Are we being fair/unfair?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by tubafran, Sep 17, 2004.


Are we being fair/unfair

  1. Yes - Fair

    14 vote(s)
  2. No - Unfair

    3 vote(s)
  3. Wait to see if it improves

    7 vote(s)
  1. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    We are having a little spat at our band following a decision by the committee to move a player from 2nd/3rd front row to 4th/5th. We appointed a new conductor 5 months ago and this particular players attendance has gone from the best attendee (every rehearsal) to the worst (1 in 2 rehearsals only).

    Should we take account of the earlier and better attendance or should we simply look at the situation over the last 5 months? The attendance of the other players has improved since we appointed the new conductor.
  2. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Doesn't it depend on the reason for the decline in attendance?

    Has anyone actually spoken to the player in question?

    Why do I always experience a little shiver of apprehension and foreboding whenever I read/hear the word "committee" in connexion with brass bands?

    Is it just me?

  3. jpbray

    jpbray Member

    Difficult one, are there ant extenuating circumstances why this has happened? Does this player have domestic problems etc.? Is the new conductor picking on him? His the new conductor making the player work harder so he has to justify his position? Is there a personality clash?

    If other than domestic problems which up to a point may be beyond the players control it probably is fair to move him/her.

    You need to avoid people taking sides because that could split the band, the player needs to confronted point blank to discuss all the issues, so a proper informed decission can be taken, but tread carefully.
  4. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Before I vote on this poll, I'd like some additional information.

    First, does the band have a stated attendance policy?

    Second, has the committee communicated that policy to the members of the band in an effective manner?

    Third, has the player been warned that poor attendance may result in demotion to a lower seat?

    Fourth, has the committee looked into the real reasons for the attendance problem with this particular player? Your explanation seems to strongly link the drop in this person's attendance to the appointment of a new conductor. Has anyone attempted to determine if this is true or if there is some coincidence of other factors (for example, a change in work/school requirements) that may be causing the change?

    Of course, the committee should be able to move players around in the band to achieve the best musical ensemble. If someone is missing 1 in 2 rehearsals, then that person may need to be moved on musical grounds. But stating that the move is due to poor attendance may seem unfair unless a clear policy is in place.
  5. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    In this instance it was the decision of the conductor and agreed on formally by members of the committee. (This consists of 10 players and 1 non player). The spat was with the non-player on the committee (not the conductor)
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2004
  6. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member


    Yes monthly Newsletter given to every member and also asked to let us know before hand if they would not be there.

    No, unfortunately they had missed the last 11 rehearsals before decision was made (1 in 2 was an average)

    We were not aware of any public reason why this attendance was poor or of any changes in personal circumstances which lead to this.
  7. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Before you make the decision, I think you need to make sure there are no extenuating circumstances. Before you take further action, the person needs to be asked if there is a problem. If you move the player without consulting them, you could be guilty of being unfair - especially if there is a reason why the player has gone from best attendee to worst that may be private/personal. These things, in my experience do not happen without a reason.
  8. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Law of the jungle mate. On yer feet, lose yer seat!!
  9. Sam Atherton

    Sam Atherton Member

    Sorry if this seems a little rude, but I've got to wonder whether having us vote on this is a good idea. Sounds like you've made a decision based on the wishes of your conductor, with the backing of your committee. I realise that you're probably just checking out other points of view, but is the result of this poll actually going to change what happens in your bandroom?
    If I was the player in question and found out I was being discussed by a bunch of strangers on an internet forum, I might be a bit upset!
  10. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    No Sam, I don't think you are being rude, however it is a true situation and I was interested in what other bands people thought. If the player is moved then that would be public anyway whether it was on this forum or not. I have not and will not go into any personal details, it is as you say a public forum. The only other option would have to posted as a Newbie. Still interested to hear what people have to say.
  11. jpbray

    jpbray Member

    Things sound a fishy here; between the lines was this "player" quite pally with your ex-conductor and in his seat more for this relationship rather than his playing ability. :-? :-?
  12. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    In my eyes the committee shouldn't have anything to do with players seating positions. It should be a musicial decision which is made by the musicial director. Still saying that the MD (or committee member on his behalf) should have a chat with the player in question. Maybe there is a short term solution to the problem and the normal attendance will resume in the near future. I do agree with what Colin has said though - if you are not there, you're not there! You can't have part-time cornermen/women. It can be better for bands in most circumstances to have someone of slightly lesser ability with full attendance than a fantastic player who is not there all the time (for whatever reason).
  13. jpbray

    jpbray Member

    I reckon there's a can of worms here ...... ;)
  14. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    ...or a poisoned chalice...:-?
  15. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    exactly what sound does a fish make?
  16. jpbray

    jpbray Member

    I know they call them all BOB :p
  17. jpbray

    jpbray Member

    At the end of the day no one player can be bigger than the band, but if rifts do occur the have to be treated as amicably as possible.
  18. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    In one of the clarifyng posts, it was stated that the decision was made by the conductor, and that the committee backed up the decision in a formal sort of ratification. Nothing inappropriate about that at all.

    I do see something that's a little bit puzzling to me, though. When I asked in an earlier post whether the player had been warned about attendance, the answer was "No, unfortunately they had missed the last 11 rehearsals before decision was made". If I have someone in my band that misses even one rehearsal without a reason, I'm on the telephone the next day to determine if there is some sort of problem.

    And I think that if I had a player that missed 11 in a row, I would probably be considering removing them from the band entirely, not just moving them down in the section.
  19. TuTuKu

    TuTuKu Active Member

    I think the best thing to do would be to speak with the player in question and to discuss the problems. He/She may feel much happier on 4th/5th man down if attendance is going to be a problem. At the end of the day, they'll still be playing the same part, reading off the same music... it's not like the band's considering moving them to the back row.

    It's when people start talking and arranging things without the player's knowledge that things become heated and rifts start to occur. (although I appreciate it's hard when he/she isn't seen for 11 rehearsals!)
  20. aimee_euph

    aimee_euph Member

    my thoughts exactly.

    regardless of the situation, if they're not going to be turning up all the time, then pointless them holding a seat that could be filled by someone else.

    unless, and i do not know your conductor so this may be totally stupid, the player thinks that the conductor is easy to bypass and may come up with excuses because the oncductor appears to them as "they dont mind" compared to the old one who wanted full attendance all the time.

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