A week's a short time in Banding

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by tubafran, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Just goes to show that for many band's the lack of players can be resolved.

    4barsrest 15/01/2008

    Kevin Wadsworth has announced his departure from Barnsley Building Society Band.
    Barnsley Building Society Band has lost the services of Kevin Wadsworth.

    Kevin told 4BR: "It's with regret that I have come to the decision to resign my position as MD with the band.

    My work ethic has always been hard work and total commitment in order to achieve results."

    Smashing nucleus

    Kevin added: "The band has a smashing nucleus of dedicated members but gaps in consistency didn't allow for careful preparation for rehearsals and concerts. I wish the band every success in the future."

    and comments on 4barsrest letters page

    "Gaps in consistency

    I note that Kevin Wadsworth has resigned from Barnsley Building Society Band and in his resignation statement says "gaps in consistency didn't allow for careful preparation for rehearsals and concerts."

    How true this is and how frustrating for MDs and for the players who do attend all the rehearsals and, as a result, get most of the stick for their trouble! However, how many bands exist today where every chair is filled at every rehearsal?
    It is far from uncommon for the first FULL performance of an Area test piece to be actually the one on the day of the contest! Reality? I'm afraid so.

    Peter Hargreaves"

    The band have been short of a number of players for sometime however a concerted effort by the same "nucleus of dedicated members" has resulted in this situation being rectified.

    From BBSBB website Vacancies Page

    The Band currently has no Vacancies in any areas.
  2. SuperCat

    SuperCat Member

    Well said Fran. Most bands are struggling for players at the moment and hardly any bands - even top section have full band rehearsals all the time. There's always the problem with people having to work etc and obviously that and family commitments come before band practice, so even if a band is 'full' its difficult to get full band practices. Its all very well conductors saying that they've left because of empty seats, but surely they've got to wake up, banding is declining and not every band is like Black Dyke with a queue of people wanting to join.

    Anyway, I'm very pleased that we have a full band and well attended rehearsals, and not just pretend that we have and are burying our heads in the sand like others!
  3. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Good on you "Barra". Indeed, there is and I think always has been a dedicated hardcore at BBS. Best of luck for the area and keeping those newly filled seats full!!

    How many of the new faces came out of that famous cupboard in Wosborough Welfare labelled "People who used to play for Grimey at some point"? ;-)
  4. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Just one from the wardrobe this time; there's been a minor change in the running of the band - we even have a formal committee now. But the efforts had been put in by all the players to look round and see where we could get the players. I even discovered a very disgruntled BBb from a band you used to play with that was looking to move. Although apparently as well as encouraging him to move to BBSBB I was also instrumental in persuading Emma, Zuzanna and you to move there too - funny how people's memories get confused.
  5. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Yep, and especially this time of year when there's so much illness going round - so although BBSBB has all the seats filled we had 2 people missing (on holiday), one down due to illness and one that couldn't get as her husband was stuck in floods and she couldn't get a babysitter in time. The best you can hope for is that everyone that can get, does.
  6. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    Can I suggest that part of the problem is the culture of having too many rehearsals in a week. Maybe things have changed but it always used to be two a week and one band I played in had three. At the same time players did not, in general, do much practicing at home. Partly this was because the rehearsals were leaving them needing a day to recover (which is probably the correct thing to do anyway - its best to have at least one day off per week).

    I think that one rehearsal per week should be enough, provided the players are working on the difficult passages at home so the rehearsal time is not taken up with trying to get the notes right.

    About 18 months ago I was asked to play bumper up in a championship section band but I just couldn't face the three rehearsals per week that they were requiring.

    Thats my thoughts anyway.
  7. Lawrencediana

    Lawrencediana Member

    It is always good news to hear that bands are up to full strength, but I can sympathise with Kevin on this. It is very frustrating to do your homework and prepare a rehearsal for a band only to get to rehearsal and find that nearly all the pieces you have prepared are not viable with the team you have on the night. If this is a constant problem I can see why a conductor of Kevin's experience would walk away. I am fairly lucky with my band and it is quite rare for me not to be able to rehearse what I have prepared. It sometimes takes a shock like an conductor resigning for the band to see the problems and it looks and sounds like you have had th wake up call and have succeeded in turning things around.
  8. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    I think it would be alot harder for bands to manage to compete off one rehearsal a week, i think rehearsaing as an ensemble is equally as important as practising on your own.
    There is a happy medium though and it does get frustrating sometimes if rehearsals go overboard,i know at one point i had hardley seen my other half for about 3 weeks because when i was rehearsing he wasnt and vice versa, but the couple of weeks before a contest you have to expect there will be extra! :cool:
  9. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    It is funny as well that kevins resignation sounds extremely similar to that which he put out when he went from Yorkshire co-op.......
  10. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    And Grange Moor?

    I have to say I wouldn't want a band to rehearse once a week, it means a massive gap between rehearsals if you miss just one. Imagine being too ill to go to band one week, and away with work the next, it's three weeks between rehearsals, not enough at lower section level.
  11. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    cant remember skelmanthorpes, but who knows?!?! ;)
  12. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    I must admit, following the public comments that Kevin made when he left Coop that it was surprising that he was prepared to take on BBSBB after the area when it was apparent that we did not have a full team. I was even more surprised that he stayed as long as he did - it was however very apparent that lack of players was becoming very frustrating for him and for many of us in the band it was a case of "well I'm sure the powers that be will do something about this". Various names were mentioned on a regular basis about who would be filling the seats (see Colin's comments about that magic cupboard we have) however none of these people turned up.

    As to the wake-up call that came when Kevin gave his notice and the problem was then put to the band, a committee formed and various avenues to seek new players were considered - although in fairness to expect this to happen in less than a month when very few players had been found in over 9 months was a big ask.

    Lets hope we can now do justice to our new MD and give him the chance that the band never gave Kevin.
  13. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Ha ha ha! You're nowt but a poacher Mr Hargate!
  14. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    That's good news to hear that it was you who was responsible, I remember at the time that general feeling held me fully responsible for any players who left said band. Much as I like to flatter myself about my abilities of persuasion, I think that might be a step too far. And now at least it appears my name can be cleared and I can sleep at night. :p
  15. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    That brings up the issue of over rehearsing or peaking too early, or worse still: practicing on the morning of a concert. If its not fixed by then its too late to do anything about it.

    Actually, one of the things that in my experience separates good conductors from bad conductors is that bad ones rehearse little bits of the music for technical reasons and don't spend enough time on the transitions between different sections or playing the piece in its entirety.

    I still think that what separates upper section bands from lower section ones is not talent, but a commitment to personal daily practice.

    I would recommend the first few minutes of this video if anyone is looking for inspiration:

  16. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    I think the point been made (for co-op and grange moor anyway) was that there werent an extrodinary amount of empty seats, no more than any top band you might walk into.
    I doubt any conductor expects that there be full attendance at every rehearsal i think it would be silly for them to expect that with family/work commitments and illness.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2008
  17. Lawrencediana

    Lawrencediana Member

    I think for bands trying to be top class empty seats are unacceptable, I think back to having Steve Bastable and Peter Parkes both demanded that any empty chairs were to be filled with deps before they attended any rehearsal.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2008
  18. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    yes, but in this day and age i think expecting every single person to be able to make every single rehearsal is unrealistic expectation as people have other commitments.

    i think its a little odd to state on a public website reasons for leaving which are not really accurate. If there was some dispute over it then maybe he should not have put anything at all!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2008
  19. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    That would be nice if you had a) the fore knowledge in respect of who will not be there (particularly last minute difficulties and b) suitable and available players to attend a rehearsal as a dep.
  20. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    The phrase "gaps in consistency" has been interpolated by a correspondent on the 4barsrest letter page to mean a shortage of players, however it was the letters page that implied it was the the players that did attend got stick for those that didn't.

    "How true this is and how frustrating for MDs and for the players who do attend all the rehearsals and, as a result, get most of the stick for their trouble! However, how many bands exist today where every chair is filled at every rehearsal?"

    I would suggest that "gaps in consistency" was also a reference to abilities and attitudes of some band members.

    So in summary Kevin left because of a shortage of players, he didn't abuse or miss treat the ones that were there, indeed he referred to them as "a smashing nucleus of dedicated members". The band have taken on board his leaving, done something about it and now have a full band.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2008

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