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Author Topic: Brass Band Woes  (Read 11839 times)
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patrickosmith

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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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Geordie
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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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Roebird37

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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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MoominDave

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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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Dave Taylor

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patrickosmith

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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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patrickosmith

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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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Roebird37

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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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eightyeightH

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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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Roebird37

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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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Stewbones43

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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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ronnies
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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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eightyeightH

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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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BGuttman
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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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Dave Taylor

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Stewbones43

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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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MoominDave

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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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Dave Taylor

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Roebird37

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« Reply #59 on: Jan 16, 2017, 04:16AM »

Am I allowed to ask how Butlins went?
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