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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformancePerformance(Moderator: BGuttman) Taking over a big band - am I insane???????
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gregs70

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« Reply #20 on: Jun 29, 2017, 12:04PM »

My opinion:
  • I agree with SilverBone et al.
  • Bands need one dictator. Art by committee don't work.
  • I have played in three bands that went through re-organization / name change. All three were very successful with a new leader to give direction.
  • Leading the band is very time and energy consuming. WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) is important. Is it in your heart to be a band director? Is this going to be your only hobby?
  • $2000 is a highball "Art of the Deal" opener. I think $200 is more like it, should be free to just take-over.
  • IMHO you will loose a couple members if a new leader takes over, and up to half the band with a "new" band/name change. Do not get discouraged, there are lots of players, like you, that want to play in a good, well organized band.


A local big band I have sat in with is a democracy.  The band votes on the charts to play.  They play six times a year at a local restaurant/lounge and pack the house, plus to other gigs.    It works very well for them, and something similar could work for us.  I know most of the members in our band well enough to know they are looking forward to the old leader's retirement and me taking over, because they have said so.  I'm thinking paying a reasonable amount for the stands and folders, maybe some extra for the band's name and logo.  I want to hold a band meeting to discuss how to proceed first. 
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I'm not a total idiot - there are still a few pieces missing!

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gregs70

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« Reply #21 on: Jun 30, 2017, 06:21PM »

Still thinking.  It is always good insurance for a band to keep the originals in file and put copies in the folders.  Been in too many bands where a folder disappeared and it was hell trying to find replacement 2nd trumpet or bass trombone parts for all the charts.  I figure paying him 5 cents a page for copies of charts I would make copies of anyway once I got the originals would be fair to both of us.  Paying for charts I don't want - forget it.
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I'm not a total idiot - there are still a few pieces missing!

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Radar

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« Reply #22 on: Jun 30, 2017, 07:58PM »

My opinion:
  • I agree with SilverBone et al.
  • Bands need one dictator. Art by committee don't work.
  • I have played in three bands that went through re-organization / name change. All three were very successful with a new leader to give direction.
  • Leading the band is very time and energy consuming. WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) is important. Is it in your heart to be a band director? Is this going to be your only hobby?
  • $2000 is a highball "Art of the Deal" opener. I think $200 is more like it, should be free to just take-over.
  • IMHO you will loose a couple members if a new leader takes over, and up to half the band with a "new" band/name change. Do not get discouraged, there are lots of players, like you, that want to play in a good, well organized band.
I'm in a band where a committee works fairly well, we each have our own areas of responsibility:  A librarian who takes care of the Music, equipment person who takes care of the sound system etc., a business manager who does the scheduling and books the jobs, and a Music director who makes all the music decisions and rehearses the group.  If there is any big decisions that cross over these boundaries we have a committee meeting and make the decision together.


<Edit: Fixed Quote>
« Last Edit: Jun 30, 2017, 08:35PM by BGuttman » Logged
MikeBMiller
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« Reply #23 on: Jul 10, 2017, 11:14AM »

Our band gets a lot of charts from these guys and they are pretty cheap:

https://www.bigbandcharts.net/catalog.html
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jnoxon

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« Reply #24 on: Jul 10, 2017, 12:58PM »

Greg email me when you can. jenoxon at iCloud dot com
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RMTrombone
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« Reply #25 on: Jul 10, 2017, 05:00PM »

a Music director who makes all the music decisions and rehearses the group.
<Edit: Fixed Quote>

This is what I meant by dictator. Open to suggestions, but has the final say.
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BillO
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« Reply #26 on: Jul 10, 2017, 09:27PM »

Our band gets a lot of charts from these guys and they are pretty cheap:

https://www.bigbandcharts.net/catalog.html
Hmmm, I had my wrist slapped for mentioning these folks before.  I sent them an email to ask if their charts were legit - they refused to answer.  The price is appealing, but now I believe if you use this service, folks are getting ripped off.
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Never look at the conductor. You just encourage them.

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Posaunus
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« Reply #27 on: Jul 10, 2017, 11:01PM »

Would be nice if someone could clarify this - I was tempted to order some charts from BigBandCharts, but have no desire to violate copyrights or rip anyone off.   Don't know
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Woolworth

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« Reply #28 on: Jul 11, 2017, 05:57AM »

Our band gets a lot of charts from these guys and they are pretty cheap:

https://www.bigbandcharts.net/catalog.html

We had a discussion about this website before.  The charts they sell are illegal copies.  This has been verified by the (living and still in business) composers and arrangers whose charts they are selling.

There are plenty of sources of legal charts. 
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Rich Woolworth
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MikeBMiller
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« Reply #29 on: Jul 11, 2017, 11:07AM »

Could someone provide a link to the previous discussion about that site?
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BillO
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« Reply #30 on: Jul 11, 2017, 11:16AM »

https://tromboneforum.org/index.php/topic,92705.0.html
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Never look at the conductor. You just encourage them.

Have you noticed, some folk never stick around to help tidy up after practice?
BillO
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« Reply #31 on: Jul 11, 2017, 11:30AM »

Here is a site that offers legal free charts: http://www.mindformusic.com/big-band
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Never look at the conductor. You just encourage them.

Have you noticed, some folk never stick around to help tidy up after practice?
gregs70

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« Reply #32 on: Jul 11, 2017, 03:45PM »

Greg email me when you can. jenoxon at iCloud dot com

email sent
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I'm not a total idiot - there are still a few pieces missing!

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gregs70

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« Reply #33 on: Aug 06, 2017, 06:52PM »

Having a band meeting tomorrow before rehearsal to work things out among us.  Tremendous support from everybody I contacted.  One member lead high school and college jazz bands and would step up as director.  Another said he would handle internal communications.  I'll do bookings.  Right now my plan is to let John sell the copies and stands to the outsider and we start from scratch.  I own 17 charts myself, others have charts they can kick in, there are plenty of legal downloads, and we buy on our own only the charts from the old book that we like and are not saddled with the music we don't want.  I already came up with a new name and my wife designed a logo and business card.  I'm excited!  Yeah, it will be hard work, but I am betting it will be worth it.
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« Reply #34 on: Aug 06, 2017, 10:56PM »


Glad to hear you're up and running, Greg.  I have a substantial library, so if there are charts you're looking for, I may have them--including many that are out of print and unpublished.  And if I don't have them, if anybody can locate them, I can!
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BillO
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« Reply #35 on: Aug 07, 2017, 09:49AM »

Cool Good!
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Never look at the conductor. You just encourage them.

Have you noticed, some folk never stick around to help tidy up after practice?
Radar

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« Reply #36 on: Aug 07, 2017, 11:58AM »

Sounds like you have a good plan and things will come together for you!!  Good choice not to buy the band as it was, illegal copies and all!!
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Big Daddy K

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« Reply #37 on: Aug 08, 2017, 05:57AM »

I play in a local amateur big band. We rehearse twice a month and have a paid gig maybe 3 times a year.  It was started about 15 years ago by two retired widowers.  One dropped out about five years ago.  The other, John, a WWII vet and the second trombone player, is giving it up.  He has trouble getting around and is moving to a retirement home, and wants to sell me the band. 

John owns the stands, the music, and books the gigs.  When we needed a PA, I ended up putting one together out of my own pocket and easily have over a grand in it.  He decides what charts we play for rehearsals and gigs.  I have been playing lead, sitting next to John and due to his hearing problems I have been the liaison between the band and him. I have helped with tempos, counted off when needed, pack up his horn and make sure the music gets back into his car after rehearsals.  I took over announcements last gig.  The band members come to me with their questions and concerns, I bring them up to John.  We have a strong trumpet section, decent trombone section, and our sax section is rebuilding after some people retired. 

My experience?  I have two quarters as a conservatory performance major back in the 70s.  Switched majors when I realized being a full time musician wasn't in the cards.  When I graduated with a liberal arts degree in the middle of a recession I couldn't find a "real" job so I toured with a third rate big band for almost two years.  That gave me some knowledge of how to do a gig right.  Strictly amateur since 1981.   All that said, I have never run a band, never rehearsed a band.  I can look at a score and get the gist of what should be going on, I guess.

We have a good book of music, a lot of Wolpe arrangements to Miller and Basie transcriptions, 300 charts total.  On the bad side, John donated the originals to local high schools for the tax break and all he is selling are the copies.  That bothers me - he didn't give the band a chance to buy the originals.

I have a full time job and don't have the time to do it all like he did.

My options:

1) Turn down the offer to buy the band and either watch the band fold (I can't do that) or let somebody else step up. 

2) Pay the $2k to John, run it like he did.  Not possible.  Partly because I don't have the time, and partly because as much as I love the band and want to see it thrive I am not willing or able to invest $2k I would probably never see again.

3) Find maybe three others, kick in $500 each, and split the duties.  Agree that if one of the four leaves, the others have to buy him or her out. My top choice right now.  I have one volunteer already who is willing to contact everybody for rehearsals and call subs when needed, something I didn't relish having to do.

4) Ask for all 18 members to kick in $100 each, nonrefundable, and take on what I can and delegate what I can't. 

My wife thinks I am nuts, I should let somebody else take it over and if nobody does find another band to play in.   There are no bands nearby, unfortunately.  I see logistical and legal problems getting everybody to pitch in. 

Anybody have any advice, sage or otherwise?  Confused






Yes, you are insane.
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« Reply #38 on: Aug 08, 2017, 10:58AM »

I'd be happy to donate a chart. It would be a copy of an arrangement a well-known composer-arranger did of a well-known pop tune. For copyright reasons he couldn't SELL me a copy but he could GIVE me a copy.

Let me know.
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« Reply #39 on: Aug 08, 2017, 12:14PM »

Having a band meeting tomorrow before rehearsal to work things out among us.  Tremendous support from everybody I contacted.  One member lead high school and college jazz bands and would step up as director.  Another said he would handle internal communications.  I'll do bookings.  Right now my plan is to let John sell the copies and stands to the outsider and we start from scratch.  I own 17 charts myself, others have charts they can kick in, there are plenty of legal downloads, and we buy on our own only the charts from the old book that we like and are not saddled with the music we don't want.  I already came up with a new name and my wife designed a logo and business card.  I'm excited!  Yeah, it will be hard work, but I am betting it will be worth it.

This sounds like a better plan  Good!

A band with three gigs a year and copies in the band book is not worth $2k. The thing of value seems to be the stands. Are they old? If they are 15 years old or more and in working order they could be worth about $4-$5 each (my guess) but just google ebay and you find what they are worth. A big band has 13-16 stands.

Since you are starting fresh you'll need stands. I guess $100 is a fair price for all the old stands. To be sure you just google any equipment to find out the ebay value.

/Tom
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