Academic Festival Overture

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by fabled inferno, May 17, 2012.

  1. Toxophile

    Toxophile Member

    Aren't the same arguments coming up again?

    I heard complaints that a percussion prize couldn't be awarded when the 1st section test was Moorside Suite a couple of years ago and the percussion part was next to nothing, there was too much percussion required in Pentacle in 2009, Mountain Views was too easy for 1st Section this year, Carnaval Romain was too hard in 2010.

    At the end of the day, the music panel have made their choices and we have to sit down and play them. We might have 40 bars of tutti minims to play, but the band that wins should be the one who plays those bars in tune, at the correct dynamic, where everyone starts and finishes together. It is not the end of the world if some people feel the finals test piece is easier than the areas, as long as the bands in the final play to the best of their ability, a reasonable result should be arrived at.

    If anyone is really unhappy at the choice, then voice that concern to the music committee, but I would imagine constructive comments are more likely to elicit a reasonable response than a straightforward complaint that the test piece doesn't suit a section of your band.

    Pete Scott
  2. Nickcolch

    Nickcolch New Member

    Thanks the lord in our case!!!
  3. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Mornington Crescent!​
  4. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    Trombone parts are very inconsistent in test pieces also, ranging from rock-hard to a handful of minims. Sadly the wrong one always seems to pop up for me, when I'm in the mood for a challenge it will probably be Indian Summer, when I'm hoping for a quiet contest Dreams will hit the stand.

    If the band I was in wasn't interested in the piece to be performed, a valid argument could be made around the reasons to spend all that money and time attending the contest. Go do something interesting instead and see what piece gets chosen next year.

    Voting with your feet is a good way to effect change!
  5. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    I don't know if I would go for that idea, but it is a very valid and logical option worthy of discussion.
    Trouble is that when it comes to the Areas and National Finals every band feels obligated to take part whatever the piece.
    Perhaps bands that enter big contests should submit a list of three or so pieces and the most popular should be chosen. Alternatively make some of the big contests "Own Choice". It might make the result a bit of a lottery and open to great debate, but in theory all the competing bands will have enjoyede rehearsing their contribution.

    ~ Mr Wilx
  6. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    The results are generally a bit of a lottery and subject to debate anyway!

    It says a lot for us though (and I understand the mentality) that very few bands will turn their back on these contests even after complaining about the venue, piece, cost and inevitably, result.

    If you aren't keen and excited about going, why do it? The obvious response is that if the band doesn't, players will go to the bands that do. I haven't run the finances for a band, but I would imagine the cost for a top section band to attend the finals would be well in to four figures. Enough to record a cd, do a concert at a good venue with a top-class guest artist or a solid foundation towards paying for an overseas trip.

    We're all different, but I know which I would rather do if the alternative was a dull piece in a bob venue being judged by Jeff McDeaf. And we've all done some of those contests I'm sure!

    That said, done some fab contests in great venues with well thought-out music too, good fun.

    Anyway, my two cents. I like AFO actually, but the thought of having it rammed down my throat for weeks on end for a contest isn't appealing.
  7. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Nice idea, and they tried it at the old Reading contest... it worked pretty well until a number of bands withdrew because they couldn't actually play the piece they'd chosen (Isaiah 40 I think)!!
  8. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Slightly OT... The Reading contest also saw Brighton Buses playing the Leidzen Sinfonietta by mistake, because the band never received the letter citing the contest committee's decision to change its mind and offering up The Three Musketeers or Promenade (I think) 'cos the Leidzen was too difficult...
  9. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    I bet the Eb Bass player for Brighton wasn't too chuffed at having to practice and play the challenging Solo in the Leidzen, all for nothing!

    ~ Mr Wilx
  10. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    Duplicate ~ Sorry !
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  11. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    I always dreamed of playing that solo, but Will the Sec always worked it so that he got to play it :mad:

    If memory serves the sound of the EEb Bass was a little on the thin side!
  12. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    Especially on the top Ab after the turn I bet.
    I played it in the Shield many years ago and I confess to a few sleepless nights. Mind you, I was only 16/17 !

    ~ Mr Wilx
  13. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Were you even on Bass the one occasion we got the piece out at WFCB, LBB? I can only remember rehearsing it the once.
  14. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    Yes, hence me saying always :tongue:
  15. Tam O Shanter

    Tam O Shanter Member

    Not quite, but close. The contest organisers originally said it was a choice of Three Musketeers or the Leidzen Sinfonietta, but they later sent an errata saying it was a choice of Three Musketeers or the Horovitz Sinfonietta - but Brighton Buses didn't receive the errata.

    I heard them play and they were very good playing what was arguably the hardest piece that any of the bands played. They should have probably won based on standard of performance, but rules is rules.
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
  16. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    My memory is a bit hazy here, but I seem to recall it was also Reading contest one year when we all turned up to play a "Divertimento" by somebody or another, and one unfortunate band turned up and played an entirely different "Divertimento" by someone else. Can't remember any more than that; perhaps someone with a better memory can fill in the details ... ?
  17. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    I've got a feeling that was Brighton too!
  18. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    That makes more sense - and yes, they were very good that day!
  19. nickeastwood

    nickeastwood New Member

    Helo there,

    Any bands that are going to be playing AFO at the finals and would prefer an actual solo cornet part, get in touch. We have proper copies (none of this short score rubbish!).

    Interested? Drop me an email @

    Nick @ York RI Band

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