All England International Masters 2012

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by G D Bush, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. G D Bush

    G D Bush Member

    I just read this post on the English Nationals 2011 thread, and thought id extract it for further discussion...

    Interesting that I cant find any posts on the fact that next years Masters piece has been announced as "Comedy Overture" (John Ireland).... a piece last used at the 1st Section Areas in 2005!!!! Hardly cutting edge is it?!

    How do the organisers expect to attract the best bands when they a) choose pieces like this, b) charge exorbitant ticket prices (even to playing bandsman), c) use a venue in the middle of no-where ??

    I sincerely hope I'm proved wrong... but surely this is another nail in the coffin of this once popular and prestigious event?

    Discuss! ;)
  2. Red Elvis

    Red Elvis Active Member

    Based on what I've read on here and 4br , and from what mates that were there (both playing and listening) have said , this last weekend's English National seems to have been a great success and perhaps to an extent has rejuvenated itself after a couple of years where there have been withdrawals and , to my view at least a perception that it was one contest too many.

    The problem is that , what with the English Nats , the Areas and National finals , the Open and the Europeans for the lucky winners from the three home nations (and one could also throw "Brass in Concert" at the Sage in ) there are 4-5 (5-6) major "prestige" contests that our very best bands are looking at being involved in on a regular basis and fitting one more in is going to be an issue.

    What the Masters needs to do is find a niche or USP and as alluded to , venue , pricing and putative music choice will all have a bearing on this. The absence of the very top bands does not neccessarily make for a bad contest - look at Butlins where bands are keen to get involved (ok there is a fair bit of prize money on offer) and to my mind the organisation there is key in terms of everything else that goes alongside the contest itself.

    While most of us are happy to travel reasonable distances to support contests organised by our local associations , if an event wants bands to travel from further afield it needs to offer more than the standard school / college hall or sports centre type arena, or combine this with other attractions and events. At the risk of sounding facetious the locals tell me that the Masters in terms of visiting / listening lost a lot of attraction when it was moved from Cambridge where it was usually held on the same weekend as a major beer and folk festival.

    Another example may be the RNCM Brass Festival - ok not a contest but the big boys (or a good number thereof) are there , as are good audiences.Like Butlins , it's an event that relies on a number of attractions and approaches to get the punters in.

    In short then , the Masters needs to do something different to distinguish it . Maybe this could be an arena to highlight the works of our young up and coming composers (Dobson, Meecghan , Pankhurst to name but a few) or take a risk with adjudicators from outside the banding world. Tie this in with some form of fringe events and see what transpires. Obviously the drawback is who pays and how is it funded ?
  3. garsop_2000

    garsop_2000 Member

    To give me tuppence worth on the above post with point C, I asked this question on a facebook post in 2010, & allI got was a negative & nasty reply back from the organsiers. I'm non UK resident so obviously unaware of the whereabouts of Kettering (would you know how to get to my Village without asking), I thought best to ask the organiser,... I should of thought better :( Since that day I lost all respect for Mr. Biggs & his competition.

    I've been to one masters, 2001 at the Corn Exchange, never been back ;) Did'nt rate it and certainly dont rate it since the name change - All England International Masters ??

    Anyway counting down the day till i visit the British International Open ! looking forward to that ;)
  4. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    The contest is no longer what it used to be when you had the likes of Brighouse,Fairey,Fodens,Leyland etc playing.
    It was once the 3rd best contest in the U.K for me but if you had to put this contest in a ranking i think you would find a few well above this one.
    Picking a piece that was last used for 1st section area's i think just about says it all!!!!!!!
  5. critic

    critic Member

    Iam not commenting on the contest but your comment about Comedy Overture Ie just about says it all i would say one thing. Not many bands played it well
  6. hobgoblin

    hobgoblin Member

    Spot on. Using an accepted 1st section piece is a reflection of the lower and wider standard of bands likely to enter this contest now. A sad demise from the days of commissioning Cambridge variations, and what was the toughest contest in the calendar besides the open.
  7. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Make it an entertainments contest? Move it to Manchester, where there hasn't been a "senior" contest since the Open moved?

    This fixation with the single set testpiece is one significant factor killing contests; so why not make it own choice? Or with a twist - only pieces written in the previous decade allowed? Or pick a different decade each year?

    The timing of the Masters is also tricky; now that Open standard bands are giving it a miss, the next tier down are bands that compete in the Spring Festival resulting in a bit of a "fixture clash". However for bands that don't make it to London, the Open or BiC the Autumn can be a bit of a contesting desert, so why not move it to the end of October and target bands that didn't qualify for the finals?
  8. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    As perennial bridesmaids, I have to agree with this. Our contesting season is generally done by June.

    It could nicely fill the gap left by Pontins......
  9. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    There's a few contests in the Midlands and South in the autumn that would welcome some quality Northern bands to stiffen up the competition, I'm sure. Wychavon, Leicester, Leamington, Folkestone and Wessex spring to mind immediately.
  10. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Leicester's had one or two from the north in there every time I've been there. Did it with the Late Yorkshire co-op twice, have bumped into Imps, Skelmanthorpe and Frickley South Elmsall there last year. Like anything the real issue is travel, but leicester's reasonably easy to get to - though it isn't really in leicester any more.

    I'm with Anno. Move it to Manchester and give the non-open/albert hall bands an Autumn contest to get stuck into - since they're likely to be the ones attending. I like the idea of using decades too. Maybe two pieces, both own choice, one from the last decade, one from another decade picked on a year by year basis?

    One last thing. I'm glad the English Nationals appears to have enjoyed something of a resurgence under the new format - but isn't it a bit harsh on the last minute entries that saved the contest a couple of years back that they now seem to be being completely ignored by the organisers?
  11. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    I'm sure they would. Are they going to bump up the prize money to make it worthwhile though? From a financial point of view we're much better off organising a concert as we're guaranteed a couple of grand and a reasonable sized audience to play to on less rehearsal time which also cuts down on the MD's fees.
  12. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Make a weekend of it - get a band local to the contest to put you up and promote a concert the night before, giving you your cut of the profits?

    Anyway - I thought it was a problem that you were short of contests in the autumn. Attending contests costs money in the long run, end of.
  13. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Critic read the above post;)
  14. critic

    critic Member

    agree the contest is not what it was no disagreement there. I just made the point that Comedy Overture
    is still a test but i do fear for the contest but the organisers have to cover costs like anything else it certainly does not get any easier.
  15. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    It sure does, which is why you need to carefully consider what contest you should enter. Local ones where ever they may be are not worth that cost ( and neither is the masters at present).