....for all percussion players, as usual. I have just been handed this years "Fuhrer directive" regarding how the percussive untermensch will be dealt with at this years midlands regionals. The stage layout diagram includes a sticker, with the following hysterical message in red underlined lettering. "Following advice from professional percussionists, for this years series of contests the timpani will not be moved this position. We are notifying you early for rehearsal purposes." Well, I have some stunning news for the Midlands Gestapo, guess what? the vast majority of us taking part at the Midlands regional are NOT "professional", so what's the point your trying to make? A second piece of paper handed to me, along with the above tablet of stone, gives details of what equipment is provided for each section, and includes further orders which must be obeyed ....."The following equipment is provided and must be used" Why is this sort of disrespectful attitude being displayed by contest organisers towards percussion players? and if the organisers are genuinely paying us the compliment of comparing us to professional players,dont they think they should be a little more respectful? I know a number of professional players,and its not difficult to imagine what they might have to say to such a "jobsworth" organiser who tried to order them about to such an extent. I must say I am fascinated to know who this cabal of shaymen professionals are, and I am very interested to know how they decided the Timpani must be stage left. Presumably this is the result of many hours of contemplative meditation, aromatherapy and Dolphin mating call CD's. We are all taking part in this contest to make music and have an enjoyable weekend. We have all been working hard to produce a creditable performance, and this of course includes percussion players. It hard enough as it is, having to play unfamiliar (and often defective) equipment, which you are not allowed to play untill you go on stage whithout this kind of unhelpfull and rather insulting attitude from contest organisers. Contest organisers should be there to help, not to make sure they themselves have an easy life.