Band Cymru - S4C TV band contest

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by hellraiser, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    The first episode of Band Cymru was on S4C last night. Very good from all three bands. Tongwynlais won this episode and were absolutely superb, I must say.

    Next week Northop and Tredegar are the brass bands on it. Here's a link to last night's show (expires in 34 days!)

    http://www.s4c.co.uk/clic/e_level2.shtml?programme_id=519870591
     
  2. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    Actually, a better link is this :-
    http://www.s4c.co.uk/cerddoriaeth/c_band-cymru.shtml

    If you scroll down it shows all 12 bands who are through to the TV finals.
    If you click the "Mwy o wybodaeth" orange box underneath the bands you get to see the whole performances, some information about the bands and the adjudications.
    e.g. for Tongwynlais http://www.s4c.co.uk/cerddoriaeth/c_band-cymru-tongwynlais.shtml

    The "Mwy o wybodaeth" orange box is only available for bands which have been shown on TV first. Next show at 9pm Saturday night on S4C on SKY channels 104 in Wales or 134 elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  3. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    I thought cameras were only supposed to put on 10 pounds.......
     
  4. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Active Member

    Being SC4 it's all in Welsh. I think there might be English sub-titles but couldn't find them, are there any and how do you get them?
     
  5. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    I think you can put subtitles on when the programme is broadcast on TV. For the catch-up, maybe not? However, the link I provided in my second post goes straight to the complete performances, where subtitles are not required. Hope that helps.
     
  6. Bungle

    Bungle Member

    I watched it on my TV via my Youview box, which has the S4C player on it in the 'on demand' section. Very enjoyable and a great demonstration on music talent in Wales. English subtitles can be turned on with usual button on the Youview remote.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  7. RedOctober

    RedOctober New Member

    Thank you for sharing the link Hellraiser, I enjoyed watching what seems like a rather interesting contest. Seems like S4C have booked some top quality musicians to adjudicate and I liked the variety compared to a normal band contest. Three very different ensembles with very different programmes/styles of music. I'd imagine to have been in the audience, this would have been a very enjoyable contest to attend.

    There was however an element I was disappointed with and it's something I've noticed lately with televised competitions. Why is it now too much to be able to watch a whole piece of music? The pieces we were shown were not shown in full, there was much talking (in welsh, English subtitles would have been nice!) and then all of a sudden we are halfway through a piece and then what do you know, more yapping over the top! I found it really quite annoying after a while. I suppose the simple answer is that it would make the programme far too long to broadcast if we were to watch all three contest programmes in full, which would make it a very expensive programme to make I guess. But I still thought it was a bit of a shame and as I said I've noticed it with other televised competitions. BBC Young Musician being a great example, too much for the BBC to broadcast a whole concerto. A little sad I think, maybe that's just me though and things are geared these days to be styled more like X factor etc.

    Once final thought, it can't look too good for the rwcmd to be beaten by a local brass band! Tongwynlais played very well and I don't for one minute say they didn't deserve to win, but I thought the welsh college was producing players of a professional level these days? Quite rightly they entered, but I can't help but think it must be a little embarrassing for the college to be beaten by an amateur ensemble! Perhaps I am being too harsh though!
     
  8. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Active Member

    I agree with the bulk of what RedOctober said above and am also thankful for the help given in viewing. However it seems not completely fair to describe Tongwynlais as (just) a local brass band when comparing it to the RWCDM.

    A University brass band could well be formed with less able and less experienced players than that in a brass band. Students are typically around 20 years old with relatively few years of contest experience and maybe 18 months experience of playing in their University’s band. The bulk will obviously not have a music degree (yet). In contrast players within a championship band, like Tongwynlais, are typically significantly older with years of contesting experience and have a much stronger and longer term relationship with their band. To join such a championship section band very high practical playing skills would be required and some players may also be music graduates.

    To be considered fit to share a stage and comparison with a Championship level band is, in my humble opinion, a good reflection on any University band.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  9. RedOctober

    RedOctober New Member

    If this was a university band then I would completely agree with you. Students at a university music department tend to be much more academically gifted, though I'm sure many are great players too. But the rwcmd isn't a university department. True the college's degree's are credited by a university, I'm guessing this would be Cardiff uni maybe? But regardless of the university that credits the degree, they are still first and foremost a conservatoire competing with other conservatoires like the royal academy, royal college, guildhall, northern etc. Their mission is training players to go on to become professional players. A good example of this from the rwcmd would be a trumpeter who I believed joined the Bournemouth symphony orchestra recently. You would therefore expect the calibre of student to be far higher than a university orchestra. And I mean no disrespect, but surely the calibre of player should be greater than a local band? Yes I appreciate that Tongwynlais are a championship section band, but what does that mean? Just because you're in the championship section, it doesn't mean you're of an amazing standard. If these players from the rwcmd are supposed to be 'young professionals', you seriously can't expect players from Tongwynlais band to be of a greater standard surely? What would happen if the royal academy brass ensemble entered the competition? Or what about a professional brass ensemble? Would they still be of a lesser standard because they aren't in the championship section and there are older players sat in the ranks of Tongwynlais? Though I enjoyed the rwcmd's performance in this competition, I still think it reflects badly on them to have been turned over by an amateur ensemble.
     
  10. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    Hi RedOctober,

    The full performances without interruptions are found through the links on the second post on this thread. http://www.s4c.co.uk/cerddoriaeth/c_band-cymru.shtml

    I share your concerns about the 'x-factor' style approach on TV nowadays. That was my fear from the start with this type of programme, that it would end up mostly hype/build-up and we wouldn't get to hear complete performances. However, there has not been as much of this as I feared; although as you say we don't get to hear complete performances on TV but they are on the S4C website along with quite full adjudications.

    I think of old shows like "Best of Brass", where complete band performances were heard on TV with just a minimal introduction and hype. Also the actual judges' opinions were the only views heard and not any unofficial judges.

    Overall I must admit I found the programme better than I expected last Saturday and like you I found it interesting to hear different types of bands.
     
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  12. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    Well, I do wonder if that's true. Three bands playing 13-15 minute programmes. Then take adverts into consideration. I think it could have been squeezed into an hour show. However, I guess you could argue for people not that familiar with music and bands that the introductions, info and interviews would make it more interesting for them, who knows.
     
  13. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    That is an interesting thought. I can imagine some not being happy at this since for a smaller ensemble people are more exposed than in a brass band...
     
  14. jonny1note

    jonny1note Member

    It sounds like the actual playing standard is clouding your view. I think for TV purposes it is essentially an entertainment contest. Regardless of playing standard (which in my view was very good), perhaps the judges considered the Tongwynlais choice of program and entertainment value to be much better.
     
  15. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    The Subtitles work on catch-up via your computer - there's an 'S' in a box bottom left, click that and chose what subtitles you want.
    I agree with RO, the talking over the music was irritating, still it's a hell of a lot more exposure than amateur music normally gets, and a pleasant program.
     
  16. RedOctober

    RedOctober New Member

    No not at all. I think with the kinds of ensembles you have the standard is going to vary greatly. For example we had a youth band playing in the previous show and in a show to come we have Cory. So the actual standard of playing overall isn't really what I meant and of course very varied. If the youth band were to have qualified in the last show, they could be up against Cory in the final. What I was getting at is that I think it might look bad for the rwcmd to have been beaten by the local brass band. An amateur ensemble. I'm not saying the players from the rwcmd should be torn to shreds by their tutors over the result. But having seen the final, if you were a student looking to study at a conservatoire in order to become a professional musician, would you not be put off by that result if you'd been watching? Or if you were a parent, would it give you second thoughts about sending your child there over another conservatoire?
     
  17. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    jonny1note: yes, it's clear that choice of music played and entertainment value are factors in this contest, as one would expect...
     
  18. eusebio

    eusebio New Member

    Those pesky Welsh people with their own language and channel and everything, eh, talking ... in Welsh? On a Welsh language channel? Blimey, whatever next?

    [Subtitles are available if you choose to use the subtitles option both live and on the catchup service on the website]
     
  19. jonny1note

    jonny1note Member

    You may be correct that some parents may be put sending their child to a conservatoire. I'm no expert and I'm not sure if it is the case at all music schools/conservatoires, but from speaking to a few past conservatoire students, one to one tuition from an instrumental tutor may be only one hour per week. It's then practise, practise, practise, and play with as many groups as you can. I think only the exceptionally gifted and hard working students ever make the grade to play professionally. However, many continue to play (and continue to practise) with good amateur ensembles, go into the teaching profession etc.
     
  20. RamasII

    RamasII Member

    What I was getting at is that I think it might look bad for the rwcmd to have been beaten by the local brass band. An amateur ensemble. I'm not saying the players from the rwcmd should be torn to shreds by their tutors over the result. But having seen the final, if you were a student looking to study at a conservatoire in order to become a professional musician, would you not be put off by that result if you'd been watching? Or if you were a parent, would it give you second thoughts about sending your child there over another conservatoire?[/QUOTE]

    Many of the players at Zone 1 have been through a London Music College or colleges and play professionally day to day doesn't mean they win everything.....
     
  21. RedOctober

    RedOctober New Member

    Many of the players at Zone 1 have been through a London Music College or colleges and play professionally day to day doesn't mean they win everything.....[/QUOTE]

    But that's not broadcast on national television and the internet for the world to see is it? And zone one aren't a London music college brass band are they.. The rwcmd brass ensemble is the the 'rwcmd' brass ensemble, it represents the college with it's very name and the fact that the ensemble is entirely made out of full time students from that institution. Zone one is a mix, you have students from various colleges and some professional players. I don't think zone ones 'lack of success' really compares with the rwcmd brass ensemble's latest outing on national television. I'd be very interested to see what would happen if you put the RAM or Guildhall brass ensembles into that competition.
     
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