Bandmaster??

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by WCB_Sop, May 9, 2006.

  1. WCB_Sop

    WCB_Sop New Member

    I have been threatenend to be on the committee for my band.

    Any tips on doing the most appopriate for a total slacker like me?

    It looks like it might be the bandmaster job. Any tips from fellow bandmasters out there? It is easier than being contest secretay or treasurer?
     
  2. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    As an ex-committee member I know how frustrating it is when some committee members do not pull their weight! For the sake of the rest of the committee, I would recommend electing a person only onto a committee if they really are prepared to put in that little bit extra for the sake of the band. No point in carrying 'dead-weight'! Better to have fewer, committed members, than a full committee - can breed resentment!
     
  3. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    I think he meant it toungue in cheek Susan!
     
  4. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    Hah, my apology then. :oops: I'm just a bit 'sensitive' about this topic, unfortunately!

    Must learn to work on that 'tongue in cheek' thing! :biggrin:
     
  5. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Reading many of the threads on tMP will help you on that score Sue...;)
     
  6. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    Lead from the front without developing a better then thou attitude.

    Nothing frustrates me more than being repremanded for my conduct, appearance etc from someone who doesn't practice what they preach. A good bandmaster needs not say / do a great deal at all.
     
  7. WCB_Sop

    WCB_Sop New Member

    I'm not the smartest dressed person so thanks all for your tips. I'm not very organised so I think i'd better warn them that I won't be all that good on the comittee.
     
  8. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Presummably as you are in a Championship Section Band perhaps your job as Bandmaster won't be too hard - might be a bit different if you were in a 4th section or non-competing band? Full attendance at rehearsals? No one letting you down at last minute? Misplacing music? Forgeting uniforms?

    Every Championship section band I've ever seen in contests and performances etc all seem to have a very efficient air about them - no body wondering on in an aimless manner etc.

    Perhaps they put on a very good show of this and I'm not saying that lower section bands are incapable of the same "professionalism" in their presentation however my experience is that it is very hard work to motivate the "can't be bothered". I often say that even if we can't play as well as a top band why can't we look and act like one? Does that ability come with the same gene that give musical talent or are they all ruled by a really tough bandmaster?
     
  9. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    By no means am I saying dont do it! Being smart and organised alone doesnt make you a good committee member. Make sure you establish what role they want filling, many bands I have been a associated with have a non committee bandmaster as it is more focused on rehearsal etiquette and public appearance.

    The only prerequisite for a committee member is someone with the best interests of the organisation at heart who is willing to make constructive arguments / contributions for the benefit of others. If your heart is in the band then who better to do it.

    Bandmaster is a different kettle of fish, as is band manager, concert manager etc etc and I have yet to find a band with a perfectly organised management structure and roles need clarity before you agree to anything.

    I am also a big believer in t'is better to regret not succeeding than to regret not trying. If you think you have something to offer grab the chance.
     
  10. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    Psst wrong Woodfalls, he plays for Woodfalls concert who are in the 1st section not SWT Woodfalls ;)
     
  11. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    In that case as they are in the 1st Section he'll really need to get out the Bandmaster's whacking stick.
     
  12. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    Having played for SWT Woodfalls I'd say the same probably applies to them as well :D eh Persins!
     
  13. persins

    persins Member

    Whacking stick is a must!!!! Although, in the forest things be a bit...different!!

    The issues are the same but the solutions can be entertaining! As a newly elected committee member of the SWT Woodfalls band, I'm just beginning to find out!!
     
  14. WCB_Sop

    WCB_Sop New Member

    :p I'm quite handy with a rolling pin if provoked.
     
  15. persins

    persins Member

    You might need it mate!
     
  16. Shaggy

    Shaggy New Member

    The very best of British mate! is all I can say. You are probably getting the same feeling that Steve Mclaren is starting to get any time soon, ie a hiding to nothing. No one wants the job of band master, but of course every one knows how the job should be done, and they know how they would do it if they were the band master. Of course these people sit on their hands and stare at the floor when it comes to nominations at the AGM. You wont catch any of these "experts" putting their money where their mouth is, the prospect of making a decision or lifting a finger to help is fraught with dangers. They might get critisized, or made to look foolish, or they might make a mistake. Doing nothing and dishing out the critisism is much more fun.

    One thing is for sure, you just cant win, if things are going well you are not needed, if things turn bad, your on your own!
     
  17. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    Hehe, didn't realise you played in the same band as me! :biggrin:

    (Disclaimer: For those of you reading this that play for Hatfield, it was meant as 'tongue in cheek', I'm trying to learn about this anomaly. :eek: )
     
  18. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    I know when reading Shaggy's posts you have to turn on "tongue-in-cheek" mode but that one sounds like "never-a-true-word" mode - are there any special Smilies for that one?

    At Killamarsh we don't have a bandmaster as such just me and my Newsletters. It can be like bashing your head against a brick wall and I hope I've learnt to chill in the manner I would deal with this stuff.
     
  19. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    It depends on how your band runs the position. I was bandmaster at Wigston for about 5 years (I got the job and couldn't palm it off onto anyone else...;) ) and over that time I tried to "modernise" it from being a bandmasters role to being more a band manager.

    When I started I was responsible for all sorts of things - basically my job was to make sure our own players got to where they should be, at the right time, and to find deps for those that couldn't make it. I was also in charge of discipline (hah!!) and, according to our constitution could've been called upon to conduct the band if our regular MD wasn't available :eek: . Basically it was an old style bandmasters' job - and players would expect me to do everything for them, except physically play their parts!

    Over the years I started to make people aware that they were responsible for their own actions. I would tell them where they needed to be and at what time and give directions if required, but if people wanted lifts or whatever then they had to do it themselves. I also over time managed to impliment a system that required our players to do everything they could to find their own deps. I ditched the conducting malarky, and changed the disicipline system to put the onus on a committee desicion rather than the bandmasters'. Fortunately I never had to put this system to the test, and it hasn't been used since, to my knowledge.

    Its a lot of hard work, and don't for one minute think you can employ "a do as I say not as I do" style - you will have to be whiter than white for people are to respect you.

    If you have to find deps - good luck! It does get easier over time as you build up your contacts, but this is the most time-consuming and frustrating part of the job. Use your contacts to get other numbers, and make good use of resources like tMP.

    Although I found it frustrating, annoying, time-consuming, rewarding, baffling in roughly equal quantities I would do it again if I ever had enough time to devote to the job. Good luck!
     
  20. WCB_Sop

    WCB_Sop New Member

    thanks for your post ian, that's very helpful.

    1st committee meeting has been called. will help me consider my options. they have offered me to be contest secretary as well, but i can't stand the though of someone not being allowed on the contest stage cos of an error by me. It's happened to a tuba player in one of my previous bands!
     

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