Association Contests

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by GingerMaestro, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. GingerMaestro

    GingerMaestro Active Member

    I was given the Idea of this thread by tmptress Kiz7

    Should LocalAssociation contests be made compulsary qualifiers for the area contests.

    I don't mean that the top 2 or 3 from each section are the only band to go to the areas but that if you fail to attend your Association contest then you are not entitled to attend the areas
    I only say this as I have just been to my local Association contest and not counting the bands from outside of the area there were 9 out of a possible 45 bands in attendance which to be fair is pretty Poor Yes the venue isn't great yes the facilities are lacking but when it comes to you as players needing your point put accross to the powers that be for one thing or another who do you turn to (and don't say 4barsrest or this site) it's your local association and you wouldn't like it if they turned round told you they would not help you because they can't be bothered just like some band can't be bothered to turn up to the contest

    I hope this makes sense I would like to know your opinions on this soot me down if you must but I think it make good sense
  2. Owen S

    Owen S Member

    Well, I can understand your frustration, but I'd say it's a nice idea in theory but not in practice:

    - Local associations don't coincide with the qualification regions

    - Some bands fall within more than one local association (I think)

    - Some bands don't want to do that many contests

    - Some bands have other events on that day. We've never done the SCABA Hove contest, because it's deliberately timed to fall on St. George's Day, and we're always playing in either Egham or Chertsey.

    - Many bands don't want to be preparing for another contest piece when the qualifiers are so close. I bet that caused a few bands in the second section this year to miss the contest you're talking about

    It seems like you see contest attendance as a player's duty to the banding movement.
  3. GingerMaestro

    GingerMaestro Active Member

    I get what you are saying but I don't see contest as a duty to players in banding and dates can be arranged to suit most bands are either quite or have no jobs through the immediate months running up to Christmas (October - beginning of November) This would give time between contests as to not make it too intense for the preparation of the association and the areas if that makes sense Maybe I am wrong but I just feel we need to support our local associations a bit more than some of us do
  4. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I wonder how some of the local associations would cope if they were suddenly to receive entries from all the elligible bands for their contests - there would probably have to be a few changes to venue and timetable, no doubt entailing considerable extra costs and organisational difficulties. Also, as has already been said, much more thought would have to be given to date and location to ensure everybody had a reasonable chance to attend. Such a change could only go ahead if the vast majority were in agreement, and if such a scheme were not very successful it could throw the viability of the Regionals themselves into question.
  5. BeatTheSheep

    BeatTheSheep Member

    the north-west counties association have a separate ranking table, points are gained from going to local contests such as wilkinsons, brass at the guild, tameside & fleetwood. It seems to help attendance.
  6. JR

    JR Member

    Sorry but this wouldnt work in Yorkshire. About 16/17 years go we used to have 3 asscation contests Yorks and Humberside, Bradford and District and Huddesrfield. I believe they have all but 1 died out.
    My band at the time (Rothwell) used to enter all 3 but we were the only top section band to do so on any regular basis; and even then the contests were struggling - we won once at Huddersfield Town Hall on Pagaentry with only 3 or 4 bands entered and the following year with a field of 2!
    I used to like the old Assoc contest at Tadcaster though - that was a great day out in it's heyday with the old "March, Hymn Tune and Selection" format

    john r
  7. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    I too love contesting. However, contests can and do cause problems. Does the band have a full band? If not it means paying out for borrowed players (if allowed). Then there is the cost of travelling. All in all a contest these days can cost a band quite a lot of money and for some, it just isn't financially doable! As I've said on a similar thread previously, our band would enter lots of contests if it weren't for the financial cost of attending. If it came to that a band has to support it's local associations contest or will not be allowed to play at the area, I'm afraid the area's would soon drop in attendance, as probably would the bands themselves. If you haven't got the money, you just can't do it. You can't get blood out of a stone!
  8. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    One of the beauties of association contests are seeing how you compare to similar bands in other areas. If every band in the midlands turned up at a contest with 5 in each section from other areas coming to test the water it would be a very, very long day.

    Also, I would imagine some of the 'big boys' will have much bigger and better things to do than enter a local contest that can win you as much as it would cost to get your conductor there, let alone a bus full of players!

    I like the idea of points being earned by local bands at local contests though, that is a cracking idea and gives you another little goal for the year.
  9. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    As contest controller for the Oxford and District Band Association, I would love to have this problem! It may well make more organisational difficulties but at least it would mean that the association was supported!
  10. Liz Loftus

    Liz Loftus Member

    Other national contests would also need to take the dates of association contests into account.

    The South West BBA always hold their contest on the 1st Sat in November. This year Pontins has moved and the 2 dates clash :mad: I realise there isn't a great attendance of bands from the SW at Pontins but individuals attend & I was hoping to pusuade my band to enter this year.

    Would love to go to Pontins, and my daughter is planning to, but that would mean the band being short of players and maybe not being able to go to the SW contest.... (not that we are the most important players in the band!)

    So I agree with others great idea! last year we also had poor entries - 5 bands in the 3rd section & 4 in the 2nd (we entered both) But not really workable. Although for the SW, the venue is a problem for both the Areas and the Association, as has been discussed on a previous thread
  11. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Very true on these points Steve we have a good number of bands in the Midland Area, something like 90+ should they all turn up it would be a problem on knowing whee to get at least 3 halls in one town, probably tyhe best place if this take place would be Birmingham the N.E.C the only place who could accomodate such a event:tup
    Plenty of car parking just for starters:biggrin:
  12. PHA161

    PHA161 New Member

    Regarding local contests (especially SCABA) - the associations must:

    1. Start to work with the bands.

    2. Choose sensible dates (not St. George's Day for example like SCABA).

    3. Raise more prize money to tempt the bands to appear.

    4. Correctly grade the bands to the National Grading system (unlike SCABA)

    Failure to take onboard the above will only result in low attendances and the possible demise of the associations.
  13. horn__blower

    horn__blower Member

    Sorry, im a bit naive about all this. i heard of the association once a few years ago with a band i played at at uni, it was championship and i think someone in the band was a rep on the association. but my home band who i have played with on and off for 10 yrs, i am SURE ive never even heard anyone say the word association. not entirely sure what it is/does/how it affects local bands? :s
  14. davethehorny

    davethehorny Member

    Association Contests!


    good point, well made! However if it was the GBBA entertainment contest you were referring to it is a little too close to the areas for some of the bands in the local area - most of whom are still strugglingto fill seats for Torquay.

    My band would have loved to go, but to get out of the Fourth Section is our priority this year and nothing is going to get in the way.

    The other point is that we are not members of the GBBA - so perhaps the eligible bands should now number 44!
  15. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    the NW local contests are also split throughout the year (rather than just one before the area) so a good number of them and have good prize money - we recieved £600 for winning both St Helens and Preston (2nd Sc) and I am pretty sure the money is the same for all the sections. I also think the local ranking system attracts bands to enter. As it is worked out over the year over 3 contests it gives a good indication of a band's current standard at that time and allows promotion/demotion based on that year's performance.
  16. persins

    persins Member

    I don't think that it should be a pre-requisite for the areas that bands attend the association contest but they should certainly try to promote and encourage more bands to do so.
    Many bands do however have good reasons for not attending the association contests but some just choose not to. I find that with most things the carrot of encouragement generally works better than the beating stick full of rusty nails. Trying to force bands into attendance would probably backfire!
  17. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    Perhaps having a representative from your band at quarterly meetings would be a good start.
    This contest hasn't always been on St. George's day - the availability of the hall has been an issue in some years.
    There is a very good reason why SCABA has different grades - you will know that SCABA has one section less than the national, dating from when the 1st section was introduced. Unless you want smaller sections, keeping things as they are makes a fair amount of sense.

    I have noted a few comments in your posts relating to SCABA - may I respectfully suggest that if you have issues with the way things are run at SCABA, get along to the quarterly meetings and become part of the solution rather than sit outside. The next meeting is, I believe, the AGM so an ideal opportunity to get involved.

    For the record, I am not a SCABA Committee member and any views expressed are my own.
  18. IanHeard

    IanHeard Member

    During my time in the South-East, I found SCABA to be very helpful and understanding of Bands needs and under John Pickett and his team one of the more progressive local Associations.
    Indeed the difference was noticable when I returned home to the South-West, where things are stuck in bit of a time warp (putting it nicely!).
  19. stopher

    stopher Member

    I agree with it!

    I actually mentioned it a month ago at the North Wales Assoc meeting when we were asked why so many of the bands did not compete at the local contest and how do you get them - only 9 bands out around 18 bands actually attended!

    I know in Wales, you can only compete at the area if you are a member of your local association. My point was that some bands compete in the area but do nothing to support the local contest so suggested that you have to compete in the N.Wales contest in November to be allowed to go the the area (or at least enter it every 3 years minimum - there are one or two bands that have not competed for at least five years locally!

    just for the record, the meeting said no to my idea and instead opened up the local contest to bands from outside the area to try and get more attending in Sections 1 (Champ and 1st), 2 and 3 but section four was left as it is as this is usually quite a strong entry.

    I feel that bands shouls support the local one, even if it is just sending a youth band! To have three sections consist of only 5 bands extracts the urine to honest!!!!! Can;t understand it as the prize money isn;t bad for a local with the winners from the top section taking £500 - more than the area!
  20. PHA161

    PHA161 New Member

    Regarding the date, well St. George's Day has not changed for decades, so consequently SCABA went ahead again knowing that many bands were already locally committed.
    To prove my point, last year at Hove:
    Championship 7 membership bands ~ non attended.
    First Section 16 membership bands ~ 8 attended.
    Second Section 19 membership bands ~ 6 attended.
    Third Section 28 membership bands ~ 6 attended.
    (Figures obtained from SCABA website which was amended 12.02.06)

    According to the website ~ SCABA have a 1st Section National finalist in the second section - so work needs to be done on the grading system ~ perhaps that is another reason for the lack of entries.

    To what extent does the 'committee' listen to band representatives. Many years ago, I also was on a Band Association committee, which really opened my eyes to the fact that the scenario became association first ~ bands second.

    Well not now, but you were recently the PRO for SCABA and are still the Webmaster - so I would suggest that your interest is more than just as a MD of a SCABA band ~ but I have no problem with that at all.

    As mentioned before, I would like SCABA to look at dates, the grading system and possibly prize money.

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