Adjudication with a perecussion Player as 1 Of the Adjudicators

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by ian perks, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    We have just seen the Butlins Contest go by for 2006.
    It was good to see a percussion player used as an Adjudicator.(Simone Rebello)
    Do you think that we should see more experienced percussion players adjudicating, at brass band contests from leading Championship Section Bands.
    This would be a big help to the adjudication comments for percussion having a experinced percussion player used.
    And am sure you would see different results as well as we so often here a band play well but the percussion at times is not well played but the band still makes the prize list.
    Surely the percussion is part of the performance and not something to make the numbers up with.
    All contests at a high level i.e:Regional Contests, National Championships British Open and other major contests such as Butlins, in all sections as well
    I am sure you would see better constructive comments from these people who understand how the percussion part needs to be played, as well as comments on the general band playing.
    I am a Baritone player,but was amazed at some of the poor standard of percussion work in a particular section i heard, with 1 band that was in the prizes.
  2. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    I see where you are coming from and I can't disagree. However, given how badly I played at Butlins I'm quite glad there wasn't a percussion player adjudicating....

    I think this would only work where there is more than one adjudicator in the box though......
  3. I see , it's set on the percussionists time! :( I don't think you can start scoring bands down noticeably right down because a percussionist isn't up to scratch. Having someone like Simone judging the percussion is like someone back in the day being judged on the kit by Buddy Rich.
  4. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    I am sorry:
    But you have not read the question i have posted:
    Simone is probably one of the best percussion players who as played in a brass band withnin the last few years, having played with one of the finest Brass Bands in the Country FODENS also having been conducted by some of the finest conductors in the country Howard Snell and Nick Childs.
    I have been to a number of Fodens practises in leading up to a Major Contest (British Open) to see the hard work she as done in practise to make sure ALL the percussion section is 100% right not bang and thump away just to make the numbers up but to be part of the band perfromance.
    She is a very very fine musician who i am sure will make a very good brass band adjudicator in future years.
    The likes of Simone can only be of help with her comments to adjudication.
    Please read my first posting again , and see what i mean;)
    I am not having a knock at percussion players at all but just saying it would be nice to see experinced Championship Section percussion players be part of the adjudication system.
    I am sure that conductors and percussion players would find there comments most helpful like us brass players do when we are judged at a contest.:tup
  5. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    Interesting comment there Ian, but although Simone has played with many of our top bands in the past, she is a freelance percussionist and has probably performed with more Symphony Orchestras and other musical ensembles than she has with Brass Bands, which in my opinion gives her more credibility to adjudicate a Brass Band (or any other musical) competition than some of the more 'regular' names that keep cropping up.

    Top marks to the organisers for booking her as an adjudicator and let's hope that we see more 'professional' people from other musical genres being engaged to judge our competitions.

    Here's a link to Simones website - certainly worth a read:

    Last edited: Jan 23, 2006
  6. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I agree it is good to ave a prcussionist adjudicating once in a while, but even a non-percussionist should be able to make judgements on the accuracy or otherwise of the kitchen department. Many's the tie I've come away feeling very sorry for those percussionists who have really pulled out all the stops, only to find glaring errors in winning performances apparently ignored or disregarded. We're never going to recruit good players if they do not feel their efforts are properly recognised and valued.
  7. Shaggy

    Shaggy New Member

    The vast majority of percussion playing in Brass Bands is dreadfull, its perhaps a good thing that its largely ignored by adjudicators. Its also important to remember that Brass Band contests are about BRASS PLAYING for the most part. I have no patience with "bridesmaid" percussion players complaining about the fact they are never the "Bride" at a contest. If you want the lime light, play solo cornet and stop moaning.

    A percussion players role 95 percent of the time is to compliment,enhance and support the rest of the band. Its hardly suprising that adjudicators generally overlook the percussion, they are far too busy dealing with the real business of a brass band contest.

    Dear oh dear! percussion players, what a bunch of loosers, get a life for cryin out loud.
  8. I would have thought for the regionals Simone would play herself for some championship section band band rather than adjudicate?. Surely with the complexity of Journey to the centre of the earth she'll be somewhere?
  9. Shaggy

    Shaggy New Member

    Simone Rebello? blimey! do me a favour! Gary Burton, he's the daddy, and Bill these lads can really play!
  10. tinytimp

    tinytimp Member

    With an increasing number of pieces including the percussion section as a valid part of the music, shown by many a piece subtiltled 'For brass and Percussion' (Tristan Encounters, Salome, Journey to the Centre of the Earth etc.), I think we should be mentioned as such - a valid contribution. I've had many adjudications where the percussion isn't even mentioned, despite being a really challenging part or having made a glaringly obvious mistake. If having a percussionist as an adjudicator will begin to change this, I think it's a really good idea.

    Like has already been mentioned, perhaps this would only work with a 2-in-the-box system, at least at first; personally I wouldn't feel that confident commenting authoritatively on instruments that aren't my speciality, which may be the case with adjudicators at the moment.

    Obviously this would make it more challenging for us in the shed-building department; percussion doesn't seem to be played by as many people as brass so the pressure would really be on us non-first study percussionists if there's someone in the box that really knows their stuff!
  11. Does a cornet player have the right to criticise trombone players?
    I think it is fantastic that a percussionist is an adjudicator. Just because to our knowledge she doen't play a brass instrument does it make her any less knowledgeable about brass bands (she has played with one or two) and to know a good musical performance when she hears one.
    Thumbs up, she has certainly been an influence in our house.

    ps What a percussionist!!!!!
  12. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - you don't even need to be able to play an instrument to be a good judge of music ... however, performance aspects are important knowing what can be achieved on any given instrument. For example, a brass player may not know what is technically difficult to perform on a woodwind, string or percussion instrument and vice versa.
  13. stotty74

    stotty74 Member

    I think we should encourage more percussionists to adjudicate. After all, competitions are about musical performance, and aren't they musicians aswell (well some of them ;-) )
    So what if they have never played a brass instrument before. If they can follow a score and give an accurate assessment of each performance based on its musical merits, which is what current adjudicators attempt to do, then those that want to should be encouraged.
  14. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    I think it would be a good thing if we started employing adjudicators who aren't even brass players. How about getting a string player to judge us, for example? Now, there's a can of worms opened....
  15. Brass players have been doing this for the life of percussion in brass bands. Surely any adjudicator worth his money should know the facts. Is this not addressing the balance a bit.
    Surely it is wrong that some adjudicators totally ignore percussion sections.
    Does technique etc come into it, if it says it on the score thats what needs to be played does it matter how hard it is? Particularly if it is an own choice contest, the piece should have been picked for the strengths of the whole band (not just the brass players)
  16. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - my point is stating the fact that performance and technique is as much a major aspect of adjudication as is music and interpretation. For non-brass musicians to be involved in judging brass events they must have knowledge of how brass instruments are played and how musical difficulties are met and overcome (... it's not all about fast runs and arpeggios).
  17. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    What about that well known clarinet player, Major Peter Parkes? There's a man who knows a bit about good brass playing!

    Wasn't there a guy called Vivian Dunn who adjudicated at the Nationals a few times but wasn't a brass player OR conductor? or did I imagine that...:confused:
  18. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    It’s my opinion that composers have to shoulder as much blame as adjudicators for the normal omission of percussion from the performance comments. Good percussionists are hard to find, as I’m sure we all know. When pieces are written to need three, four and five percussionists (and even six in the case of Gregoritas) but bands can only muster two or three, then obviously some of it’s not going to go in. Last year, for the areas, Co-op signed two of my former junior band colleagues and my Mum, just because Rienzi had timps, side drum, bass drum, crash cymbals and triangle all going at the same time and we didn’t have enough bodies. None of them had played percussion before but without them, parts would have been missing and we would have been marked down.

    Which is another point. If an adjudicator figures out the triangle part isn’t going in, does he take a point off there and then, or does he take a point off for every missed entry/note?

    It must be disheartening to not know exactly how you’ll be marked for percussion. I’ve seen bands walk on, the shed-builders have an absolute shocker, but the band still finish in the prizes. And the opposite is true too, I’ve seen bands walk on with well-disciplined and organised percussion, on the dot every time, which gets completely ignored in the comments and the band get slated because the brass players botch a couple of notes.

    It’s as bad as the pedalling debate! Should we have a tuba player as an adjudicator just because he/she will know when the 2nd BB is pedalling and when he’s not? And will choose whether it’s effective interpretation of the music or scandalous ad-libbing?

    An adjudicator should understand and, where possible, comment on all aspects of a band’s performance. So far, my own section (basses) have never even gained a mention except ‘good basses’ at Wilkinsons the other month and ‘basses too loud’ in NZ. Shed-builders you are not alone! We get completely ignored too!
  19. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    If you hardly get a mention, then you're doing your job!!! I wouldn't complain....

    As for this whole Percussionists as Audjudicator debate... *some* of you seem to be implying that us Percussionists know nothing about any other instrument other than percussion.... which isn't true....
    Besides, it was only 4th section for crying out loud! :rolleyes: :lol:

    It doesn't and shouldn't matter *what* instrument you play to beable to look at a score and see how a band plays a piece etc etc etc. that isn't really rocket science... it's all about music as a whole at the end of the day...
    Simone has indeed played in brass bands before and still solos with bands, which is one of the reasons why she was asked I can imagine. She has a *lot* of experience....

    It's a great thing and I hope to see more 1) female and 2) percussionists being used as audjudicators in the future.... I for one would love to do it someday..... and maybe I will!!!!! ;-)
  20. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    Does this mean that any adjudicator we have in the box that has never played percussion would be exempt from marking down a band or passing any comment on the percussion side of a test piece?
    If not then why can't a percussionist adjudicate? They are just as much part of a band as the brass intruments. Soon we'll be saying that only people who held principle seats will be able to sit in the box as only they could understand the solo bits :confused:

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