Biographies of candidates for office, Newcastle Bach Choir,

Revised as of October 31

AGM, November 20, 6.30pm King’s Hall

Chair and Trustee

Tessa Sayers

Having enjoyed singing with the Bach choir for 32 years, I felt it was perhaps time to give something back by offering to chair the committee now that there is a vacancy. I have been on the committee before over the years – as line rep and librarian – and am reasonably familiar with the ways of the choir and its organisation. More recently I have been trustee and chair of a number of different charities, both local and national, and I feel sure that the experience I have gained in these posts will be helpful as chair of the Bach choir, even though each charity presents its own unique challenges! I am passionate about singing in general and the Newcastle Bach Choir in particular and I will do my best to ensure that, building on an illustrious 100 years, we continue to enjoy ourselves and delight audiences with excellent performances of choral music, be it well-loved classics or less familiar territory.

Treasurer and Trustee

Helen Williams

I joined the Bach Choir in 2014 after a few years of not singing in a choir due to work commitments.  I’d previously always been in choirs, through church, school and university since the age of about eight, so I missed it terribly!  I’m very grateful to be able to sing with the Bach Choir and am loving it so far; when it was suggested that Emma might want to move on from the treasurer role, it seemed like a great opportunity to get involved and give something back to this fantastic organisation.

I am an auditor in my professional life, having qualified as a Chartered Public Finance Accountant in 2012.  My work has allowed me to get an inside view on the finances and governance of a wide range of organisations, from large public sector bodies such as councils, NHS trusts and police and fire services, to private companies, academy schools and also charities.  At present I work for a large professional services firm in Newcastle, reviewing financial statements and audit work for compliance with professional and accounting standards.  In addition I am currently a trustee of Grey College JCR Trust in Durham.  I hope that these experiences will help me to be an effective treasurer – and also that performing this role will give me the opportunity to develop skills that will be useful in my future career.

Concert Manager and Trustee

Douglas Coughtrie

I have been in the Choir for a number of years and have served in various capacities on and off the Committee during that time. I also have committee experience outside the choir. I am currently Concert Manager. I have no experience of Trusteeship, but if my insight and experience of how the Choir is run can be of use, I should feel privileged to serve the choir as a Trustee to the best of my ability.


Douglas Rennie

Age 70. Born Montrose, Scotland. Lived in Scotland & Malawi, before returning to UK, where I studied History and Social Administration at Edinburgh University, before working as a social worker in York and NE England from 1974 to 2009. During the last 20 years I have served as trustee for Stepping Stones hostel (7 years); Recyke y’Byke – 8 years (both Newcastle); and Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre – 6 years (Birmingham) as well as on Children in Need NE Regional Committee for 3 years. I have also served on the Quaker Peace & Social Witness central committee (6 years).  As well as various kinds of music, my interests include walking, cycling, and my time is also occupied by a still-growing family.

If appointed, I would hope to serve Newcastle Bach Choir and help us become more engaged in the local community, as far as lies within our charitable aims and objectives, and our capacities. I would expect to get to know more choir members, and listen to ideas and concerns.


Trevor Page

I have sung with you for nearly 10 years, initially as a retirement ‘challenge’ to see if I could still enjoy singing in a large choir ‘many years on’ from singing in Church and School choirs. The answer has been a resounding ‘yes’ – thanks to you all and Eric. So, I am looking for ways to support the choir further and help it develop and establish its future through our changing times. Serving as a Trustee seems one such opportunity.

I was a Trustee of Brinkburn Music for the last 8 years of its existence and, besides my University careers in Newcastle and Cambridge, I also have a range of previous and ongoing experience of being a Charity Trustee, School Governor (at three schools) and a current Company Director of a major innovation centre.  (Equally challenging, I have also been a line rep. for Bass I!).

In all cases I have been involved not only with ‘policy and performance’ but also in experiencing how Trustees, in supplying over-arching advice and ‘good Governance’, can enable and support both new and existing developments.  If any of my previous experiences and skills can be of use to the Choir in this role, then I would be delighted to help.

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