Am I right to feel annoyed

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Justin Lookin, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. Justin Lookin

    Justin Lookin New Member

    I just wanted to post this regarding something that happened in our rehearsal last night to get opinions on whether I am justifyably angry or whether I am over reacting.

    After last Thursday's rehearsal it was mentioned that we needed a full rehearsal on Monday to put a programme together for a concert we are doing on Thursday.

    On Sunday the principal cornet player telephoned me to ask if I was willing to play two solos at the concert. I agreed to this and he said we'd run through something in Monday's rehearsal.

    In Mondays rehearsal we had 2 players missing which is a pretty good turn out for us. We commenced the rehearsal with a march (not one from the concert programme) after which the MD asked us to get the areas test piece out. I asked if we were going to practice anything for Thursdays concert and was told by the principal cornet that we weren't and that if people were going to twist he would cancel it altogether.

    I spent the remainder of the rehearsal wondering what I'd said that constituted twisting. After the rehearsal the secretary announced that, due to the poor attendance and certain people twisting about not preparing a programme, the concert was going to be cancelled.

    What's really annoying me is that I seemed to be the only one that thought it strange that we were willing to turn up for this concert without having a clue what we would be playing. This isn't the first time this has happened but our last concert was so poor I thought people were beginning to get the message. Then to make it worse somebody said "what do we need to practice for? It's only a church. It's not as if it's the Albert Hall"

    Am I alone in thinking concerts are at least as important as contests? After all at a concert people have actually paid money to hear us rather than just killing time waiting for their turn to play or for the Championship Section to come on.

    Anyway. Rant over. Should I be annoyed or should I just forget it?
  2. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Who mentioned it? The MD? Secretary? Someone in the pub?

    The whole thing is very odd. If the band carries on in this sort of fashion I give it 6 months max - especially virtually arguing in rehearsals!. It must be lovely to have the luxury of being able to cancel a concert at will - must not need the money.

    Either that or there's more to it than meets the eye (what is "twisting" anyway??).
  3. HorniKaz

    HorniKaz Supporting Member

    No, you are not alone in thinking concerts are as important. But what exactly do you mean by "twisting" & also, how come its the pricipal cornet asking you to do solos?
  4. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    What's twisting? Anything to do with Chubby Checker? (sorry)
  5. barrytone

    barrytone Member

    Rightly annoyed

    You're absolutely right to be annoyed, everyone in the band has a right to know what's going on but the fact that no one even knows the concert programme, smacks of a lack of communication between the band officials and the band itself. To cancel a concert at such short notice is totally unacceptable unless there's a very good reason, such as severe weather or unforeseen circumstances. It can lead to a band having a reputation that it doesn't want amongst concert goers and other bandsmen/women.

    Concerts are at least as if not more important than contests as they bring the band revenue. Contests only bring money in if you're in the prizes, turn out to play at your local church and you know you're going to make money. Contests help bands climb the rankings, success in the regional contests can get a band to the National Finals; which is wonderful, however it's not the only reason that a band should work hard or give of it's best.

    Banding is a hobby, we give our time, money and effort to it, the least anyone of us can expect is to enjoy it. Let the officials at band know that their actions have annoyed you and that you're not prepared to tolerate such poor behaviour, organisation and communication. Depending on the reply, the decision is yours as to how to proceed.
  6. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    I would be annoyed too, just as I was when our Christmas concert never happened.

    What I would say however is that Between the turn of the year and the areas I would never take on any job that required a lot of rehearsal time/extra commitment from the band, unless of course that job was going to pay particularly well. I suppose I'm saying that you can only stretch people too far before something has to give and inevitably family or work commitments take precedence over band.
  7. emzbaby31

    emzbaby31 New Member

    practice makes perfect or so ive been told! yes you are right to be annoyed whats the point in doing boring test pieces that dont really show your band off when you can have a laugh with fun pieces that your band are good at and can have fun playing!!
  8. i would feel terribly annoyed aswell.
    and as it was said before isnt it the musical director who decides who's playing solo's not the principle cornet player!
    and concert pieces also help the band improve to then apply to contest pieces so.. i would be annoyed!
  9. Nuke

    Nuke Active Member

    If your band carries on cancelling concerts then they will not make any money. The reputation of the band will go down and organisers, even local, will not come to the band to do events as they will have shown they are not reliable enough.

    If the band thinks it can afford to do this then it won't get very far.

    Like previously said by barrytone, voice your opinion. If you are willing to put the practice in but the band aren't there are plenty of other places you can go.
  10. andreab

    andreab Member

    It's whinging - which it doesn't sound like 'Just Lookin' was doing.

    Hope you get it sorted out.
  11. Justin Lookin

    Justin Lookin New Member

    Just like to clarify a few points

    1. Twisting is a north-east expression meaning to whinge (I wasn't. Honestly!)

    2. It was the secretary who asked for everyone try and get there on Monday

    3. The Principal Cornet player is also the band chairman and was probably calling on behalf of the MD
  12. floral_dance

    floral_dance Member

    Concerts are fun and a good way of getting known locally. I would be annoyed as well especially since it sounds like the extra night rehearsal is not your usual night and you all made an effort to get there. Most bands would be lucky to have only two players missing rehearsal..........
  13. Justin Lookin

    Justin Lookin New Member

    A funny thing just happened (well I thought it was funny anyway). The band chairman just phoned. It seems they can't cancel the concert as the church have sold too many tickets and would I consider doing the concert with a quintet. Anyone care to guess what my reply was?
  14. Ffion Flugel

    Ffion Flugel Member

    You're exactly right to be annoyed. I think your point about people paying to listen is a good one too - bands too often try very hard to please adjudicators, but don't offer the same courtesy to people who support you throughout the year.

    I wonder why bands have this ability to make people feel small - or is it just when groups of people get together? It sounds to me as though not everyone intended the concert to go ahead and you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.;)
  15. andyp

    andyp Active Member


    The audience have paid to see a band, not a quintet!

    It's up to the band to fulfil their commitment, if it means borrowing players and that costs then so be it.

    Somehow I don't think you'lll be asked to play there again.
  16. Justin Lookin

    Justin Lookin New Member

    The concert would not have taken any extra time or commitment. Just a rehearsal spent putting a programme together then the concert was on a night when we would normally have had a rehearsal anyway
  17. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    First question, how many other bands are there in your area? Some people have said that there are plenty of other places you can go but for some people, (and I'm not sure if you are one), there are few or only one band that is practical to get to due to time/transport/distance and ability. However if you're prepared to do solos I guess ability shouldn't be a problem. If you're not happy at a band, first try to work out why and whether you can fix it, and if you cannot - then find another band. But whatever you do, don't threaten to leave to try to make a point, just turn round and say "I'm off". Empty threats just p*** everyone off!

    Second question, how well do you know the MD. If I were you, i'd speak to the MD about how you feel, that you feel there is a lack of communication and direction regarding concerts/contests/rehearsals. S/He should be in a position that s/he can do something about it, perhaps speaking to the committee, or at least putting together a rehearsal schedule for concerts/contests.

    Third question, with (i'm guessing) 23 players + perc at the rehearsal, how many were accusing you of whinging and were against doing the concert, how many were backing you up and how many just sat there quietly and tried to ignore what was going on. It depends a lot on the age/experience of the band, if there are a lot of youngsters, they tend to just go along with what is happening and don't stick their neck out.

    Finally, is anyone else from your band on tMP, we are getting your side of the picture, and whilst I don't doubt what you are saying it would be interesting to hear their point of view on the situation

    And to answer your original question, too right you should be annoyed, it is unfair on the players and concert audience, unprofessional and that attitude won't help the band in the long term.
  18. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    and not only bad for your band but bad for other bands too. If your band cancels the concert there will be a double effect - unlikely you'll ever be asked back but it could cause problems for others too. If I'd organised a concert and booked a brass band and was let down I'd be very wary about booking another one in the future - "well the last time we booked a band they let us down with 3 days notice - won't be having them or any others in the future, think we'll try a choir instead"

    Very unfair of course but that's what people will think.
  19. GingerMaestro

    GingerMaestro Active Member

    I think you have every right to be annoyed I have seen it happen in other bands and the only outcome is that the players start to lose their commitment to the band and leave and the audience numbers start to fall and eventually the band get to the point of crisis meetings to decide if it is really worth continuing.

    If it was me I would write a letter to the committee, and air your greivences to them. If they have any kind of commitment to the direction in which they want the band to go they will act on it but if they just accuse you of whinging again maybe it is time for you to move on and find a band where you can get what you want out of banding and let them get on with ruining the band.

    At the end of the day you are the most important person in this. if you are not happy then that will reflect in your attitude to the band and could reflect in your playing which is no good for you and no good for the band either.

    Do what is best for you

    I hope you get it all sorted soon
  20. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    I've been thinking a bit more about this and there are a few other things that confuse me...

    Like who agreed to take on the job in the first place and how long ago was that? If it was only in the last couple of weeks, then why take it on if there is doubt you will be able to do it? If it was a long time ago, then why has it been left to the last week before the concert to start thinking about the programme.

    It sounds to me like a few things are happening - 1) people aren't talking in the band/committee about what they want to do, can do, should do, 2) the MD/committee/whoever are not very organised, 3) there is a lack of leadership.

    I suggest that you suggest some ways of moving forward and ensuring this doesn't happen again. Speak to peopl on tMP who run bands and find out what pitfalls they have in running their band.

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