Are the high standards of bands driving people away from the movement??

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by StellaJohnson, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    Hi everyone!

    Following on from another thread, I thought I may share some of the problems I have encounted!!

    As some of my friends on tmp already know, I have recently moved to Leeds due to work reasons but still play for a band in Buxton during the weekends. If I was to permanently live in Leeds, I feel I would probably leave the brass band movement.

    All bands despite there section complain of lack of players,

    I'm more interested in 2nd section upwards who possible do don't have a youth or training band to fall back on. My experience is you maybe a victim of your own success and maybe driving players away?? Maybe due to committment levels you require.

    I think there is a shortage (believe it or not) of lower section/ level of bands in certain areas of the country.

    Any thoughts???
  2. JR

    JR Member

    What an extraordinary statement

    I'm from Leeds, work in Leeds, support Leeds Utd, like Leeds and am offended!

    There are plenty of decent bands of the standard you describe within a 10 mile radius of Harvey Nicks

  3. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    as previously mentioned on other can't expect to play at any level without conforming to the level of committment they ask for! Are you sure that you've contacted EVERY band in the Leeds area to ensure that you've not got the committment needed?

    I would say that you are being a bit shortsighted...and if you're determined to play in 2nd section or over, then you should look at what YOU think is a decent enough level of committment (not attendance) and then discuss it with each and every band in that area. I'm positive you'll find a band.
  4. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    Thats the problem, they are decent and too good for me!!
  5. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Kicked over the hornets nest there Stella girl.
    They're very good at getting hold of the wrong end of the stick on here !

    I assume that you are looking for a lower standard band, with good rehearsal attendance but not many jobs in the diary.
    Committed playing members, but with not much call on your free time at weekends - or am I looking at the stick from the wrong direction ?
    As my old mate Derek Dawson would say "Wotz tha meean"

    - Mr Wilx
  6. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Is that the problem though? In your first post you talk about the level of commitment required - ie: how often you turn out, how much home practice you have to put in etc. But that doesn't have to be related to how you perceive your own abilities?

    The two are, I'll admit, linked.

    If you want to play at a top level, you have to have high commitment and good quality as a player.

    At lower levels, you can either get away with maybe a little less quality if you're comitted and practice hard, or a little less comittment if you've got a lot of quality in your locker - although see points in the other thread about 'big fish in small ponds' turning up when they like and the potential damage that can do to morale.

    I've always been in the former of my lower groups. I'll never be a Dean Morley or a Matthew Routley, but I'll be there every week and I'll do my level best to make sure I can play my part - and at 1st section level, where I've spent the vast majority of my contesting career, that's been enough so far - particularly as I prefer to sit 2nd! But if something changed and I could (for example) only rehearse once a week - I'd probably have to drop a section or two because I don't have the quality to carry me through at that level on less rehearsal time.

    Like anything else, it's a balance.

    True, with Yorkshire (particularly west Yorkshire) and Lancashire being the heartland of brass bands, maybe the level of commitment expected is higher here. That's certainly possible. It could also explain why there are some exceptionally good bands around here too. Even those without the names people often conjur with (ie: Rothwell, Hepworth et al) are seriously good bands who can mix it with the likes of Dyke. Bands that work harder, get better faster.

    The point is - as Wilky so rightly says - to work out what you want and what balance is right for you. Once you've decided that, I'm sure there'll be a band within a 20-minute drive of leeds that'll fit the bill for you. Plenty of people on here have contacts around Leeds so you should be able to find something.

    Good luck finding a spot that suits you.
  7. Columbo

    Columbo Member

    Are the high standards of bands driving people away from the movement??

    Hiya Stella, you well?

    I'd like to think not, but I believe players who struggle at a higher level should consider themselves a valuable assett to a lower section band. That is where their satisfaction should come from IMHO. Lower section bands are crying out for players to come down rather than packing in altogether. I understand that it can be frustrating to sit in some rehearsals where you have to wait for players to get their parts right, but I've done it and found it very rewarding. I know in our band, we have some players of real ability that also mentor the youngsters and players of lesser ability. Its a great way for those players to learn. Its inspirational for them at times. Its a slow process sometimes but definitely works and helps to build the band. Its also good to see the 'kids' mature into bandsmen and women in the right environment.
  8. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    Na, I've given up and not really looking for anywhere now, everywhere is too far. I only what a 10 minute drive to a old tinpot band, which I may have taken from granted around buxton (no offence to anyone!!) . I just think alot of bands are taking this contest business tooo seriously, playering standards are judged by the section of band and I feel putting people off who maybe moving to a new area (I feel this from my experience)
  9. mxb59307

    mxb59307 Member

    Getting a bit narky is tMP nowadays, isn't it?!
  10. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    There are plenty of non-contesting bands too if you think contesting is being taken 'too seriously.'

    Personally I don't think it's possible to take contesting too seriously. In my book you go doing your level best to win (whether that's feasible or not) or you don't go at all. After all, what's the point of contesting if you're not giving it your best shot?
  11. Di B

    Di B Member

    I have played for a lovely Leeds based band and I think you are being close-minded.

    They are a bottom end championship band but have a lovely feel and are very sociable. They also understand that players have a life and accomodate this, but do still expect some form of commitment as would any band in any section.
    I know of other bands around the area that have similar views.

    I think your comments are derogative to the bands in the area personally -especially as you haven't been out there to look!

    If you want something in the middle of Leeds I suggest contacting Leeds uni band. I believe they aren't all students, practice once a week and are a very friendly and sociable band at a good standard (even though non contesting).
    I would suggest going with an open mind though or it will be a waste of your time and the bands!

    I hope you get over the feelings you have inside and give Leeds a chance - I would have no problems moving up north if work allowed it!

    FATNBALD Member

    It seems to me that you want to find a band where you can just turn up when you like without putting much effort in or being "Committed".
    What's the point of playing in a band if you are not going to commit fully, whatever the section grading?. Every band has a hard working committee who try to keep bands going, get players in ect, how does a MD plan his rehearsals if people can't be bothered (tin pot or not)to turn up? its this kind of attitude that is putting the lower sections of banding in the state they are in!
  13. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    Not all bands are complaining of lack of players. My band, for example, have just gained quite a few new players (plus the ones like me who have moved on from training band).

    If you come down to the West of England, you will see that there are plenty of lower section bands! Don't know about other areas though.

    Guess it depends what you think counts as "taking it too seriously". Maybe Stella means that she thinks some bands do too many contests? I've only discovered quite recently just how many contests there are! (I've only ever done 1 a year...)
  14. steve butler

    steve butler Active Member

    I'm from Leeds and I'm not offended - but thats because I know Stella, and she hasn't explained herself very well in the opening post.
    Forgive me if I'm wrong oh mad one, but I believe you were looking for a band of 2nd section or 'lower' ie 3rd /4th. And mainly to fill a seat for rehearsals - which is better than an empty seat, which would help both parties, Stella gets a blow and the band gets a bum (no comment) on seat.
    So possibly Stella has been put off slightly if she feels that she hasn't found a band she's comfortable with (standard wise).
    I think thats close, but I'm not sure :-?
    I also think its a bit off the mark as there is a good selection of all levels fairly close to Leeds, but perhaps they don't all have empty seats in the required department ;)
  15. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    If you are talking about a lack of lower section bands in Leeds and surrounding area then Im astonished! :-O I don't think Leeds and surrounding areas has a lack of lower section bands at all, theres nearly one in every area!!!!!!

    I come from Stockport and didn't join a 'proper' band until I was about 15 and I remember it took me aaaaages to find a band that I felt comfortable playing for (2nd cornet, 2nd section) and then it was about a half hour drive, it took me about 2 seconds to find a band after moving to Huddersfield and none have been longer than a 15-20min drive at most!

    You can't turn a corner round here without seeing a bandroom! Sat in my living room in Brighouse I am sat walking distance to at least 2!!

    If its like steeevie said then maybe you should try a none contesting band :)
  16. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    There's no harm in going for a blow to see how it goes. As long as it's seen as being informal and relaxed, both parties can suss out each other's qualities and drawbacks.
  17. Lucy V

    Lucy V New Member

    Isn't that one of the great things about banding.....

    You have to move to a new area for work, you know absolutely nobody, so you find a local band, go for a blow, down the pub afterwards and you've met 20ish people with a common interest straight away.
  18. steve butler

    steve butler Active Member

    Which is how I met Stella.
    Was working over Buxton way, went down for a blow and became a regular for months, met a great bunch of folk, had a good natter in the pub afterwards, brill :tup
  19. dave aston

    dave aston New Member

    So you want lowish commitment..... you turn up for band and everyone else has decided to have a night that OK---or perhaps just 15 players have had a night off....or perhaps just 7..or perhaps just all the troms or all the basses...would you enjoy it?
  20. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    To be honest, no matter what section the band is, you should always be as committed as possible to it even though it's a hobby. As long as the band know that you can't give 100% commitment (if you can't) but you will turn up whenever possible and work hard when you are at band, it should be fine.