Gifts for soloists

We stopped giving flowers to soloists etc. several years ago when we had an MD who was very sensitive to pollen and perfumed flowers. We tried not giving anything, after all they are getting a fee, but the presentation of a gift at the end of a performance just makes it that bit special. So what is an alternative? Artificial flowers? Definite thumbs down in committee. Wine? Some like it but a couple of non-drinkers weren't keen. Chocolates? Although a decent box of chocs costs more than a bottle of supermarket wine, the perception is that it's not much of a gift. Whatever is given, it needs to be something that can be carried easily, possibly in luggage on a train.

Lateral thinking required. We found an art studio in Richmond that does bespoke mugs. We 'defaced' the concert poster design to remove sordid details about ticket prices etc and with that, plus a photo of St Mary's church, Richmond where we give our concerts we had something that was very special, especially as we did put a little bag of handmade chocs from a local chocolatier in it. There are only 6 of each so they are very rare. 'Messiah' is from May 2017 and the purple poster from December 2017.

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