Adjudication - Signs Of Change Ahead?

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by brassneck, May 15, 2007.

  1. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    After reading Gavin Lindsay's comments (Gold, Silver, Bronze) on 4BR about how the National Youth Championships were judged this year, it was a nice surprise to see that the criteria used for the National Concert Band Festival medal system was used to good effect. This idea is quite popular for various types of musical competitions and festivals throughout the World and it provides good feedback for competing bands. Have a look at the link below and see whether you would like to see this used in band contests on a wider scale. The criteria could be scaled even more to separate bands in the field.
  2. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    I'd be all for this, it would encourage adjudicators to comment on all the areas mentioned, not just their own particular preference.
  3. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - they don't necessarily need to comment as 'ticking' boxes would indicate the level the band is heard 'as being'. Some bands may need development in some areas and not others. It would mean also that our adjudication practice would be in line with what most others use! It makes sense!
    Last edited: May 15, 2007
  4. RobBari

    RobBari Member

    Surely these criteria are usd by adjudicators now, only this is set out in a more formal fashion? Using this format would allow a more structured approach (especially for the more inexperienced adjudicators) and possibly a more constructive critique of the bands performance However not sure i agree with 'tick-boxes', this could lead to a quantitative assessment when ranking competing bands rather than the expected qualititative assessment.
  5. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - this doesn't stop adjudicators writing comments as they usually do. Recognition memory is a lot stronger for general assessment and the sections are qualitative in that they indicate strengths and weaknesses at both technical and musical levels. Instead of medal indicators, they could be weighted with points and tallied at the end. It's more objective than what we entrust adjudicators with so far ... subjective opinion with no recourse for objection.
  6. RobBari

    RobBari Member

    It's more objective than what we entrust adjudicators with so far ... subjective opinion with no recourse for objection.[/quote]

    OK I can go with this, but 'recourse for objection'? .....
    Are you suggesting that we give bands the opportunity to raise objections with individual adjudicators based on their own subjective analysis of the way they played?
  7. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Not at all! I was stating that adjudicators in banding contests have a free reign without too much questioning on how they arrive at their results. Sometimes the written comments are sparse and not very constructive for future development and I believe such criteria as the National Concert Band Festival use can be quickly and easily implemented. I've added a link below for another set of similar criteria used in the States which clearly highlights what is required at different performance levels. It's an interesting site to browse how they organise competitions as well.
  8. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Last edited: May 16, 2007
  9. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    And it's not a dead cert you'll get anything constructive to build on from the remarks at the moment. I remember a euph player playing 'essence of time' and being told by the adjudicator he '...needed a more warlike approach.'

    Now what in the seventh chamber of hades does that mean? :dunno

    There's an old saying. "Victory is empty, but there are lessons in defeat." Except that there aren;t always in band contests cos it's not always obvious why you;ve won or lost.

    I think those awards are a great idea, especially at grass roots level as it shows the bands where the work needs to go in.
  10. Tub Thumper

    Tub Thumper Member

    Couldn't agree more. The atmosphere at wind band festivals (woe betide anyone calling them a contest....) always seems to be really positive as bands can learn what you do well and what you need to work on (tuning, intonation, ensemble, dynamics etc are all graded gold/ silver/ bronze individually with a comment I think). You can still 'win' (the adjudicator picks the best performance from the Gold standard bands) but those who don't make the 'frame' stil go away with something positive and useful.

    On the other hand, I've been to band contests where I've seen (e.g.) 3rd and 4th section bands (often with lots of kids in them) totally demoralised because they've worked really hard on one piece for x number of weeks only for an adjudicator to go one step short of saying they were rubbish and shouldn't have bothered (an extremem example but I have seen it....)! They may well have not been good enough to win but some objective & constructive critiscm and a (eg) bronze award/ certifacte of merit/ whatever would have been more useful/ motivating rather than coming 23rd out of 24th.....
  11. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Yes indeed. I was taken aback at my first wind band contest - sorry, festival - when after the performance was over, one of the adjudicators stepped forward, picked up the baton, took the band through a chosen passage and pointed out (to both band and conductor) how things might be improved upon. How refreshing was that?
  12. annmck

    annmck Member

    I played at the National Wind Band festival a couple of years ago. If I remember correctly,one adjudicator filled in the form (tick boxes) and the other one recorded his thoughts/comments/critism or praise etc as the band played. We were then given a recording of this afterwards and you could hear the band playing as he spoke, in the background. I thought this was really useful and could also eliminate possible allegations being made about changing marks or collusion after the performance.
    Also being given a bronze award rather than knowing your band got the lowest points was not so demoralising, especially for the younger players.
  13. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    It would be interesting to hear from players at this year's National Youth Brass Band Championships to see how much of the method was actually used.
  14. GingerMaestro

    GingerMaestro Active Member

    Apart from the Gold, Silver and Bronze bit isn't this exactly the same as the criteria base adjudication that Alan Morrison has implemented into adjudication of contests
  15. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - He wasn't clear in what was to be implemented and although both sets of criteria are largely similar, I felt that conductors and bands would look more at the technical aspects of the scores rather than the holistic, musical approach. The medal approach is still a welcome, recent innovation but performers outwith the teaching circuit may only remember the older system that detail was largely missing except for trying to achieve perfection in the exam.

    Alan Morrison's original article in The Bandsman

    Associated Board Set Of Criteria
  16. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I must add that I have never seen Alan Morrison's set of criteria publicly displayed to compare them with similar and established methods used elsewhere. The only clue I could find was an article published on 4BR ...
  17. boover

    boover Member

    The Tongwynlais Junior band competed at the Ebbw Vale contest a few weeks ago where a 'gold, silver, bronze' system of adjudicating is in place in the Youth Section. There was only two bands playing this year which is unfortunate and Tongwynlais came away with a Silver award. Ask them where they came, however, and they will tell you..."we came last". Last year, in the same contest they won a 'gold award' and were very disheartened when another band did the same. To tell supporters you've come "joint first" instead of "first" just isn't the same.

    Dont get me wrong, I am all for encouragement and praise rather than playing one band off the other but it is a sad fact of life that there are winners and loosers in this world and to wrap people up in cotten wool at an early stage surely breeds a generation of bandsmen that think they are better than they realy are! ....... just my opinion.

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