Australian National Band Championships 2004

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by ted, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. ted

    ted Member

    Good Friday (Test + Hymn)
    Easter Saturday (O/C + Stage March)
    Easter Sunday (Excessive Partying)
    Easter Monday (hang over + solo events)

    Launceston (Tasmania)

    A Grade Test: Chivalry (Martin Ellerby, who'll be in the audience)
    Adjudicator: Major Ian McElligott

    Competing Bands
    Kew (Mark Ford)
    Waratah (Ron Prussing)
    Woolston (NZ) (David Gallaher)
    Footscray-Yarraville (Ken Smith)
    St Marys (Ken Bradley)
    Glenorchy (Dean Hunt)
    Hawthorn (Tom Paulin)
    Holroyd (Mark Strykowski)
    Kensington and Norwood (Bruce Raymond)
    Darebin (Tom Miller)
    Brisbane Excelsior (Howard Taylor)
    Tanunda (Jim Depmsey)

    Good luck if any tmp'ers who are making the trip down to Tassie.

  2. Kerwintootle

    Kerwintootle Member

    G'day Ted. Good luck this weekend in Tassie. I so wish I could be there. good luck to all my new pals at Waratah, St Mary's, Howard and Katrina at Brisbane Exselior and everyone else for that matter.

    Keep us up to date with the results if poss. and have a nice cold beer for me!


  3. Good luck to all in the Tanunda band from your pommy friends in Silk Brass. We hope to come and visit you next year when you hold the National Competition.
  4. Dave Thornton

    Dave Thornton Member

    Any results yet?
  5. ?????? I heard Hawthorn won and Woolston ran 8th :shock: :shock:

  6. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    I heard it too...........mind you we heard it at the same time from the same guy :wink:
  7. ted

    ted Member

    Hi all,

    Just got back from Tassie!

    Hawthorn did win the Australian National Championships and Woolston did disappoint all by coming outside the top placings.

    However the spotlight was fixed firmly on the adjudicator for his extended speeches throughtout the long weekend, insulting conductors and players alike.

    As for the results, I can only remember the top 3.
    1. Hawthorn (O/C Tallis Variations)
    2. Waratah Brass (O/C Montage)
    3. Brisbane XLCR (O/C Cambridge Variations)

    Woolston played Blitz (it was good).

  8. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

  9. 1. Hawthorn (Tom Paulin)
    48 (hymn): 175 (test): 172 (own choice): 46 (stage march): = 441pts

    2. Waratah (Ron Prussing)
    44: 171: 177: 43.5: = 435.5pts

    3. Brisbane Excelsior (Howard Taylor)
    45: 160: 176: 45: = 426pts

    4. Kew (Mark Ford)
    44: 170: 166: 45.5: = 425.5pts

    5. Kensington and Norwood (Bruce Raymond)
    44: 160: 174: 43: = 421pts

    6. Holroyd (Mark Strykowski)
    42: 165: 171: 42: = 420pts

    7. Woolston (David Gallaher)
    46: 150: 176.5: 47: = 419.5pts

    8. St Mary's (Ken Bradley)
    40: 158: 175: 42: = 415pts

    9. Darebin (Tom Miller)
    43: 154: 170: 40: = 407pts

    10. Tanunda (Jim Dempsey)
    40: 160: 160: 40: = 400pts

    11. Glenorchy (Dean Hunt)
    43: 150: 165: 41: = 399pts

    12. Footscray-Yarraville (Ken Smith)
    40: 155: 155: 43: = 393pts

    B Grade - Timaru (Dwayne Bloomfield)
    C Grade - Latrobe (Jerry Foster)
    D Grade - Royal Hifofua (Frederick deroy Vi)
    Junior A - Gunnedah (Jason Katsikaris)
    Junior B - Ulverstone (Chris Lusted)

    Junior champion soloist: Philip O'Neill (Kensington and Norwood)
    Open champion soloist: Mark Fizpatrick (Hawthorn)
  10. Kerwintootle

    Kerwintootle Member

    Well done Mark on becoming Champion of Champions, well done pal.

    Congrats to Hawthorn and Waratah and Brisbane X. Sounded like a very interesting weekend :roll:


    Alex :wink:
  11. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Explains the rumpus of Major McElligot's remarks. Much as I'd like to comment, I don't think I can without knowing what he actually said, or what his insulting comments were. Any Aussies there care to enlighten us?
  12. ted

    ted Member

    I can't remember exactly what he said so I can only paraphrase. None of the things below are direct quotes!

    The controversy started when the officials asked the conductors to be on the stage when the results were being given (not usually done), so after much discussion amongst the conductors all but one decided to accept the official's request and sat down on the stage. After giving the results of the A Grade competition were announced, McElligot was invited on stage to make an address to the audience. (This is usually done and the adjudicator doesn't necessarily have to explain his decisions, last year Geoffry Brand thanked Australia for being a good host, and the bands for their efforts, and that's where he left it)

    Anyway, McElligot got the microphone, leaned over to look at the line of conductors on the stage and began by saying something like "I suppose these are the so called conductors". Then he went on to say that in the UK contest banding is a bloodsport, and bands think with their 'contest heads' instead of giving only 60% with their 'concert heads'. Then he went on to tell the conductors that their job is not to interprete or shape the music (at this stage one of the conductors have just finished their game of Bull S*** bingo), the major then went on to say that conductors should just recreate what the composer intended as marked on the score. Then he began talking about the bands, by saying that Australian bands are too loud and were awful to listen to. I can't remember what he said but his message was widely interpreted as "To the bands who did well, good on you but all the bands in Australia are just not good enough."

    That was basically what he said, a few of the things he said were with sarcasm. When someone's mobile phone rang he had a go at them (which the audience applauded) but he said something like "I can't believe that people here (in Australia) don't turn their mobiles off when listening to contests". So am I right in assuming that mobiles never ring during contests in the UK?

    When he finished his address, most of the audience got up and left because they were feeling insulted and humiliated. The officials made a plea to get the audience to stay for the presentation of the Fireman's Helmet, and said something about thanking the officials but most of the audience just wanted to leave.

    Those who felt insulted by McElligot aren't just the bands who didn't do well. Members of bands who did very well also share the view that McElligot was a tool. We understand that pommies like sledging us Aussies, but surely it was not appropriate to do it during the conclusion of our National Championships. What makes it even more insulting was that we invited him to be our adjudicator!

    It wasn't a one off either. 2 days after the band events were over, McElligot were adjudicating our solo events and he was once again invited to address the audience and the players in the open euphonium section. He begin by saying that on Thursday he started by adjudicating the C Grade Brass section, and "they were... gentle". Then came the A Grade Brass section and "that was just awful" and "the conductors provided all the entertainments on that ocassion". Two days afterwards and he was still having a go at the conductors, when he was addressing euphonium players.

    There was further controversey when he was addressing the audience on the adjudication of the Champion of Champions section. He told the audience that unaccompanied soloists, and soloists that didn't play a piece that was written for their instrument were ruled out no matter how good their performance was. I do not wish to make judgement on his adjudication, but for him to tell the audience was down right stupid. This now sets a precedent, and cornet players will now think twice before picking a trumpet piece to play, same with euphonium players and cornet pieces, soprano cornet players and tenor horn pieces.

    If anyone wants to tell me off for having a go at Major Ian McElligot on this friendly forum, I would like to remind you that McElligot had a go at me, my band, and my country's banding movement at our own National Championships, an annual national celebration of our passion for banding.

    Also, congrats to Mark! :wink:

    St Marys Band Club Brass Band :wink:
  13. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    If this was the case, then to me it highlights the need for adjudicators to outline what's acceptable and what's 'off menu' before a contest, because it does nobody (particularly the adjudicator) any good giving players this info AFTER the contest. Smacks of being 'wise after the event', perhaps so the adjudicator can give him/herself a little more kudos than they might otherwise have.
  14. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    Ha ha :lol: Nothing like a bit of controversy.

    Without knowing exactly what 'Major' said I cannot pass judgement. All I will say is that I would expect any criticism from the stage to be constructive. So often, the comments are wishy-washy and don't often give a real indication of what the judges liked/disliked etc. I don't think there is an issue with expressing disappointment and let downs but everything said should be given with the band with the attitude of improving not just roasting them for the sake of it.

    Maybe Major Ian's comments were right in a sense but maybe it was the way he delivered them. From what I read it looks like the bands will go away thinking how much they dislike the judge rather than thinking about how they can improve next time round.
  15. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    I wasn't there either, but I agree with this remark. He may have made some rather acceptable remarks, but by God he's a rude so-and-so!!

    Guess who just got blacklisted from Aussie Adjudication?? It's a shame. He is probably a very capable musician too.
  16. ted

    ted Member

    Sadly, a most capable musician doesn't necessarily make the most capable adjudicator.

  17. I do think the major had some valid comments, (as incensed as I am about the degrading he has given australian banding)

    A few aussie bands really overstep the mark volume-wise, it was good I suppose to hear this reality check as last year some of the higher placed bands were hidiously over-blown (although one was from NZ)

    Perhaps not as many australian bands are at the standard of the top brits, however the majors comments away from the microphone suggested that the top 3 could have done extremeley well on any european stage.

    I think what this shows is that McElligots ego took advantage of the whole 'English bands are better' scenario, and he used it as an opportunity to prove to us all just how great and mighty a "British" musician he was. All his remarks had 'I, we, the brits in general, are superior to you' stamped all over them.

    I think the biggest tragedy is that over the past few years Australian banding standards have taken huge strides forward and the best of us truly would stand a very real chance against the best bands in the world. Ian McElligots public humiliation of our MD's will only give the impression that we aren't worthy competitors and are indeed inferior musicians to the europeans.

    It's a matter of IF, not when, that McElligot himself gets beaten by an Australian band and conductor. I can only hope I'm in the hall to see it.
  18. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Having been asked to review the recording of the 2003 Australian Championships, I was struck by the aggressive nature of much of the playing - or at least the way it came across on the recording. If I remember correctly, a number of people have complained that the venues chosen for the contests are often not very suitable, and I wonder whether that may be part of the problem.

    If a band feels that the accoustic will not allow the sound to carry effectively, there can be a tendency for things to become rather forced, and I must say that I have not been aware of such a percussive attack in other (non-contest) recordings by Australian or New Zealand bands.
  19. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    What saddens me is that he went "unofficially" representing the British banding movement. Whether correct or not his comments should have been a lot more tactful.

    If it makes you feel any better you should hear some of the abuse the lower sections (especially in the South East) get from some adjudicators. I have lost count of the number of times I have sat in a hall to have some old wotsit rampaging on about how rubbish we all were or how "southern bands cant play". I have no problem with results, good or bad, it is manner in which adjudicators present them which needs to be addressed, they (adjudicators) must realise that that the banding movement needs a positive pick-me-up given the current state of the movement and not more demoralisation or bands will simply not bother to contest.

    To all adjudicators out there who might be reading this, present your comments in a more productive manner, tell bands what they did wrong but also tell them what they did right!, and if you say it with some diplomacy nine times out of ten bands will leave the hall with a "OK fair point" rather than a "flippin deaf g*t".

  20. ted

    ted Member

    The adjudicator's box was placed in a stupid position. He was sitting in line with the conductor, but about 10 metres away, and 5 meters above.

    He was the only one allowed on the 2nd floor of the theatre, so no one else had to confront the full and direct sound of the bands the way he did. Just like how bands are supposed to adjust to the acoustics of the hall, one would expect the adjudicator to take into account the acoustics of the position where he is sitting.

    I can also say that from the audience's point of view, a lot of the sound got lost in the hall and at no point did any of the performance I saw sounded aggressive. (unless the music calls for it, like in Blitz)

    I guess we'll just have to wait and see if we were really overblowing... Also the CD only has a few of the performance, (those who are judged to be the best by the adjudicator) so sadly, none of the major highlights for the audience will be on CD. (However we do get it on the radio every week for the next 2 months)


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