Are We all Cynics, or just cannot be bothered

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Jonno, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. Jonno

    Jonno Member


    My first post on tMP but felt the need to write something.

    On Sunday I tripped along to St.Pauls's Hall, Huddersfield to see some of the Brass Day undertaken there by the Sellers International Band conducted by Andrew Duncan.

    What I witnessed was some great playing and some very informative words from Mr. Duncan on music and brass banding. However I was concerned that I was one of only 10 people at this workshop. Upon speaking to the organiser from Warner Bros. he told me that, unfortunately, the same story could be told of the workshops in Wales and London and although, over the course of the three workshops, around 1000 flyers/invitations had been mailed out at the workshop in Wales nobody turned up at all.

    Upon getting home I wondered about the reasons for this as I think it so sad. Is it :-

    1) As a movement we are too 'inward' and will not travel to see other bands perform, no matter what the event ?
    2) We are all too cynical and just saw this as a 'ploy' by Warner Bros. to sell us their music so did not attend ?
    3) Could Not Be Bothered to turn out on a Sunday ?
    4) Another Reason.

    Personally I would like to thank Mr. Duncan and Sellers for a great day's music-making. I can assure you that those of us who did attend throroughly enjoyed the music and talk. A personal highlight for me was hearing Philip McCann perform Bob the Builder' in the workshop !!!

    (tMP newbie !!!)
  2. jpbray

    jpbray Member

    I don't think this only applies to the banding world, you get the feeling this is endemic of current British Society, where brain dead television and appathy rules. Nevertheless I think we are all guilty of having appathetic phases.
  3. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    It's not just British society, the same is true almost everywhere. However, I have some questions -

    How long before the event were the flyers sent? One time, or multiple times?

    Did anyone contact MDs or committees of local bands to encourage them to attend? If so, how many times?

    Were the workshops advertised on forums such as tMP? Or on 4br? Or in BBW?

    Simply relying on a mass mailing won't bring much of a crowd. In order to assure attendance, you must create a "buzz" around your event, which is easiest to do if you can get local leadership excited about it and have them encourage their people to attend.
  4. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hi Jonno

    Welcome to tMP - great first post too! Here's some thoughts of mine which I'm sure will provoke reaction... :)

    1. Yes indeed, we are most certainly far to insular and selfish in our approach. We only have to take a look at how we (the royal "we") operate to see that... contests, lottery funding and grants, player recruitment etc - all to the selfless benefit of individual bands. Would be far better for the movement (a 'movement' that some here feel we don't have) if someone considered the bigger picture for a change.
    2. Of course, cynical is a bandsmans middle name.. hehe
    3. Again, this is absolutely typical of bandings attitude. We all want something to change and new things to happen, but it's always 'someone else' who we think will get around to doing it. Where's the passion for change, where's the enthusiasm for growth and progress, and where's the determination for making things happen and making our movement better eh? What really confuses me though is that those people like us, who are actively involved in banding and have recognised how it can enhance ones life - are in fact very passionate people themselves. Why then, is this passion not extended into being a catalyst for chaneg and thus making things happen... hmmmmm!!! (I guess #2 is the answer to that eh)
    4. Who knows? for the reasons I articulate above really.
    *runs... :)
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2004
  5. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    When these workshops were first announced they seemed a great idea to me, but the date set for the one in our area clashed with another event I was involved in - I've a feeling in the end it was cancelled or re-arranged anyway. I would have been quite happy to go along if I were free, although for me, for obvious reasons, Sunday is not the best day to hold it!
  6. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    It may have been well advertised but i live and play in the huddersfield area and I knew nothing about it!
  7. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Well, if they'd advertised on tMP...
  8. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    Many bandspeople will not even listen to other bands at contests let alone make the effort to travel somewhere to listen to others.

    I think it's more to do with the can't be bothered attitude than cynicism.
  9. jpbray

    jpbray Member

    isn't this a product of the modern day "yeah right!!" culture.

    We also have a peroblem with image over substance. I have already said in another thread that banding is good product; but do we have image??

    I also believe that there is a slight shift in society where people are questioning and looking for something; and I think we should be alert to this and try encourage people in to the movement.

    Music has also moved up the school cirriculum; since it is thought due to recent studies that it is benificial to education in the wider sense.

    I am banging on about the BFBB at the moment, and don't know whether I being fair, but somebody has got to take the lead which needs to come from a body such as this. Why not run a short series of TV ad's on banding.

    I think for what its worth at the moment there is a certain amount opportunity, I don't think its passed, but we need to grasp the nettle, or am I talking ba****ks.
  10. dyl

    dyl Active Member

  11. jpbray

    jpbray Member

    How about 4BR as well.
  12. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

  13. Warner Bros./IMP

    Warner Bros./IMP New Member

    Firstly I would like to, on behalf of Warner Bros., thank Andy and the three bands (Redbridge, BTM and Sellers) for their hard work in these events in what turned out to be difficult and not ideal circumstances.

    In terms of the marketing/mail-out the flyers were mailed to all band secretaries around two weeks before each event. The criteria for 'which bands' was set on a circumference around each venue of around a 1 1/2 hours travelling time. In total over the three events I personally printed, folded and stamped 970 of them. On top of that postings were put on tMP for each one and there were articles in the band press and 4br as well as 'local' advertising by each of the bands taking part.

    To say I am a little disappointed and embarassed about the final outcome of each event would be understated. Believe it or not this was not because of any lack of music sales, (that was not really the point) but also because of all the work the bands put in to all the music and also for the work put in by Andy who flew down from the Isle of Lewis on each occasion specially. To each of these bands, their members, and to Andy I would like to offer my public apology if you fell your time was wasted in any way.

    Having stated this, all the evening concerts were rousing successes and the public audiences that attended seemed to thoroughly enjoy each event.

    These workshops were, obviously, based around the music published by Warner Bros. However they were also (from my point-of-view as the organiser) an opportunity to have an interesting and social day for all bandsmen and general brass enthusiasts. It was your chance to tell us publicly of any changes you want made to our series or for any titles or suggestions you may have whilst helping the complsers and arrangers of the future with some useful tips from Andy on the finer points of writing for band. We publish music for you to perform and I, as editor and a bandsman myself, will always welcome peoples comments on the series to improve it for bandsmen and to give bandsmen what they want.

    If I made an error personally in the organisation of the events in terms of days/marketing/ the bands that performed etc. then please let me know via pm. The total costs of the three days were well in excess of £3000 and if WB continue to give me the funding on such projects the least I can do is try my best to get people there.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2004
  14. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

  15. Jonno

    Jonno Member

    I, for one, find this really sad but, alas, true.

    As a bandsman myself I always try to listen to other bands when possible. This rivalry is, in my opinion, utter rubbish. We can all learn something from each others bands and also from other bandspeople no matter how good or bad we are individually.

    As a movement perhaps we need to wake up to the real musical world. I see that Robin says that Warner Bros. fund such projects. Unless we, as a movement, support events such as these; large-scale companies will no doubt get fed-up and pull out leaving us worse-off. I, for one, would like to thank them, and Robin, for having the guts to try something such as this and can assure him that, should they be organised again, I will be there again.

    Personally I hate going to a contest and not being able to talk to 'competitors' before we play. They are not 'the enemy', purely another bandsperson that is enjoying a hobby, as I do. The brass band movement is diminishing fast with more younger players preferring the 'less competitive' and 'less back-biting' world of the amateur orchestra, concert band or big band. Unless we look at the bigger picture and start helping each other rather than waiting to laugh at each others mis-fortune or be all cynical there will be no movement left at all.

    It is time for us all to open our eyes, wake-up and work together.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2004
  16. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Mucho clappa clappa Jonno.... spot on... :tup
  17. jpbray

    jpbray Member

    I agree, but it needs someone to take the lead
  18. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    I am sure that everyone had good intentions for the workshops. My guess would be that two weeks is not enough notice for people to arrange their schedules to attend. I would have started at least two months in advance, with follow-up mailings. Most people in the modern world are scheduled much farther in advance than two weeks.

    Please understand that I am not being critical of your efforts - I asked questions trying to gain more information and perhaps offer some suggestions based on similar experiences on this side of the pond. :)

    TIMBONE Active Member

    I do feel that years of bombardment from our technological communications has made us all subconsiously suspicious of being offered free or low cost events. It has nothing to do with music. Telesales, junk mail, pop-ups, to name but a few, makes us feel that there is a price to pay for our interest.

    By the way, I khnew nothing about these workshops.
  20. JessopSmythe

    JessopSmythe Active Member

    I'm not sure that the mass mailing was particularly effective. I certainly heard nothing about it from our band. I found out about it a couple of days before when I tried to borrow a cornet player for a concert and found he was depping for BTM at the workshop/concert. Since there was a clash with our event, I couldn't have gone to the workshop anyway but with a little more notice a baby sitter could have been arrange allowing me to go to the evening concert.

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