference Director, Training Director, Communications Director, Magazine Editor and EVTA Representative shall be elected by the AGM for an initial period of five years and thereafter be eligible for re-election annually.
v) The Area Representatives shall be elected by the AGM for an initial period of three years and thereafter be eligible for re-election annually, for a maximum of five years.
vi) The Councillors At Large shall be elected by the AGM for an initial period of two years and thereafter be eligible for re-election annually, for a maximum of four years.
5. Council shall have power to fill any casual vacancy occurring in the Council and to co-opt additional members when their expertise is required. Such councillors shall remain on Council only until the next AGM but shall be eligible for election.
6. Nomination forms for Council shall be circulated to all members with details of the Annual General Meeting at least 28 days before the event, and written nominations must be received by the General Secretary at least fourteen days before the Annual General Meeting. The form must be signed by the nominee to indicate their willingness to serve. If two or more members are nominated for one area there shall be secret ballot at the Annual General Meeting.
7. Every member shall pay an annual subscription determined by Council and ratified at the Annual General Meeting. The subscription shall be due on the first day of January each year.
8. If any member shall fail to pay the subscription within six months of the due date, the Council shall be entitled to terminate the membership.
9. Full accounts of the financial affairs of the Association, duly certified by an independent examiner, shall be available to every member. 10. The Annual General Meeting of the Association shall normally be held at the Summer Conference each year and fifteen months shall not elapse without a General Meeting. At the Annual General Meeting the following business shall be conducted:
i) Report from the Chair
ii) Report from the General Secretary
iii) Report from the Treasurer – the presentation and, if accepted, the passing of the accounts for the previous financial year ended on the 31 December prior to the meeting, which accounts shall first have been certified by the Association’s independent examiners
iv) The election of the independent examiners
v) The election of Officers and Council
vi) Such other business as shall have been communicated to the General Secretary and included in the notice of the meeting sent to members.
11. An Extraordinary Meeting may be convened at any time and shall be convened within 21 days at the request of one fifth of the members of the Association for the time being or fifteen members whichever is less. Such requisition must state the purpose for which such a meeting is required.
12. At least fourteen days before an Extraordinary General Meeting the General Secretary shall send to every member at the address recorded in the Association’s books a notice of the meeting stating the time, place and agenda.
13. The business at any General Meeting shall be limited to that provided by this Constitution and further matters set out in the notice convening the meeting. The quorum at any General Meeting shall be fifteen in addition to the Council members.
14. The Council shall meet at least three times per year and the quorum of any such meeting shall be one quarter of the members of the Council entitled to attend and vote. At least seven days’ notice of any such meeting shall be sent by the General Secretary to every member of the Council stating the time and place of the meeting; this business is to include an up-to-date financial statement.
15. At all meetings of the Association each full member shall have one vote.
16. The Chair of the Association shall preside at all meetings of the Association or Council. In the event of the Chair’s absence, the Past Chair or Chair Elect will preside. In the event of their unavailability the members present shall choose one of their number to chair the meeting.
17. The Council shall have power to expel any member who shall offend this Constitution or whose conduct shall in the opinion of the Council render them unfit for membership of the Association, provided that the member concerned shall have the right to attend and be heard by the Council before the decision is made.
18. No alteration or addition to this Constitution shall be made except by a resolution carried by a majority of at least two thirds of the members present at a General Meeting, the notice of which shall have contained particulars of the proposed alteration or addition. No alteration to Clause 2 (Object) Clause 19 (Dissolution) or this clause 18 shall take effect until the approval in writing of the Charity Commission or other authority having charitable jurisdiction has been obtained; and no alteration shall be made which would have the effect of causing the Association to cease to be a charity in law.
19. The Association may be dissolved by a Resolution passed by two-thirds majority of those present and voting at an Extraordinary General Meeting convened for the purpose of which 21 days’ notice shall have been given to members. Such resolution may give instructions for the disposal of any assets held by or in the name of the Association, provided that if any property remains after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities such property shall not be paid to or distributed among the members of the Association but shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to some or all of the objects of the Association as the Association may determine and if and in so far as effect cannot be given to this provision then to some other charitable organisation.
Approved by members at the Extraordinary General Meeting on 30 October 2016. Updated 15 July 2017.