Band Politics

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by BigHorn, Dec 10, 2002.


Band Sackings..

  1. A Necessary Evil

  2. No Just Evil

  3. I Wouldn't Want To Do It

  1. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    As we all know banding can sometimes be a cut throat business. As bands strive to move up through the sections they often have to demote or say goodbye to players who are not up to scratch. Disagreements and band politics often get in the way of the music. What are your worst experiences? What was the cruelest method of getting rid of someone? Who is the longest serving band member it has happened too. What is the lamest excuse ever? Are you an MD who has had to make the hard decisions?
    Come on, vent your spleen, have a grumble and let those committees know what heartless b*#%*^ds they sometimes are.
    Also why you are here fill in the poll
  2. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    Yeah it can be a cut throat business.....the worst things I have seen is players being asked to leave when they are perfectly good enough to cope but a 'better player' is available.

    I think it is wrong and it will be breaking the consitutions of most bands!

    anyway this is a very negative subject!!!! :? should we really be talking about this? :shock:
  3. twigglet

    twigglet Member

    I think that it is a good point to discuss. I think that every band has its share of band politics, but I do feel that it should be unnecessary. After all we are in a band to play and socialise and not to fall out.

    The player problem is also always going to happen, particularly in a band building up from the grass roots. I believe that the players should choose what direction the band takes, whether it is a local, informal town band open to anyone with an interest or on the other hand a band that is seeking to improve in the national rankings and therefore compete. In my experience most bandsmen love contest days but hate the lengthy preparation that comes with them. If you are committed to trying to move up the sections then I'm afraid that I believe you have to have the best players available.

    One thing that I strongly disagree with is loaning loads of deps for contests and they are not a true representation of the band you really have. For example I have heard of bands who can barely scratch a rehearsal together yet can go and win contests because they bring in loads of deps.

    :?: :?: :?:
  4. amgray

    amgray Member

    For a band that wishes to improve quickly it is necessary to remove the players who can't grow with the band. Sad but true.
    What is worse is when a sacking happens to a perfectly good player still in their prime for political reasons.
    I've known this happen to some of the biggest names in banding......
  5. I have one thing to say.


    as you can see, i'm not a great believer in making music competitive.
  6. Despot

    Despot Member

    We had a conductor who wanted to replace a capable young lad for a contest because a better player was available, but we'd have none of it.

    Years later the conductor is gone, nobody remembers the contest, and the "young" lad is still there, except now he's principal trombone! :wink:

    But back on topic, where more than one person is involved in something, be it a brass band or a sewing circle, you'll have politics to some extent! It's not something you can choose to have or not! :(
  7. jambo

    jambo Member

    and its music that matters!!!!!

    However, its gotta be played so sack em all if they're not good enough!

    Just kidding, ideally we should all go to enjoy ourselves, however, as soon as you introduce an element of competition, the needle begins...thats life. :roll:
  8. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    never a truer word said in jest.

    and it's just not the way forward. Some bands I have been to have had a policy where anyone can join and come to rehearsals, but the best band will be picked for the contest. The best band may not always be the best players, but those that can play best together on that particular piece, and those who can attend most rehearsals etc.

    IYOUNG Member

    Band politics in my view is caused by two things:-

    1. What I describe as old fashioned band personnel who have the ''this is my seat and i'm entitled'' attitude.

    2. When committees are made up of people who do not possess the relevant man management skills to deal with difficult situations that undoubtedly arise from time to time.

    The sooner bands address these two issues the easier it is to have a politically free band zone
  10. lazybrass

    lazybrass New Member

    Band politics is a very touchy subject.
    Like many bandsmen, I have been in banding for 25 loyal years and think I have seen everything that could happen to a band.
    Being ruthless towards players is great for results but you have to look at the long term survival of the band.
    You need the core of true bandsmen who believe in the band and are not there for self gain - they are there to make music. Start losing that core and it will impact on the bands future.
  11. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    My dad was "sacked" from a band because they were young and rapidly improving, and he reached a point where he couldn't keep up. They did it suddenly and (imho) cruelly, and he never stopped hurting or feeling ill-treated. I don't think they were wrong to ask him to go, but I do think the way they did it was bad. Its not nice, but if you play in contesting bands you have to accept that this may happen sometimes...... whats important is that the player in question is handled sensitively and not left feeling dumped or at fault.

    I have also seen players "asked to leave" because their politics or behaviour were having a negative impact on the band, and although those situations were extremely unpleasant and difficult in the short term, the bands were better off after the event.
  12. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I was placed in an awkward situation once with a band (not brass) that my dad and I both played with, when they told him they didn't want him any more, but wanted me to stay :?

    Another point regarding politics in bands: don't assume that because they do not take part in contests SA bands are exempt from the same problems. I'm sure that on occasions it gets even more complicated due to other factors within the Corps, and the frustrations can be heightened by the realisation that the politics is hindering the real mission of the band, which can bring various feelings of guilt into the equation.
  13. Gorgie boy

    Gorgie boy Member

    Couldn't agree more Peter. I think there are issues of politics etc around in the SA just as anywhere else. Part of that is because we are talking about people and when we talk about people egos, ambition, jealousy and other such matters come into play.

    Had a situation in our band once where a guy arrived and said he wanted to play Bass trombone. He wasn't up to it, frankly, and when this was put to him and a position on 2nd trombone was offered, he took the huff and never darkened our door again. I've often thought about that occasion and wondered if it could have been handled differently. Probably not, but you get concerned when people are lost either to banding or to the church over the issue of which part they want to play.

    Sad isn't it?

    Paul Drury
    Edinburgh Gorgie SA Band
  14. Despot

    Despot Member

    I've been in similar situations and had similar concerns. However over time you realise you can't talk to someone who won't listen.

    Personally I think that being concerned and worried is a good sign, and that the day you don't feel some element of regret, it's time to give up!
  15. greatcheese

    greatcheese Member

    It'd be great to be in a position to be able to sack players. The band I am currently in has a lot of wasters (perfectly good players but slack at home practice and attendance). Admittedly, morale is low due to a number of vacancies across the band and, therefore, empty seats at rehearsals but that's no excuse for not practicing and makes it more important that 'regulars' attend.

    Anyway, what I'm getting round to saying is, we could do with sacking a few players but in the current climate, who do you find to replace them? i know exactly what would happen if we did sack them.......a few weeks down the line we would be grovelling for them to come back just to get bums on seats!!!!!!!

    Answers on a postcard please.........??
  16. greatcheese

    greatcheese Member

    Sorry :oops: Just seen the thread titled 'Slack Banders' and guess that's where my last post should be really!

    Still think it's very difficult to be sacking players when you've already got 5 or 6 regularly empty seats.
  17. lilcornetgirl

    lilcornetgirl Member

    I think Band Politics are *bleeped*. Sorry for my french but thats the way i lost all my mates :cry: I miss em all so much but no one cares because its all about the band. All the people who are still there still want to keep in touch but "It makes a bad impression on the band" and if you ask me thats a *bleeped* thing to say. Friends are more important then a brass instrament and if you now me you wouldnt ever here me say this, I WOULD RATHER GIVE THE CORNET UP THEN MISS OUT ON ALL MY MATES. They were well nice to me and i would rather see them or keep intouch with them then Not see or talk to em at all.

    Keppler - Please don't try to beat the bleeper, it's there for a reason...
  18. Libby

    Libby Member

    :( I can't believe some of what I'm reading here! lilcornetgirl!! You should be able to talk to and associate with whoever you please! The day our band tries to dictate that I'll be off faster than you can say horn!! Don't be dictated to like this, if they are your friends then you stay friends with them.

    To think that the "fanatics" in your band should dictate who you talk to or not I find very offensive :evil: :evil:

    I do find it rather sad that sometimes a player has to be sacked, it's only happened a couple of times in our band but that was because of bad behaviour not because of their playing ability, I personally think that is wrong, maybe they should be offered a different part but not totally sacked.

    Band is a hobby which should be enjoyed by all whatever their playing standard! If your band is that worried then they should audition players and give them a time limit on probation before accepting them!

    Sorry! I've calmed down now and off to Band Practice!! :D
  19. lilcornetgirl

    lilcornetgirl Member

    Its a bit hard to not allow this and walk out you see. As for sacking people if it was down to playing i think id be out of door by now trust me :lol: I think its purely how you behave and if you attend to Concerts and if your commited to the band enoth. Its a shame when people have to be told to leave. EXSPECIALLY IF THERE A GD PLAYER.
  20. Big Fella

    Big Fella Member

    I do agree with sackings if they are required, but they have to be for the right reasons. If the player is not up to their seat, and are not trying to improve themselves, and regulary let the band down, then he / she, must go. BUT, these days, when there are hundreds of empty seats around bands, and what not enough players to fill them, can, or does a band sack players ??.
    I have previously left a band, due to people being sacked , becuase they did not get on well, with individuals within the band. This I think is wrong..

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