PDF version of May 2016 by-laws

Lawrence Civic Choir By-laws

Revised May 2016, Adopted Sept 2016


Article I: Name and Objective

The Lawrence Civic Choir, Inc. (LCC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization composed of singers from Lawrence and surrounding areas who are interested in the performance of good choral music through a program of regular rehearsals and concerts.

Article II: Location/Address

The Lawrence Civic Choir, Inc. shall meet for rehearsals at an appropriate location. The mailing address is P.O. Box 442104, Lawrence, KS 66044.

Article III: Choir Membership

SECTION 1: Choir Membership

Membership in the choir is open to all singers who are at least eighteen years old. The artistic director may make exceptions to this guideline on an individual basis. Singers must be able to read music and sing tunefully. The Board may terminate a membership in the case of unseemly conduct.


Membership dues are set by the Board. Only members who have paid dues may perform in the concert. In cases of financial need, dues may be waived through an application to the Board.

SECTION 3: Attendance

Singers should be registered by the second rehearsal. Regular attendance at rehearsals is expected. During regular semesters, anyone who misses more than two rehearsals after registration must have permission from the artistic director to sing in a performance. For special concerts, attendance requirements shall be set by the artistic director.

SECTION 4: Attire

Members shall be responsible for acquiring and wearing performance attire as set by the Board. In cases of financial need, assistance can be arranged through application to the Board.

Article IV: Board of Directors

SECTION 1: Board Membership

The choir is governed by a board of directors consisting of 12-18 members from the choir, including no more than three non-choir members.

SECTION 2: Ex officio Board Members

The artistic director and the immediate past President (if that person’s board term has expired) are ex officio members of the Board. They shall serve as advisory, non-voting board members and be exempt from Article IV: Sections 3-5.

SECTION 3: Terms

Members serve three-year terms, with new terms beginning in July. No board member shall serve more than two consecutive terms on the Board. However, a board member may complete the unexpired term of a vacated position in addition to two regularly elected terms.

SECTION 4: Election of Board Members

Approximately one third of the board positions are elected each year. The Board may renew eligible board members for additional terms. Any remaining positions are filled through a choir election each year at the first rehearsal in April.

SECTION 5: Vacancies

If a board member takes a temporary leave from the Board lasting no longer than a semester, that seat will sit open for the leave time. A board member may resign by submitting a letter to the board President. The vacated position will be filled by the Board.

SECTION 6: Board Responsibilities

The Board sets the direction for the choir and will endeavor to conduct business in a transparent manner. The Board shall be responsible for the oversight of all activities, property, and funds of the choir, and it shall have the right, power, and authority to perform all deeds necessary to accomplish the goals of the choir. The Board shall set compensation for and expectations of the artistic director and accompanist and conduct an annual performance review of each prior to contract renewal.

SECTION 7: Board Member Responsibilities

Each board member shall:

  • Serve on at least one committee or in an appointed position.
  • Attend and participate in all full board meetings on a regular basis.
  • Have read the choir Bylaws and abide by them.

SECTION 8: Conflict of Interest

The primary duty of board members shall be to conduct business for the benefit of the Lawrence Civic Choir, Inc. When the Board is making financial and/or policy decisions, it is the responsibility of the board members to disclose any conflict of interest.

Article V: Board Officers

SECTION 1 Positions

Officers of the Board of Directors shall include President, President Elect, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. These officers make up the Executive Committee.

SECTION 2 Election of Officers

Officers shall be elected by the Board from the board membership in May of each year.

SECTION 3 Terms of Office

The officers will assume office in July for a one-year term, and they may be elected for one additional term. No member may hold more than one office at a time, and no member shall be eligible to serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office, except the Treasurer and the Secretary, whose term may be extended on a year-to-year basis, by a vote of the Board.

SECTION 4 Vacancies

An officer may resign by submitting a written resignation to the board President. If the President wishes to resign, he/she should submit a written resignation to the board Vice President. Vacancy of an office shall be filled for the unexpired term by election from the Board.

SECTION 5 Duties of Officers


  • President

The President shall call and preside over monthly meetings and may call special meetings as necessary. The President shall also appoint ad hoc committees as needed (see Article VIII: Committees/Appointed Positions) and shall communicate essential information to board and choir members. The President shall work with the Treasurer and Finance Committee in preparing the annual budget. The President shall also sign, execute, and approve all contracts and other materials authorized by the Board. The President may designate another executive committee member to sign or approve contracts authorized by the Board. The President shall be responsible for seeing that the annual performance reviews are conducted as described in Article IV: Section 6. The President shall preside over the annual election of board officers.


  • President Elect

The President Elect will serve as an assistant to the current President and be a member of the Executive Committee. The President Elect will be prepared to assume the President role at the expiration of the current President’s term.


  • Vice-President

The Vice President shall preside over meetings in the absence of the President, assist the President as needed, and serve as chairperson of the Finance Committee and the Nominating Committee.


  • Secretary

The Secretary shall take minutes of all meetings and distribute copies to board members prior to the next meeting. The Secretary shall manage choir correspondence as directed by the President. The Secretary will act as liaison to committee chairpersons/people in appointed positions who are not on the Board. The Secretary will update and maintain contact information and term status of each board member and officer.


  • Treasurer

The Treasurer shall maintain accurate financial records using standard accepted accounting procedures, receive all income of the choir, make bank deposits, maintain investments, and pay all bills in a timely manner. At least quarterly, as of the end of September, December, March, and June the Treasurer will present to the Board a report comparing actual receipts and expenditures to budget categories. The Treasurer shall serve on the Finance Committee and assist in preparing the annual budget. The Treasurer shall be responsible for all tax reporting, maintaining the organization’s tax-exempt status, and preparing the Annual Report for the State of Kansas in order to maintain incorporation status.

SECTION 6 Officers’ Records

The officers shall follow good records management practices.. They shall pass along to their successors all records pertaining to their offices. Officers will place records prior to that period in the LCC archives (administered by the historian). The historian, with the advice of the Board, shall destroy any records which no longer have any fiscal, historical, or legal value.

Article VI: Artistic Director & Accompanist

SECTION 1 Artistic Director

The Artistic Director is selected by and serves at the discretion of the Board. The Artistic Director shall be responsible for the musical quality and artistic level of both rehearsals and concerts and shall promote excellence in the performance of the choir. The Artistic Director, with assistance of the Music Committee, shall choose the program for each concert. The musical selections for each concert scheduled for the coming year will be presented to the Board for financial planning purposes at the April meeting. The Artistic Director shall appoint section leaders, as needed. The Artistic Director is responsible for attending and conducting all rehearsals or will provide a substitute at the Artistic Director’s expense.

SECTION 2 Accompanist

The Accompanist is selected by and serves at the discretion of the artistic director, in consultation with the Board. The Accompanist is responsible for attending all rehearsals or will provide a substitute, in consultation with the artistic director, at the Accompanist’s expense. The Accompanist is required to perform with the choir in concert or notify the artistic director no less than four weeks prior to the scheduled performance.

SECTION 3 Contract Year

The contract year shall follow the fiscal year given in Article IX: Section 1. The contract must be signed and executed before the beginning of the fiscal year.

Article VII: Board Meetings

SECTION 1 Schedule, etc.

Meetings of the Board are held monthly from September through May at a time and place established by the Board. An organizational meeting is held in August prior to the new season. The President or a majority of the Board may call special meetings as necessary through notification of all board members.

SECTION 2 Quorum

A quorum is defined as at least fifty-one percent of the current members of the Board. A quorum must be in attendance before business can be transacted or motions made or passed. Decisions of the Board are made by simple majority of a quorum assembled at the call of the presiding officer.

SECTION 3 Parliamentary Procedure

A modified version of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern board meeting proceedings.

Article VIII: Committees/Appointed Positions

All board members should serve on at least one committee or in an appointed position. All committees shall have at least one board member. Each committee chairperson/appointee shall maintain records pertaining to that committee’s activities to facilitate the transfer of responsibilities of that position. Each committee chairperson/appointee is responsible for relaying pertinent information to the board Secretary who will act as the liaison for anyone not on the Board. Each committee chairperson/appointee also is responsible for maintaining accurate financial records and providing copies of the financial records or summary reports to the board Treasurer. All committee members should attend and participate in all committee meetings and activities on a regular basis.

SECTION 1 Executive Committee

The Executive Committee, consisting of the officers, shall meet as necessary and shall have the authority to make timely emergency decisions as needed between regular meetings. The entire Board will be informed of the decision as soon as possible, no later than at the next monthly board meeting.

SECTION 2 Standing Committees

The following standing committees are composed of a combination of board and choir members. Each committee shall have at least one board member. The President shall appoint as necessary, with Board approval, the following committees:


  • Finance

The Vice-President shall serve as chairperson of the Finance Committee. The Treasurer will also serve on this committee. The Finance Committee will develop the annual budget to be submitted to the Board for approval in May. The Finance Committee shall conduct regular reviews of the Treasurer’s books. An audit of the Treasurer’s books may be performed if requested by the Board.


  • Nominating (Board Members)

The Vice-President shall serve as chairperson of the Nominating Committee for board membership. Prior to the March meeting, the Nominating Committee shall present to the Board a slate of candidates for board members. At the first rehearsal in April, the Nominating Committee will present the slate to the choir; the President will call for nominations from the floor; and the Committee will conduct the election and present the results of the election to the choir. If there are more candidates than board positions available, the choir will vote by paper ballot.

SECTION 3: Music Committee

This committee is composed of the Artistic Director, at least one additional board member, the music librarian, and choir members. The Music Committee serves in an advisory capacity to the artistic director. The Committee meets regularly. Members are selected by and serve at the pleasure of the artistic director. The optimum number of members is eight, two per vocal section, not including the music librarian. Members should have prior experience singing in fine choral ensembles, should understand the mission of the choir, and should be active listeners to quality choral music. The musical selections for each concert scheduled for the coming year will be presented to the Board for financial planning purposes at the April meeting.

SECTION 4: Appointed Positions

Appointed positions may be selected from choir or board members. These individuals may solicit other choir members to assist in the duties of the position with approval of the Board. Each appointee is responsible for relaying pertinent information to the Secretary, who will act as the liaison for any appointees not on the Board.


  • Donations Coordinator

The donations coordinator shall solicit donations, maintain donation records, and correspond with donors.


  • Grant Writer

The grant writer shall research, write, and submit grant applications. These grant applications shall be reviewed and approved by the Board.


  • Historian

The historian shall receive all records, which include but are not limited to meeting minutes, programs, publicity, and news articles and maintain them in an organized collection. See also Article V: Section 6.


  • Membership/Attendance Monitor

The attendance monitor shall oversee choir attendance and the membership records as directed by the President.


  • Music Librarian

In coordination with the Artistic Director, the music librarian shall order music as approved by the Board, distribute, collect, and return all music used by the choir. The music librarian will ensure that any borrowed music is returned, replaced, or reimbursed in a timely manner. The music librarian shall sit on the Music Committee.


  • Public Relations/Publicity Coordinator

The public relations/publicity coordinator shall publicize the choir’s concerts and activities to the community.


  • Website Coordinator

At the behest of the Board, the website coordinator shall maintain and update the website as directed by the President. The website coordinator shall assist board members with information maintained on the website (e.g. databases).

SECTION 5 Special Committees/Appointed Positions

The President may also appoint additional committees and individuals as needed, such as attire, bylaws, cabaret/tour concert, concert audio, concert programs, concert venue set-up/tear-down, grocery gift card sales, hospitality coordinator, poinsettia fundraiser, scholarship coordinator, and ticket sales.

Article IX: Financial Policies

See also Article V: Section 5d for Treasurer’s Duties.

SECTION 1 Fiscal Year

The fiscal year shall run July 1 to June 30.

SECTION 2 Budget

The budget will follow standard format. The Treasurer’s monthly financial report to the Board will include a balance sheet, a profit and loss statement, and a trial balance, generated by the computer software owned by the choir. The Treasurer will present to the Board a report comparing expenditures to the budget line categories quarterly as of the end of March, June, September and December.

SECTION 3 Scholarship

(see Scholarship Policy and Procedures adopted April 2016).

SECTION 4 Exceeding Budget

Individuals who are responsible for making expenditures have fiduciary responsibility to the choir and are expected to stay within their budget. For budgeted items, Board approval is required if expenditures for the fiscal year will exceed 10% of the budgeted item. Any non-budgeted expense requires Board approval prior to the expenditure.

SECTION 5 Endowment Fund

The purpose of the endowment fund is to provide for the long-term financial stability of the Lawrence Civic Choir, Inc by placing funds outside the general operating budget. A separate endowment policy will delineate circumstances in which the principal and income can be used.

SECTION 6 Investments

The Executive Committee is responsible for submitting investment recommendations to the Board for approval.

Article X: Non-Discriminatory Policy

As a community-based choir, the Lawrence Civic Choir, Inc and its agents will seek to be as inclusive as possible while meeting our artistic ends. It shall not discriminate regarding membership or employment.

Article XI: Amendments

Amendments to the bylaws may be proposed in writing to the Board of Directors at any meeting. Amendments must first be approved by a majority vote of the Board of Directors prior to being presented to the choir membership for a vote. Amendments will become effective following a majority vote of the choir membership.

Article XII: Additional Procedures

The Board of Directors shall have an operating manual to facilitate the major functions of the choir

Revised March 2003
Revised October 2005
Revised March 2012
Revised May 2016 Adopted Sept. 26, 2016