Band Politics

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by trombelle, Apr 12, 2004.

  1. trombelle

    trombelle Member

    :shock: ahhh Band Politics...... :shock:

    do any bands get by WITHOUT a committee??
    as much as i love ours *ahem* i do think that poiltics do get in the way of playing. i go to band to PLAY and see my mates, thats it! i've grown up in my local band and i'd say about 80% are related and 90% have been there for the past 6 years. Many of the older players have played in top section bands and have 'retired' to this band to keep their lip in, many of the younger players play in other competitive, higher section bands.

    We're about playing in our local town and having a laugh rather than serious section climbing, which in many ways in even MORE of a reason not to get bogged down by politics.

    Do any band just have an MD, bandmaster and treasurer? and do people feel strongly about having/not having a commitee, especially for smaller, non competing bands?

    I'm not having a rant (well ok, just a little one!) and i honestly do recognise the time and effort that goes into holding the commitees together, and the good work they've done.
    I also realise they are the 'democratic' way of making decisions but I'm just interested about other ways in running a band...especially if the majority of players are just there to HAVE FUN!!!
  2. lilcornetgirl

    lilcornetgirl Member

    Hi i think that Commitees are a great thing they do a lot for the band. I think u could possibly maybe go without one but if it got really really hectic then maybe you would need a meetin. Committees are brill though its a way of bringing forward what you want to say. The thing dont get is POLITICS in the band i now its been on befor but when banding is normally fun WHY do we need to bring politics up in it. Banding is normally used to get a social thing and because people like it so why is there politics so that people cant enjoy it. Does anyone agree?
  3. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    If there's one thing I hate, it's band politics.
    I know of very few bands who don't have committies; but committee or not, politics still happen!

    Thing is, no matter what organisation it is, you're always going to get some sort of politics happen...

    But come on guys... it's just a brass band at the end of the day; a passion to some yes, but a hobbie to most... Why ruin it for the people who really enjoy playing?

    It's a big shame that people have to go too far... and I've seen committees, one inparticular springs to my mind, who really takes the biscuit in running the band... It's pathetic... OTT!

    Decisions that effect the whole band need to be a band decision, not just the committee; and if things (arguments etc) happen between players, then the relavant people should be put in a locked room until the matter is sorted and not drag others into it so the band is then split...

    I've been unfortunate to see a lot of politics in a past band... it drives people out big time, usually ending with the MD going and that's really sad to see.

    Good on you bands who have little or no politics at all!
  4. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    Our band has no fixed committee, and we try and do things by consensus. Of course, there could be a reason why our chairman goes by the name of "Despot"

  5. Despot

    Despot Member

    Damn right! :twisted: :lol:
  6. Valvecap

    Valvecap Member

    I think it depends very much on the people involved. I am currently in a band with a very active committee which drives the band forward in a non-musical sense as well as the musical one and this is proving exceedingly successful. Ive seen a band nearly destroyed by politics as a one-man committee alienated players but on the same scale i have seen larger committees fail for similar reasons. The band i conduct has a committee which is very seperate from the band in a musical sense and has no say at all on band matters such as program choice or band direction; but the committee concentrates, like Harrogates, on moving the band forward through better concert venues, fund raising e.t.c.
    Getting 28 players to agree all the time is rarely going to happen but is possible. Chiefs (or wanna-be chiefs) dont make good Indians sometimes... and im as guilty of that as most!
  7. Politics takes it up the coight. Whats really disturbing is when the comittee or people in the band in general don't really represent the true wishes of the band members. The comittee is in place to serve the interests of the members, maybe the comitee members rightly have more say in things, however bands can never function to their full potential when the players aren't listened to/represented fairly.
  8. trombelle

    trombelle Member

    my point exactly! if a commitee is made up of non-players then why should they have influence over the band? if the committee is made up of players then why not just have a band vote/discussion so everyone's views are heard, not just the players who are on the commitee?

    i don't know anyone who likes 'band politics' and commitees are generally the cause of them. a small, low section entertainment band would be much better making decisions by discussing them as a group. like i said before, i go to band simply to play, but i wouldn't mind making the decisions if the band itself voted and dicussed them. surely this would create a bigger sense of responsibility towards the band as opposed to the 'them and us' atmosphere that exsists between a lot of bands and their committees???

    i would also like to add that our committee does a fantastic job and this is in no way a dig at them. just a general thought/rant/ramble :)
  9. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    Oh how true that is :p :p :p
  10. Tuba Miriam

    Tuba Miriam Member

    Personalities are potentially problematic, not band politics. It is irrelevant to ask if politics is a good or a bad phenomenon or if bands should 'do without' politics. Politics is an inescapable part of everything we do; whether half the band are sacked to make way for better players or whether I decide to have a cup of tea rather than coffee, every action is in some sense political since politics is about making decisions, big and small.

    In addition, any amateur organisation that takes itself relatively seriously will continuously have political decisions to make, whether it's a sporting organisation or a purely social club deciding on rules of membership. The problem arises, not in the politics of having to make choices - which job do we do; how much do we charge; which contest do we enter; what level do we want to play at? - but the way in which people react to differing opinions within the organisation: some people are flexible, others intransigent. How are people motivated, by power or alturism?

    Politics is inescapable, 'liking' it irrelevant. Personalities are the issue.
  11. 1Cal

    1Cal New Member

    I used to play in a band without a committee. Life was very easy, the secretary dealt with all the organnisational stuff, the conductor was band manager as well, and was left to concentrate on the musical side including the selection of players, and the treasurer only dealt with the financial side.

    This made life for the players very easy, you only had to turn up and play!

    Myprevious band started out as a school band and evolved into a lower section competing band, with no little success, so the issue of democratic involvement of the players was not a big issue.

    As the band matured, i.e. the existing players turned into young adults and new older players were recruited, it was suggested, by more troublesome members that a committee was the way forward. The troublesome palyers who ended up on the committee always wanted bring about confrontation with the original office bearers (politics again!), but decisions of the committee always seemed to go with the views of the original secretary as the people who had grown up with him knew that his views were generally the best for the band. As such his decisions were implemented, with the backing of the committee, wholesale.

    The point being, committees can just be a time wasting enterprise, but if it makes you feel better...

    Incidentally, I think the committee was one of the first signs of the death of that band
  12. skweeky

    skweeky Member

    you cant get away from band politics, its probabily (although i cringe severely as i say then) best to have a committee.

    Imagine if you get 1 or 2 players in the band who cant help but caus trouble and think they can do as they wish and order the band around etc etc... (if you get what im trying to say)

    i think most of it has nothing to do with a committee. committee members (well at least in our band) are also band members of our band.... if there were no committe rules to keep them in control... :twisted:
  13. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    We've had a committe since way before I can remember! Currently we have 18 people on the committee, this being a 50/50 split between 'playing members' and 'non-players'. Until recently, it was looking like being more of 70/30 split but didn't work out that way - so we're very happy with the way it's being run at the moment.

    In fact, have been a member of the committe myself for nearly 10 years and in that time have never seen the band question a decision the committe has made. Come to think of it - have never seen this happen at all! True, there have been some hard decisions to make, but on the whole they've turned out to be the correct decisions (granted, a few worng 'uns have crept in - but these are in the minimum!). We, as a committee, are aware of the strong tradition of our band, and are determined to keep the good name of the band going well past it's 170th year (next year incidentally!) and into the 200th year and beyond!!!!

    I think part of the reason for the usefulness of our committee is the hard work and dedication of our Secretary and Treasurer - who, this month, are both 'celebrating' being in their respective posts for 30 years. Prior to that they had both been members of the band for nealry 20 years - so to say they've given their lives to the band would not be an understatement! These two have been the cornerstone of the band for years and are well-respected both from within the band and from outside.

    We are extremely proud of the work they've done and will be showing our gratitude to them over the next few weeks.
  14. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    Is it just me, or is that a committee? Small group of people within the band that do designated jobs. Seem to be a lot of committee-phobes round here. I know for a fact that our band would not have kept running post sponsorship without the hard work of the committee. Band politics happen wether you have a committee or not. There will still be disagreement when decisions have to be made.
  15. 1Cal

    1Cal New Member

    Definately not a committee, each person had total responsibility and absolute control of their own area, no voting, no mass discussions.

    I'm not completely anti-committee, you just have to watch who gets on them! Nothing wrong with a democracy of one :wink:
  16. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    The committe and running of the band was the main reason i signed for Raunds. Everyone knows that whatever they decide is purely for the good of the band, they have strong people in positions that need a 'do'er' rather than a 'thinker' and the band goes from strength to strength. We get given the minutes and can freely raise anything we want at any time. If your committee works then I think it is invaluable.
  17. skweeky

    skweeky Member

    our minutes are also available to see.... pinned up on the bandroom wall with a list of everything raised, options put forward, desicions made and when, matters to be raised etc etc.... So im glad that the committee dont lock themselves in a little black room and keep their thoughts and actions secret :lol:
  18. ben.gernon

    ben.gernon Member

  19. ben.gernon

    ben.gernon Member

    Just worked out how to quote properly!!!! It just slipped my mind! :D
  20. To use the "quote" function baffled me for ages..........I hadn't noticed the "quote" icon on each message - which didn't help....... :?