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Author Topic: Brass Band Woes  (Read 10142 times)
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eightyeightH

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« on: Mar 11, 2015, 02:48AM »

Well, after my band's success at Butlins, off we went to the area championships. 2 hour rehearsals every night in the week leading up to it, recording made at each rehearsal, and the run-through on Friday night was a cracker  :D .

The contest performance was a chuffing disaster >:(. Cornets out of tune Don't know, players forgot to mute Amazed and the percussion section got lost Bad dog.  No Biscuits.. Thoroughly depressing. We came 13th/18.  :cry:

Only one consolation - and that was 4barsrest.com's tweet:

https://twitter.com/4barsrest/status/574214813699670016

Quote
#regs2015 Mid 3: Trombones are the shining light for Stamford. Nice rounded sound as a section. Well done Trombones!

To cap it off, our local rivals got promoted.
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Stewbones43

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« Reply #1 on: Mar 11, 2015, 03:50AM »

Have a word with your GP. He can prescribe something for severe depression but it might not be strong enough for a case like this. Evil

Cheers

Stewbones
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elev8

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« Reply #2 on: Mar 11, 2015, 07:13AM »

We've all been there. Part and parcel of banding unfortunately.
Incredibly disappointing nevertheless, given the number of man-hours prep work that goes in to playing at Areas.
All you can really do is try & learn the lessons for next year.  Clever
Sounds to me like having focused strongly on mastering the piece, perhaps next time try to somehow work on "delivering on the day".
Much more difficult to tackle.

Hopefully I won't be adding a similarly toned post to this thread on Monday, as it's WoE areas this weekend for me!
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bonesmarsh
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« Reply #3 on: Mar 11, 2015, 07:17AM »

My sincere advice is to take every
Posh Spice" themed football chant and re-word it to belittle your rivals.

It will make you feel better!
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Roebird37

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« Reply #4 on: Mar 11, 2015, 12:34PM »

Oh no, sorry to hear that. Such a disappointment after so much hard work, but as previously mentioned, it's a familiar situation for every contesting bander from some time or other.

The stage fright of contests doesn't half get to some people, just silly things like forgetting a repeat can cause chaos.  You can't comprehend how someone can get lost in a piece that's been so well rehearsed, but I've seen it happen enough times.

We're off to sunny Torquay on Saturday to face our doom. Relegation is almost certain, having come last in the previous two Areas, but our new MD has gelled really well with the band and we're all enjoying the piece. Spirits are surprisingly high.
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Roebird37

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« Reply #5 on: Mar 16, 2015, 05:08AM »

Saturday was a beautiful day.  We were drawn 4th to play, and felt we'd given a really good performance.  The 4BR and Bandsman comments were positive, which makes a change, and our 'ears' in the auditorium were giving the thumbs up and enormous smiles.  Feedback from various sources was expecting us to get into the top half of the results. 
Sadly it was not to be, we were placed 14th out of 15.  I hope it's warm and cosy in the 3rd section, as we're being relegated.  :cry:

The most irritating things was the adjudicator's notes.  The pair of them appeared to be listening to two different bands, they directly contradicted each other in several places, so we're left with no clear idea of what they were looking for and how we failed their expectations.  Gah. 

Despite all that it was a really enjoyable day, I had a great time with my bandmates, and met some delightful new people.  I have now recovered from the hangover.  :D
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Stewbones43

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« Reply #6 on: Mar 16, 2015, 09:33AM »

  I have now recovered from the hangover.  :D


 :-0 Already  Eeek!

Commiserations.  :(

Cheers

Stewbones
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eightyeightH

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« Reply #7 on: Mar 16, 2015, 09:38AM »

 :( :( :(

Welcome to the 3rds  Hi

It's not that bad, really.

And I know a great cure for hangovers.
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Roebird37

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« Reply #8 on: Mar 16, 2015, 10:39AM »

Thanks chaps.  I'm sure it'll be lovely in the third section with such good company.  :)

Top tips for hangover cures will be very welcome, so I'll have time to test them all out before the next contest. Good!
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BGuttman
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« Reply #9 on: Mar 16, 2015, 10:48AM »

The cure for hangover is supposed to be hair of the dog that bit you.  I have two dogs and a lot of hair.  Guess I'm not going to have much hangover. ;-)
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Bruce Guttman
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elev8

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« Reply #10 on: Mar 19, 2015, 05:44AM »

The most irritating things was the adjudicator's notes.  The pair of them appeared to be listening to two different bands, they directly contradicted each other in several places, so we're left with no clear idea of what they were looking for and how we failed their expectations.  Gah. 


Who were your A Judy cators, if you don't mind my asking?
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MoominDave

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« Reply #11 on: Mar 19, 2015, 06:31AM »

If I might plug a website I have quite a bit to do with:
http://brassbandresults.co.uk/contests/west-of-england-area-second-section/2015-03-14/
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Dave Taylor

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« Reply #12 on: Mar 19, 2015, 07:28AM »

Our adjudicators were Roger Webster and David Hirst.

That's a great website Dave, I will spend a bit more time browsing it when I've got some spare time, or I won't get any work done this afternoon.
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« Reply #13 on: Mar 19, 2015, 05:05PM »

Hi.I've been in similar situations. Maybe too much rehearsing and by the time you get to the contest the band is tired of it and the actual performance is a let down. Every body loves a winner, Lets hear it for those unsung heroes, The Losers. Max.
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« Reply #14 on: Mar 20, 2015, 02:55AM »

Well, my band were most definitely losers lol.
Sadly I must shoulder a lot of the blame, I had an absolute shocker. Just did not perform on the day.
Overdid it in rehearsals in the lead-up I think. Went on the stand with swollen sore lips before even blowing a note.
Started badly, nerves kicked in, and we were halfway through the piece before I recovered any sort of composure.
Definitely a bad day at the office. One of my worst ever.

I asked about the adjudicators, because we also had Roger & David and their comments on our performance were both insightful, constructive & extremely fair.
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« Reply #15 on: Mar 20, 2015, 04:30AM »

Sorry to hear people's area results haven't gone as wanted here yet. I'll do my best to help break that streak on Sunday in Stevenage - fingers crossed! Funny old piece "The Torchbearer" - not hard to get to 90%, but really hard to get much further. Has made for some unexpected results in other areas.
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Dave Taylor

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elev8

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« Reply #16 on: Mar 20, 2015, 04:44AM »

Best of luck Dave. And a very fair assessment, if I may say so.
I actually really enjoyed working on The Torchbearer and thought it was a very thorough test right across the band.
Brought home starkly to me that after a long lay-off from serious contesting my issues are with delivery, as opposed to technical mastery of the music. That's encouraging in a way as it's something which can be worked on (I've started already).
I'd have been far more dispirited if I'd played my best on the day but not been able to get near the piece.
As it stands I know the performance is in there, I just need to pull it off when it counts.
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Roebird37

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« Reply #17 on: Mar 21, 2015, 09:43AM »

Oh dear elev8, I'm sorry it didn't go as you hoped.
It's a frustrating thought that you can play badly because of too much practice, just as easily as with too little.
Was it just you that overdid it, or was the whole band fatigued in the same way?

I'd like to wish Dave the very best of luck, have a great day tomorrow and show us all how it's done!
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MikeBMiller
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« Reply #18 on: Mar 21, 2015, 07:41PM »

For those of us on this side of the pond, would someone please explain how this whole "relegation" thing works? It sounds a bit like the British soccer league, which I don't understand either.
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eightyeightH

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« Reply #19 on: Mar 22, 2015, 05:41AM »

For those of us on this side of the pond, would someone please explain how this whole "relegation" thing works? It sounds a bit like the British soccer league, which I don't understand either.

5 sections: Championship,1st, 2nd 3rd 4th.

Regional championships held every year. Scores from the last 3 years added. 1 pt for 1st 5 pts for 5th etc. top 2 go up, bottom 2 go down.

Most of the time you might as well roll dice.


http://mabbc.org/

Should give you an idea of how it works.
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MoominDave

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« Reply #20 on: Mar 23, 2015, 02:28AM »

Sorry people, I have to add to the litany of TTF 2015 area contest disaster. Band didn't play well, and the adjudicators hated what we did with the piece. 12th place out of 12 bands, and relegation to the 1st section, from what had seemed at first glance an impregnable position in the table (5th/12) going into the contest. Meh.
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Dave Taylor

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« Reply #21 on: Mar 23, 2015, 03:20AM »

Oh no Dave, I was pinning all my hopes for vicarious glory onto you.  :(

I don't know why we put ourselves through this trauma, but I still couldn't imagine joining a non-contesting band. Suckers for punishment I suppose.



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« Reply #22 on: Mar 23, 2015, 03:28AM »

At least in 2016 our bands will be among the favourites in their new sections!

The eternal cycle...
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Dave Taylor

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« Reply #23 on: Mar 23, 2015, 03:57AM »

Well, after my band's success at Butlins, off we went to the area championships. 2 hour rehearsals every night in the week leading up to it, recording made at each rehearsal, and the run-through on Friday night was a cracker  :D .

The contest performance was a chuffing disaster >:(. Cornets out of tune Don't know, players forgot to mute Amazed and the percussion section got lost Bad dog.  No Biscuits.. Thoroughly depressing. We came 13th/18.  :cry:

Only one consolation - and that was 4barsrest.com's tweet:

https://twitter.com/4barsrest/status/574214813699670016

To cap it off, our local rivals got promoted.

Is it possible that your collections chops weren't fresh enough on the day of the performance? I recall one of my faults in doing auditions was that I played way too much just before the audition and hence my chops were already almost spent.
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« Reply #24 on: Mar 25, 2015, 07:12AM »

Has made for some unexpected results in other areas.

No kidding!!!
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elev8

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« Reply #25 on: Mar 26, 2015, 04:01AM »

Oh dear elev8, I'm sorry it didn't go as you hoped.
It's a frustrating thought that you can play badly because of too much practice, just as easily as with too little.
Was it just you that overdid it, or was the whole band fatigued in the same way?

I'd like to wish Dave the very best of luck, have a great day tomorrow and show us all how it's done!

Thanks for your kind words, Roebird :)
I blame myself entirely. Should have heeded the warning signs and backed off a bit in the couple of rehearsals just before the event.
I figured the lip would recover in time, but it hadn't. Not even close. Lesson learned.
Generally sounding tired was one of the comments actually, but I can only really speak about my own performance.

Commiserations to Dave also. I too thought that his band were "impregnable" in the section.
Just goes to show one bad day can really bite you up the bum, despite attempts to mitigate that with aggregate scoring etc.

However, as you so rightly say, a non-contesting band is simply not an option.
I do those too for kicks as I'm sure yourself and Dave do also, but I couldn't not contest. Tried it, didn't like it.



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« Reply #26 on: Oct 02, 2015, 03:11PM »

Competitive music-making, hmmm. Never quite got it........ But each to his own.......
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« Reply #27 on: Oct 02, 2015, 03:53PM »

Competitive music-making, hmmm. Never quite got it........ But each to his own.......

Hi Duffle .. yes, that was my thought too when I joined an english-style brass band in Denmark. But now I think national competitions are great fun, if you just don't take the winning/loosing part too serious. A good chance to meet a lot of nice people and have a lot of nerd talks about brass music. And a good oppertunity to hear other good bands.
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« Reply #28 on: Oct 02, 2015, 10:29PM »

Competitive music-making, hmmm. Never quite got it........ But each to his own.......
The brass band I play with does a band festival every year.  We have a person come in and work with the bands and then we put on a concert where everyone plays.
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« Reply #29 on: Oct 05, 2015, 05:27AM »

I was forced to miss the latest contest with my band due to a back problem.  It was a real panic trying to get someone to cover for me at short notice, but somebody knew somebody else who had the number of a guy....and this fella turned up to save the day.  He turned out to be a fantastic bass trombone player, who had been with a championship section band, so the music posed no problem to him.

The whole band played a blinder, and my section won the prize for the best trombone section - without me!

I feel mean putting this in the 'brass band woes' thread, because of course I'm glad they did well, but I will admit it stings a bit that they did better without me than they would have done if I'd made it.  :cry:

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eightyeightH

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« Reply #30 on: Oct 05, 2015, 05:38AM »

won the prize for the best trombone section - without me!

Ouch.
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« Reply #31 on: Oct 07, 2015, 01:15AM »

I was forced to miss the latest contest with my band due to a back problem.  It was a real panic trying to get someone to cover for me at short notice, but somebody knew somebody else who had the number of a guy....and this fella turned up to save the day.  He turned out to be a fantastic bass trombone player, who had been with a championship section band, so the music posed no problem to him.

The whole band played a blinder, and my section won the prize for the best trombone section - without me!

I feel mean putting this in the 'brass band woes' thread, because of course I'm glad they did well, but I will admit it stings a bit that they did better without me than they would have done if I'd made it.  :cry:

First off, you don't *know* that they did better without you...
Perhaps a slight whiff of good old English self-deprecation?

Just as you felt a slight sting (to borrow your term), I feel sure your section-mates also feel a slight regret that you weren't there sharing in the plaudits with them as you otherwise would have been. I've never won a section prize in my life, but to do so with a dep in the team just would not be the same as winning alongside the guys you rehearse & gig with week in and week out.
It's an emotive topic (especially where the top bands are concerned) but personally I feel a massive sense of pride that my own band manage to compete at a reasonably high level, yet you'll see the *exact* same set of players playing carols outside local supermarkets in December collecting money for charity. It's a team game. You can bet everyone else felt your absence with a tinge of sadness, just as you yourself did.

In regard to the comment about "never quite getting" competitive music making, much could be said, but as others have alluded to boil down the brass band contesting circuit to that one phrase is really a massive oversimplification. To think of it in such terms is to miss 90% of what it's really all about. Whilst it isn't for everyone (that's for sure) which arena of playing music really is? Some of the good points have already been listed by others. I'll only add that if ensemble playing is your thing, then nothing will bond a group of players together as a unit, or drive individual and collective performance toward excellence more than playing in a contesting band.
Playing in any band or ensemble requires at minimum a significant investment of time and energy. For myself, if I don't feel like I'm improving as a player for making that investment, then I lose interest pretty quickly. Whilst I always have fun playing in whatever band, and I love the social aspects of it, in order to keep that week-in week-out spirit of commitment alive, then I need to feel like it's making me a better player. A contesting band will give you that. The level you are at as an individual player is irrelevant. There are contesting bands to suit all players from beginners to top seasoned pros.
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Roebird37

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« Reply #32 on: Oct 07, 2015, 09:11AM »

I really feel I'm just being honest, there's no doubt the guy is a terrific player and really did a great job for my band.  Credit where it's due to him.

I did receive a bouquet from the band on the day of the contest, with a message to say they were going to miss me.  The first time we met afterwards my section just gave me a big hug and said 'it should have been you because we'd all worked hard on it together'.  But obviously they are still delighted to have the cup!

I don't get to redeem myself any time soon, because we've withdrawn from the November contest, due to there only being two entries in our section.

I agree with everything you say about contesting, you've hit the nail on the head for me.

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« Reply #33 on: Mar 10, 2016, 02:41AM »

Well, it's 2016 now, and everyone's Area contests are imminent... Indeed already past if you play in Yorkshire or the North West. Better luck all this time round!
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Dave Taylor

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« Reply #34 on: Mar 11, 2016, 01:33AM »

We're off to Torquay tomorrow, Dave.  Our section has been split into two draws, and we're in the second half, so we don't have to get on the coach at silly-o-clock for a change.

The rehearsal went well last night, and we're booked into the Salvation Army hall tomorrow morning for warm-up and run through.  I will report back although you'll probably see the results on facebook anyway.
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« Reply #35 on: Mar 11, 2016, 10:54AM »

Good luck.  I'll be interested in how well you feel you did as well as how well you were judged.  Also how well the wax worked.
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« Reply #36 on: Mar 13, 2016, 03:52AM »

We had a great day, coming 2nd out of 18 bands.
The practice in the morning went really well, everybody seemed to feel calm and confident, and we repeated that on stage in the afternoon.
As we left the stage, the steward said it was a very good performance and he thought it would be a close call.
We were obviously thrilled with the result, which means we will be promoted back to the second section for next year.

I am very pleased with the dental wax, which has made a huge difference in my playing comfort and allowed me to practice for longer without any soreness.  I had originally planned only to use it for practising at home, but it's so helpful that I'm using it for everything.

Good luck to all the other contesters, I hope everything goes your way as well.
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« Reply #37 on: Mar 13, 2016, 07:18AM »

Good for you, and for your band.  Here's hoping you can move up the ranks. Good!
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« Reply #38 on: Mar 20, 2016, 03:59AM »

Congratulations Sam, glad you got a better one this year!

We played in Stevenage for the London and Southern Counties contest yesterday in our first year back down in the 1st section after making rather a hash of last year's performance and then catching an unlucky grading table circumstance to get relegated. Preparations had gone well - we'd knuckled down and concentrated hard over a lengthy period on the set piece, Gregson's 'Essay', which isn't the most technically challenging but is a decent piece of music with a lot of nuance in it. We'd taken it to a 'pre Area warm-up' contest three weeks before, and comfortably beat 10 other bands, 2 of whom subsequently came in the top two in their regions, all playing the same piece, many of whom were in the West of England and Midlands areas, which took place last weekend - so they were a week closer to their goal at that time. After that, one of the most respected conductors in the banding world came in to lead the final contest preparation and performance, and the band responded well to him, with the 'nailedness' of the performance palpably growing with each rehearsal. In short, we arrived in Stevenage in good form, knowing it, and with a number of people unsolicitedly having given their opinion that it was ours to lose.

Drawn number 1 - that's something every bandsperson dreads, sometimes rightly so, sometimes without need. There are occasions when playing early means that a good performance just seems to disappear from the heads of the judges, and there are occasions when it doesn't. Sadly for us, this was one of the former. There's no doubt it was a good performance - in fact on the day, the standout performance in the eyes of all who cared to publish their opinion prior to the results - the various respected online commentary tweets are collected under our band Twitter feed at the moment. The consensus among all who'd listened to a decent selection of bands that I spoke to (and with us too, it must be said) was that we could look forward to a win, promotion back to the championship section, and a place at the Finals in September. It is rare indeed for opinion at band contests to solidify so unanimously, and it felt pretty good. Results announced... Always a nervous time... Both of the soloist prizes (which often at contests have the feeling of having been allocated within the top few placing bands) went elsewhere - mildly perturbing, but not something to be too concerned about. 4th place - phew, not us, we were hoping for better, and it went to a performance that had been somewhat fancied. 3rd place - not us, also phew, only the top 2 go to the Finals, and it went to the band with the cornet player prize. At this point, expectation in the hall is that the top two will be the two bands that came down from the championship section last year, us and another, both of whom are agreed to have stood out clearly from the pack. Noting that the other band had taken the bass section prize, we started to wonder if we hadn't won it after all... Then BAM - 2nd place - another band entirely, one not expected (with apologies to any of their players that might be reading). Oh dear, where are we going here... And yep - 1st place, the band with the bass section prize. Eventually, once the remarks are distributed, we discover how it turned out - 7th place, the lowest placing ever for the band in the overall grading structure at a time when it's playing well, no Finals appearance, and very definitely no promotion this year - indeed, making promotion next year look like quite a difficult job.

I have in my head a little list of Most Baffling Contest Results Received, as everyone who's played in a contesting brass band for any length of time must have. This one I think knocks the 2008 championship section L&SC Area off top spot. Very much a 'scratch head, mourn inexplicably lost opportunity, move on' type of affair. Hope others had a more satisfying time of it!
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« Reply #39 on: Mar 20, 2016, 06:08AM »

Dave, I don't know what to say, I checked the predictions and results and was totally confused at the discrepancy for your band.  I wasn't there, I didn't hear a note of it, but all the reports from those attending seemed just as flummoxed.

I'm really sorry, it must be so hard for your band to accept, and even more so that it's probably knackered your points for promotion next year.

Many people get antsy about being drawn 1st or 2nd, do the stats bear it out?  I try not to think about it, but we were drawn 16th this time, and that cheered a lot of our band up.

The only trouble with it was that unbeknown to us the organisers had decided to try and whip through the bands as quickly as possible, and missed a planned break, as they hoped to start the next section early.
Most of us turned up an hour earlier than we expected to play, only to discover the band before us were being called to registration.  Two of our cornets and our MD were AWOL and the desperate attempts to track them down, along with the vision of our MD getting changed in the carpark of his hotel because he didn't have time to check in to his room, will not easily be forgotten.
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« Reply #40 on: Mar 20, 2016, 07:52AM »

Many people get antsy about being drawn 1st or 2nd, do the stats bear it out? 
I know something about statistics. If you get me the placement outcomes / rankings and the draw order over the last 10 to 20 years, I can analyze the data to see if there is a correlation (a bias against the earlier draws).
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« Reply #41 on: Mar 20, 2016, 11:31AM »

Played in the Northumberland Miner's Gala many years ago, when we had coal mines.  Adjudicator was very positive in the written remarks about our Soprano Cornet.  Great.  Except we did not have one ..... Confused
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« Reply #42 on: Mar 21, 2016, 03:31AM »

Played in the Northumberland Miner's Gala many years ago, when we had coal mines.  Adjudicator was very positive in the written remarks about our Soprano Cornet.  Great.  Except we did not have one ..... Confused


Really, that tells us all we need to know about brass band contests. No point taking any of it to heart.
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« Reply #43 on: Mar 21, 2016, 03:46AM »

Dave, I don't know what to say, I checked the predictions and results and was totally confused at the discrepancy for your band.  I wasn't there, I didn't hear a note of it, but all the reports from those attending seemed just as flummoxed.

I'm really sorry, it must be so hard for your band to accept, and even more so that it's probably knackered your points for promotion next year.

Many people get antsy about being drawn 1st or 2nd, do the stats bear it out?  I try not to think about it, but we were drawn 16th this time, and that cheered a lot of our band up.

The only trouble with it was that unbeknown to us the organisers had decided to try and whip through the bands as quickly as possible, and missed a planned break, as they hoped to start the next section early.
Most of us turned up an hour earlier than we expected to play, only to discover the band before us were being called to registration.  Two of our cornets and our MD were AWOL and the desperate attempts to track them down, along with the vision of our MD getting changed in the carpark of his hotel because he didn't have time to check in to his room, will not easily be forgotten.

Oh dear! :-) No harm done, at least. I can think of a few similar occurrences - contesting seems to bring this kind of thing out... When she was in Scotland, Diane's band once took the stage at an entertainment contest after a bus breakdown running straight from the bus with half the band not in uniform at a contest with a 'dress and deportment' prize...

Regarding stats about draw correlating with position - there is something to it, and indeed www.4barsrest.com published an article a number of years ago correlating the two for the whole British Open history, which goes back to 1853. I can't find it right now, but it's probably still out there online if anyone has better luck with Google than me. Basically, if we assume that performance standard is independent of where drawn (which seems both reasonable and hard to test other than by what we're already doing...) there is over all adjudicators an effect, but not a large one on average - though I cannot right now recall the exact size of it. 1 is not the least favourable draw in a large field - 2 and 3 are both more likely to unluckily lose out, and as I recall, anywhere in the last quarter or so is about equally most favourable. But it's not a be-all-end-all effect on average - one can usually have some confidence that performing well early on will receive a just (or at least not too unjust) reward. What hasn't been done to my knowledge is to break the stats down by adjudicator - I would intuitively expect there to be some adjudicators that turn out to have a much greater draw bias than others.

I know something about statistics. If you get me the placement outcomes / rankings and the draw order over the last 10 to 20 years, I can analyze the data to see if there is a correlation (a bias against the earlier draws).

So, as mentioned above, something along these lines has been done, if you can find it. In fact, I've been meaning to look into it in greater depth myself for years, but never quite finding the time. Maybe this can be the spur. But have at it - I recommend the BrassBandResults web site (which I do quite a bit for) as having by a long way the most comprehensive data out there.

Played in the Northumberland Miner's Gala many years ago, when we had coal mines.  Adjudicator was very positive in the written remarks about our Soprano Cornet.  Great.  Except we did not have one ..... Confused

Ha! :-)

Reminds of a story once told me by a player at Aldbourne band about their bass trombone winning the best instrumentalist prize at a contest many years ago on a day when they'd played without a bass trombone...

Really, that tells us all we need to know about brass band contests. No point taking any of it to heart.

One does one's best, doesn't one... But we put in so much effort to the preparation that it's impossible to avoid some degree of emotional investment - and of course one wants to able to celebrate the good results, which is hard to do if one genuinely doesn't let any of it through one's shell - it's ultimately some degree of emotional exposure that makes it a meaningful thing to do. And then the results dictate how easy or otherwise it is to recruit new players, and also the level of technical interest of the music that we get set to play the next time. I've been contesting for quite a long time now (that isn't even a complete list!), and the hard caring of youth has long dissipated into a kind of 'well, this is the game, let's play it' attitude. A result like this one doesn't make me rend my clothes and wail, it makes me wonder whether all the effort we made was a sensible investment of our time. To which the answer is obviously - surely not, it never was, and we knew this when we got into it, but the game usually makes it feel more worthwhile than this... Plus of course that the thrill of getting a musical performance by a bunch of amateurs genuinely technically polished is a very satisfying thing. But next week's another story, and of course we continue. First rehearsal back tonight, and perhaps we can burn effigies of those adjudicators that were so hard to impress for us but not for some others...
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« Reply #44 on: Mar 21, 2016, 03:49AM »

Really, that tells us all we need to know about brass band contests. No point taking any of it to heart.

On the contrary, you *should* take it to heart but in a *positive* way. I've learned to use any negative comments and/or outcomes as a motivating force to redouble my efforts to improve. The power of the dark side is strong but you must learn to use it effectively. Motivate yourselves to become so good that even the poorest judge will appreciate your performing prowess.
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« Reply #45 on: Mar 21, 2016, 04:07AM »

On the subject of correlation between the "draw" and the "position," in a fair contest, there would be *no correlation* at all.

We are to test the hypothesis that a correlation *does exist* and that it is in fact a negative bias (it is more favorable to have a higher draw than a lower draw in order to place higher).

It appears that the data does indeed exist. For example, this link:
https://brassbandresults.co.uk/contests/welsh-area-first-section/2016-03-19/
provides the draw and outcome for one specific contest (Welsh Area, First Section,
Sat 19th Mar 2016).

I'll see what I can do to prove or disprove the hypothesis in a statistical setting using the data.
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« Reply #46 on: Mar 22, 2016, 09:30AM »

One does one's best, doesn't one... But we put in so much effort to the preparation that it's impossible to avoid some degree of emotional investment - and of course one wants to able to celebrate the good results, which is hard to do if one genuinely doesn't let any of it through one's shell - it's ultimately some degree of emotional exposure that makes it a meaningful thing to do.

We'd have to be robots not to feel joyful when our results are good, and maybe fantasise about kicking the adjudicators' shins when they've been unfair to us, that's natural enough.

By saying not to take it to heart, I guess I really mean not to base our opinions of ourselves and our bands on the adjudicators' decisions, and especially not to go off trying to change things after a bad result.

You seem like a rather self-aware musician, and to be objective about your band.  You know how well your band plays in general, how well they played on the day, and what everyone else in the venue thought of your performance.
If you were called to a re-match this Saturday, with two new adjudicators, would you do much differently?

There's no doubt it feels bad when your band is placed poorly off the back of a good performance, it happened to us last year (albeit not quite such a glaring travesty), but personally I think it felt worse the year before when we actually did play horribly and totally deserved our low result.
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« Reply #47 on: Mar 23, 2016, 12:46PM »

We did reasonably well, with a 5th at Bedworth. The annoying thing is the band who played without a timpanist came 1st, and last year, the band without one came 2nd :-0  .

Somewhat strange as the piece had an exposed bit where the timp carries the tune...

Congratulations to those who did well, now for Whit Friday...
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« Reply #48 on: Mar 24, 2016, 09:10AM »

On the subject of correlation between the "draw" and the "position," in a fair contest, there would be *no correlation* at all.

It appears that the data does indeed exist. For example, this link:
https://brassbandresults.co.uk/contests/welsh-area-first-section/2016-03-19/
provides the draw and outcome for one specific contest (Welsh Area, First Section,
Sat 19th Mar 2016).


Argh, don't bring up the Welsh 1st section! Brings back terrible memories  :cry:
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« Reply #49 on: Nov 25, 2016, 12:34AM »

Stewbones gently reminded me recently that I haven't been updating this thread with my band contest results this year, so here goes...

At the start of September we played at the Exmouth Entertainments Contest (own choice).  We came 3rd overall, and won 2nd for entertainment, along with a trophy for best percussion section.
The weather was horrible so we couldn't do our little concert outside on the lawns, unfortunately.

At the end of September we played at the Wychavon Festival of Brass, another own choice entertainments contest.  We came first overall, first for entertainment, won a trophy for the best percussion section, and also a trophy for the best soloist (our flugel player Rob). 

At the start of November we attended the South West Brass Band Association contest in Torquay.  We came first again, and also won another trophy for the best horn section.

We have been competing in the 3rd section this year, but we have been promoted, so from March next year we will be in the 2nd section, and it will all be more challenging.



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« Reply #50 on: Nov 25, 2016, 08:55AM »

Don't worry about competing in the higher grade, Sam. If you are successful and either stay promoted or go even higher, you can say it's all down to your new bass trombone.

If it doesn't work out and you go back down, that could be because of your new bass trombone. Win/win(even when you lose).

Cheers

Stewbones
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« Reply #51 on: Nov 25, 2016, 09:13AM »


Just remember to use the following:

" We was robbed, everone else thought we had won!" 

 or

 " Of course I saw the MD from*insert band name* talking to the judge before it started"

or

"Thats why we used to have judges boxes because......."

or

"Thats why we should have open adjudication because......."
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« Reply #52 on: Dec 16, 2016, 02:09AM »

I got an early introduction to the woes of contesting when at the Easingwold entertainment contest many years ago.

The divisions above and below us were packed full, but in our section only five bands had entered, and three of them hadn't had turned up on the day. We were fist up and got through without any major errors, but didn't play quite as well as we would have liked.
We knew it was one of those days when the adjudicator opened his remarks with "Well the standard of playing I've heard today was so poor I'm not going to award a first prize."
We came 3rd. Out of 2.
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« Reply #53 on: Dec 16, 2016, 02:33AM »

Played in the Northumberland Miner's Gala many years ago, when we had coal mines.  Adjudicator was very positive in the written remarks about our Soprano Cornet.  Great.  Except we did not have one ..... Confused

We had that once in Fife I think.  We played Vaughan Williams Variations and the adjudicator wrote "excellent timpani" when we didn't have any. 

I got the praise from the band afterwards because the last time we had played Variations, I had been filling in on timps. :-)

Ronnie
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« Reply #54 on: Jan 09, 2017, 09:29AM »

Butlins this weekend....


And of course, snow is forecast with a wind directly off the Urals. Lovely Lincolnshire in January.


Who can I suck lemons in front of this year?
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« Reply #55 on: Jan 09, 2017, 09:40AM »

...

And of course, snow is forecast with a wind directly off the Urals. Lovely Lincolnshire in January.

...

Is that why Percy Grainger wrote it a Posy? ;-)

Good luck.
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« Reply #56 on: Jan 10, 2017, 05:37AM »

Kidlington are there in the 1st section, do feel free to come and say hi again. Have a proper toot on the 169 rather than a couple of notes in the cold off Delph High Street...

Contests recently haven't been woeful (2016 Area aside), so we're probably due a stinker... :-)
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« Reply #57 on: Jan 10, 2017, 09:11AM »



Contests recently haven't been woeful (2016 Area aside), so we're probably due a stinker... :-)

I thought the outcome was all to do with the way you played and what the adjudicator wanted, not the alignment of the planetary bodies or the wind from the Urinals. Evil

Make your trip to Sunny Skegness worthwhile by either celebrating or drowning your sorrows with a pint or more of Batemans, the local brewery. Award winning beer.

Cheers and good luck to all.

Stewbones
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« Reply #58 on: Jan 10, 2017, 10:00AM »

Thanks Stew. I shall recommend it to Mrs Dave, who likes her ales. Alas, beer reliably makes my stomach do rather painful things, so I must avoid it...
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« Reply #59 on: Jan 16, 2017, 04:16AM »

Am I allowed to ask how Butlins went?
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« Reply #60 on: Jan 16, 2017, 10:19AM »

Sunk by an early draw in a huge section. Meh. Decent performance bar a couple of loose bars, which is what matters. 10th / 24 - could have been a lot better.

We had some jolly fun though! And no-one takes it to heart in these circumstances. And the result, while well below the expected par, isn't disastrous against a strong field of bands.
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« Reply #61 on: Jan 17, 2017, 02:11AM »

4 Bars Rest had us at 3rd. The adjudicators put us 6th. So a meh from us, too.

Great entertainment though. And awful beer. Butlins at its best.
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« Reply #62 on: Mar 19, 2017, 04:37PM »

No woes here today. 1st place out of 17 in the London and Southern Counties 1st section regional qualifier, promotion back to the championship section, and a trip to the 1st section national final in September.  Happy and exhausting day.

Recording here if anyone's interested. Me on bass trombone.

Thought I ought to update this thread to point out to non-bandy people that things happen at contests that aren't woes sometimes...
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« Reply #63 on: Mar 19, 2017, 05:02PM »

Sounds good, though I don't understand this long slow intro. But it sounds crisp, in tune, in time. It is solid.
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« Reply #64 on: Mar 19, 2017, 07:19PM »

I have a friend who was amused with an observation of a "technically oriented performance" on his technical cornet solo.  Bad dog.  No Biscuits.
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« Reply #65 on: Mar 20, 2017, 02:37AM »

Sounds good, though I don't understand this long slow intro. But it sounds crisp, in tune, in time. It is solid.

It's an interesting piece of music, though not musically the deepest one out there for band. There are a lot of attractive elements in it, but they're all on the surface. If that makes any sense? Some pieces you rehearse for weeks for a contest, and find that you're still getting new insights in the final rehearsals - this one one understands entirely straight away. Which is not to denigrate it - good music doesn't have to be either deep or cryptic.

It isn't explicitly programmatic, but the inspiration for it hints at the reason for the opening you mention - the work's alternative title is "Aotearoa" (which means "The Land of the Long White Cloud" in Maori), the name given to the islands of New Zealand by the first Maori settlers when they arrived by boat. The long slow intro is quite easy to hear as a seascape, with undulating waves etc.
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« Reply #66 on: Mar 20, 2017, 03:08AM »

Well done Dave, and congrats on the promotion!
I think this piece gets more pencil marks on it than most!
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« Reply #67 on: Mar 20, 2017, 03:26AM »

Thought I ought to update this thread to point out to non-bandy people that things happen at contests that aren't woes sometimes...

I'm bringing back the woes!

4th section last Sunday at the Scottish, both 4BR and Bandsman had us down for 1st and both had the same top 3 so logic dictates that we came 5th! Reading the crit didn't help either so one feels a bit shafted especially when the band that finished 4th wasn't thought of being very good by 4BR and Bandsman.

I was speaking to Alan Fernie about it and he said Hawick nailed it but I think they came 2nd last.

He noted that across the sections it seemed the bands who went tempo di teararse did better!

The joys of being involved in this world!
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« Reply #68 on: Mar 20, 2017, 07:27AM »

I must admit all this is making me glad I don't get involved in brass bands anymore. :-) Never really could get my head round music as a competition medium.  Not knowing when you'd be playing and having to spend all day in one place for a 15 minute performance used to do my head in. :-)

Last thing I played in a band though was "Land of the Long White Cloud" at the Scottish champs in 1995. :-)

Ronnie
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« Reply #69 on: Mar 20, 2017, 09:08AM »

I would like to offer huge congratulations to Dave, especially as this win gains you promotion to the Championship section again.

For myself, I can only add to the woes, after a pretty disastrous result at the South West contest last weekend for Weston Brass.
We thought we'd played a blinder and so did everyone else, we were feeling extremely pleased with ourselves and our conductor even cracked a smile, but we only came 13th out of 17 bands.

Why do we do it?  Beats me.  I was talking to someone who left the band a couple of years ago who is now missing it all and wants to come back!
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« Reply #70 on: Mar 20, 2017, 03:07PM »

I must admit all this is making me glad I don't get involved in brass bands anymore. :-) Never really could get my head round music as a competition medium.  Not knowing when you'd be playing and having to spend all day in one place for a 15 minute performance used to do my head in. :-)

Last thing I played in a band though was "Land of the Long White Cloud" at the Scottish champs in 1995. :-)

Ronnie


Hi Ronnie I'm probably going to make you feel a bit old by saying in 95 I was only in 2nd year and had been playing for about 18 months!

I used to do the county brass band but always preferred orchestra/wind band...still do in fact but this keeps me playing and is a good social. Not many regular orchestra gigs round Edinburgh and I only really get the call if the usual player can't do it.

1st - 4th section are pre drawn now so at least there's less hanging about. It's a strange beast though and impossible to predict how the judges will react. You walk off stage feeling great then get hit a bad ranking. We're all masochists!!

Ross



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« Reply #71 on: Mar 20, 2017, 03:18PM »

I can definitely say I know the feel, to a degree ... Couple of years ago I was involved in a youth big band- GREAT high school and first-year-college players, it was a fantastic experience for me. We were heading to a competition in winter and were playing "Concerto for Cootie" and "57th Street Mambo" (great tune, look that one up if you haven't heard it!). We'd practiced like mad, and it sounded GOOD in the rehearsals. Got to the performance venue, were warming up, one of the trumpet got the bright idea that we shouldn't tune and that we should just go on. Instructor goes along with it, given how good we were sounding in the rehearsal room.


WHAT. A. BOMB. The instructor counted up a bit too fast - things were out of tune, it was just a colossal failure. No clue whyt we did that. We bombed it, more or less, if my memory recalls.
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« Reply #72 on: Mar 21, 2017, 05:29AM »


Hi Ronnie I'm probably going to make you feel a bit old by saying in 95 I was only in 2nd year and had been playing for about 18 months!

I used to do the county brass band but always preferred orchestra/wind band...still do in fact but this keeps me playing and is a good social. Not many regular orchestra gigs round Edinburgh and I only really get the call if the usual player can't do it.

1st - 4th section are pre drawn now so at least there's less hanging about. It's a strange beast though and impossible to predict how the judges will react. You walk off stage feeling great then get hit a bad ranking. We're all masochists!!

Ross

Don't worry, I know I'm old.  My first contest was the 1978(?) Scottish Champs with Vaughan Williams "Variations".  I see my old band are looking for a bass trombone but I'm NOT tempted to go back. :-)

I have a regular orchestral gig in Edinburgh that needs more trombones of the tenor variety.   The Edinburgh Orchestral Ensemble were also looking for a tenor for their concert on the 25th March !

Ronnie
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« Reply #73 on: Mar 21, 2017, 07:26AM »

Well done Dave, and congrats on the promotion!
I think this piece gets more pencil marks on it than most!

Thanks Stephen! Our mutual friends Nigel and Steph were there, was nice to see them again.

I would like to offer huge congratulations to Dave, especially as this win gains you promotion to the Championship section again.

For myself, I can only add to the woes, after a pretty disastrous result at the South West contest last weekend for Weston Brass.
We thought we'd played a blinder and so did everyone else, we were feeling extremely pleased with ourselves and our conductor even cracked a smile, but we only came 13th out of 17 bands.

Why do we do it?  Beats me.  I was talking to someone who left the band a couple of years ago who is now missing it all and wants to come back!

Thanks Sam too, very kind. It's so dispiriting when the result comes out poorly and one cannot understand why, isn't it? Normally, even if you get caught up in the excitement of the performance, when you listen back to a recording (or when you recall what happened around the stand on stage at a less excitable moment later), you can see how something went a certain way in the adjudicator's mind and respect their particular weighting of the issues of the performances, even if it wouldn't have been how you'd have done it yourself. But sometimes (thankfully not too often) you're left simply baffled, offering nothing more convincing than suspecting a concentration lapse or even an objective error.

Those kind of results have an upside though - they remind us that the whole idea of musical competition is basically absurd, and it doesn't do to get too upset when it goes unwarrantedly badly. One uses a contest as a vehicle to see the band present a more accomplished level of performance, and that's all that can really be controlled - the response of the adjudicator is not in our hands. It came out well in the results for us on Sunday, but if it hadn't, I would have (after frowning overnight) smiled and shrugged, moving on to the next challenge, and encouraging others in the band not to take it to heart - the fact that we were essentially happy with our performance (bar a few trivial clips) was the most important thing.
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« Reply #74 on: Mar 21, 2017, 12:54PM »

Can somebody explain this whole brass banding contest thing to me? Do all the bands have to play the same music? I can see how that would drive the judges bonkers if it is the case. How often do they have these contests? My knowledge of brass bands is pretty much limited to having seen Brassed Off on DVD some years back.
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« Reply #75 on: Mar 21, 2017, 12:59PM »

Can somebody explain this whole brass banding contest thing to me? Do all the bands have to play the same music? I can see how that would drive the judges bonkers if it is the case. How often do they have these contests? My knowledge of brass bands is pretty much limited to having seen Brassed Off on DVD some years back.


Depends on the contest.  National championships will have a fixed test piece that all the bands play.  Some other contests allow the bands to pick what they want to play.  Nationals are annual and bands play in probably three or four other contests each year?  At least we did. Other bands may be different.

Ronnie
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« Reply #76 on: Mar 22, 2017, 11:11AM »

Don't worry, I know I'm old.  My first contest was the 1978(?) Scottish Champs with Vaughan Williams "Variations".  I see my old band are looking for a bass trombone but I'm NOT tempted to go back. :-)

I have a regular orchestral gig in Edinburgh that needs more trombones of the tenor variety.   The Edinburgh Orchestral Ensemble were also looking for a tenor for their concert on the 25th March !

Ronnie

I'm a bass bone man. I wonder if our paths have crossed then at some point? Do you know Bill Giles?

Can somebody explain this whole brass banding contest thing to me? Do all the bands have to play the same music? I can see how that would drive the judges bonkers if it is the case. How often do they have these contests? My knowledge of brass bands is pretty much limited to having seen Brassed Off on DVD some years back.


Yeah we do three a year. The Nationals are the one where promotion/demotion are at stake & as Ronnie said each section has their own test piece so being an adjudicator listening to 14 or so bands playing the same piece must be hellish!!

The others we do are entertainment contests which involves playing a few pieces & one has to be of a certain theme. All good fun....honestly!
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« Reply #77 on: Mar 23, 2017, 01:18AM »

Going to correct myself a bit before someone else does!

The Regional championships are where you can get promoted/demoted. The top 2 from each section then go on to the Nationals so it's bands from all over the UK and then I think the winners get to go to the European(correct me if I'm wrong there).

Ross
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« Reply #78 on: Mar 23, 2017, 01:32AM »

I'm a bass bone man. I wonder if our paths have crossed then at some point? Do you know Bill Giles?

Yeah we do three a year. The Nationals are the one where promotion/demotion are at stake & as Ronnie said each section has their own test piece so being an adjudicator listening to 14 or so bands playing the same piece must be hellish!!

The others we do are entertainment contests which involves playing a few pieces & one has to be of a certain theme. All good fun....honestly!

No I don't know Bill Giles.  I've been out of it since 1995 and only got a trombone again (a bass one) last June and have been playing with the Open Orchestra since September.

I used to play with Broxburn but I see they are now Broxburn & Livingston.

Ronnie
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« Reply #79 on: Mar 23, 2017, 02:31AM »

Going to correct myself a bit before someone else does!

The Regional championships are where you can get promoted/demoted. The top 2 from each section then go on to the Nationals so it's bands from all over the UK and then I think the winners get to go to the European(correct me if I'm wrong there).

Ross

Pretty much. Though there's some additional complexity, which I'll lay out for anyone reading who's unfamiliar with band contesting as we do it here:

These regionals are the qualifying stages for our national championship for each section (championship, 1-4), the rather oddly named "National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain". GB is not a nation, and nor does it cover quite the same land area as the UK... But bands from Northern Ireland - and even the Republic - have sometimes been seen at the North West regional championship in the past. The regionals run early in the year, these days over weekends in February and March (in the past they've been as early as January and as late as June - even August for some of the very first regional series in 1945). The contest being qualified for is known as the "finals", and is split into two events, with the finals for sections 1-4 being held together on a weekend in September, and the championship section final being held in the impressive setting of the Royal Albert Hall in London in October.

The numbers qualifying from each section of each of the 8 regional championships (Scotland, North West, North of England, Yorkshire, Midlands, Wales, London & Southern Counties, West of England) depend on the number of bands that enter that particular section in that year. It increments for one finals place for every 8 bands entered; so 1-8 bands entered -> 1 finals place; 9-16 entered -> 2 finals places; 17-24 entered -> 3 finals places; 25+ entered -> 4 finals places. I suppose the number of finalists is capped at 4 to avoid the performance day at the finals becoming unworkably long. Most sections in most areas fall into the 9-16 bands bracket, and so the commonest situation is for 2 bands to go from a given section.

Regarding promotion and relegation (which takes place each year, effective from the following January), 7 of the 8 regions use the same system, where a band's placings from the three most recent years are summed; the two lowest totals go up and the two highest go down, regardless of the section sizes, though regional committees have the power to alter this by hand to even up section numbers.  Any ties for the second promotion or relegation spot see all tied bands promoted/relegated as appropriate.
The exception is Scotland, where the 3-year aggregate for relegation is weighted 0.5-1-2, and promotion is simply given to the top two places at each year's contest. This is done to try to avoid the situation where a band that has fallen in standard gets promoted based on old results due to vagaries of the table, and it does avoid this well. However, it does so at the cost of being very unforgiving of a single bad result - it is unusual for the two relegated bands not to be the lowest two places at that year's contest. I would personally adjust the weighting further - perhaps to 0.5-1-1; something in between the two systems.

Regarding qualification for the European championship, eagle-eyed observers will spot that among the list of regions are two that are countries in their own right, due to our peculiar constitutional state - Wales and Scotland. The winners of the Welsh and Scottish regional championship sections (*) are invited to compete in the European championships as representatives of their nations. The English invite then goes to the highest-placed English band at the championship section national final - not necessarily (**) the first-placed band at the contest, as that might be a Scottish or a Welsh band. Then there is an extra European qualification place for the country that won the previous European contest. So it is reasonably probable (given that UK bands often win the European contest) that among the contenders at the national final will be four bands (***) that go on to represent their countries at the European championships the following May.

(*) The Scots tend to prefer the title "Scottish championships" as their contest is longer-established (1895) than the nationals contest (1900, regionals format 1945), into which structure it was co-opted in 1951 (*)
(**) Or even often at the moment - the Cory band from Wales are really extremely good and have been for many years now (**)
(***) Let's take a worked example - the 2016 European championship: We see that 4 UK bands were at the 2016 Europeans - Black Dyke, who qualified as reigning European champions, Brighouse & Rastrick, who qualified as highest placed English band at the previous years national championship section final, Cory, who qualified as Welsh champions for the previous year, and Whitburn, who qualified as Scottish champions for the previous year. Note that the national final only qualified one of these four bands for the European, although all four competed at it (two of them coming a fair way down the results table, incidentally). Note also that the Welsh and Scottish winners are taken from the previous year's contest, due to there otherwise being only a month available to prepare two rock-hard test-pieces for the toughest brass band competition in the world; in fact neither Cory nor Whitburn were current champions of either Wales or Scotland respectively at the time of this European contest, despite Cory winning it (which will bring them back to the following European contest next month).
Confusing? It is somewhat... (***)
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« Reply #80 on: Mar 23, 2017, 02:37AM »

No I don't know Bill Giles.  I've been out of it since 1995 and only got a trombone again (a bass one) last June and have been playing with the Open Orchestra since September.

I used to play with Broxburn but I see they are now Broxburn & Livingston.

Ronnie

I thought everybody around Edinburgh with links to Scottish banding in the last 40 years knew Bill Giles!

Broxburn & Livi are the result of a 2004 merger of Broxburn Public and Livingston bands. I don't know what the circumstances of the merger were.
Broxburn Silver appear to still be going independently, but as a non-contesting group for the last decade or so.
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« Reply #81 on: Mar 23, 2017, 03:45AM »

I thought everybody around Edinburgh with links to Scottish banding in the last 40 years knew Bill Giles!

Broxburn & Livi are the result of a 2004 merger of Broxburn Public and Livingston bands. I don't know what the circumstances of the merger were.
Broxburn Silver appear to still be going independently, but as a non-contesting group for the last decade or so.

I was involved with Broxburn Public from about 1978 to the mid 80s and then briefly in 1994 (for the British finals) and 1995.

Honestly I have no idea who Bill Giles is.  I was never very much into the banding community though.

Ronnie
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« Reply #82 on: Mar 23, 2017, 10:17AM »

No I don't know Bill Giles.  I've been out of it since 1995 and only got a trombone again (a bass one) last June and have been playing with the Open Orchestra since September.

I used to play with Broxburn but I see they are now Broxburn & Livingston.

Ronnie

Bill Giles is involved in everything around Edinburgh & parts of Fife and is out most nights playing in orchestras/brass bands/big band...you name it so I'm surprised you haven't come across him even back in the day.

He runs a trombone group which meets once a month in Heriots private school if you fancy coming along for a blow sometime Ronnie. There are usually about 8 or 9 of us and we just play a few pieces. It's good fun with no pressure.

The next one is on the 28th but I can't make it but if it's something you fancy then send me a PM and we can swap details.

Ross
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« Reply #83 on: Mar 23, 2017, 11:25AM »

Bill Giles is involved in everything around Edinburgh & parts of Fife and is out most nights playing in orchestras/brass bands/big band...you name it so I'm surprised you haven't come across him even back in the day.

He runs a trombone group which meets once a month in Heriots private school if you fancy coming along for a blow sometime Ronnie. There are usually about 8 or 9 of us and we just play a few pieces. It's good fun with no pressure.

The next one is on the 28th but I can't make it but if it's something you fancy then send me a PM and we can swap details.

Ross

Thanks, Ross.  Sounds like fun.  I'll maybe take you up on that but I can't make the 28th either.

Ronnie
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« Reply #84 on: Apr 29, 2017, 06:50AM »

Question for you Brass Banders (as I sit here listening/watching the European Championships):

When you put out 4 trombones, what parts are they playing?  Solo/1st/2nd/bass?  2x1st/2nd/bass?  1st/2x2nd/bass? 1st/2nd/3rd/bass?

I'm also kicking myself for needing sleep.  Missed the Cory Band performance.  Hear they are the guys to beat.
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« Reply #85 on: Apr 29, 2017, 08:08AM »

Certainly 2xsecond trombone.

I think the Norwegians will be hard to beat today.
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« Reply #86 on: Apr 29, 2017, 08:17AM »

Depends on the band and the music. Sometimes the first part gets divided. This was often the case in some newer Salvation Army pieces.

Rarely would a band have 2 bass trombones in a section of 4 or 5. It would be the same as 2 Eb sopranos - which is never good.

And the Norwegians are in a class by themselves. On my last trip to Bergen, I wangled an invitation to a rehearsal of the Eikanger band. Wow!
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« Reply #87 on: Apr 29, 2017, 09:23AM »

The usual Salvation Army arrangement is a divisi first part for two players. But often the ideal in that setting is for there to be various players surplus to the basic set-up. The reasons for this are a bit different.

It's interesting to see bands in the European championships start to evolve the contesting format from the statis that it's occupied for more than 100 years. The pieces they are having written to play at the contest tend to depend on making the most enormous sounds, and, without the usual player restriction, it's common for the more heavily physically taxing parts to have an extra player drafted in to offer extra firepower. Soprano cornet, solo cornet, basses - these often have an extra body or two at this contest. I hadn't heard of trombones being treated similarly, but it makes some sense.
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« Reply #88 on: Apr 29, 2017, 04:20PM »

So I guess Eikanger won.  Had to leave for a session before the end of today's performances.  They certainly sounded good on the Test piece.

Dave, I even saw a couple of bands with 2 flugel players.  Mostly to bump up the solo flugel during loud passages.
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