Bands Withdrawing from the areas reason for concern?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by postie, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. postie

    postie Member

    My bandsman has just arrived and the main headline is the fact that Staines, Newtongrange in Scotland. Abergavenny Band and Beaumaris from Wales and Horden from the North East have all pulled out the areas. All these are Championship bands what do people reckon reason for concern?
  2. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    There is quite a lengthy discussion here in respect of reasons for Staines and others withdrawing from the London area.

    It must be a concern if bands are pulling out all over the country. If it is all for the same reason ie lack of players then it is indeed worrying.
  3. davethehorny

    davethehorny Member

    I have not seen this weeks bandsman but if true it will come as quite a shock. Normally it is the lower section bands that struggle to get to the areas (especially in the Fourth Section). Championship Section bands can often 'encourage' players from lower section bands to join them at short notice or have a list of fallback players who do not wish to commit but are good enough to play at short notice.

    Lets hope this is just a bad year for these bands and that they will be back fighting fit next year. The brass band movement can really do without the entries for the Areas dropping any lower.
  4. Morghoven

    Morghoven Member

    Of course nobody wants to see bands in difficulties and although I have no connection to any of the bands that have withdrawn, I do wish them all the best and hope that it's just a temporary blip.

    However, perhaps it does highlight a wider issue. Is it better for brass banding in this country to be (for example) 600 bands who on average have 16-18 at practice, or 500 bands who on average have pretty much a full line-up?

    If for various reasons the players are not in existence/not wanting to be involved in banding, would we actually be stronger with fewer, fuller bands? If most bands are weak, surely that is where the real dangers lie.

  5. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    Maybe the problem is down to lack of players who can give the commitment at the higher levels. I myself have dropped out of playing seriously due to work commitments (hopefully maybe only for a year or so), and I know a few others who have. Maybe that is one of the problems, that there are so many things pulling us in our lives that occasionally banding has to take a back seat?
  6. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    The danger with that is that whilst you may start with 500 full bands, you'd be lokely to find that before long you get 500 bands with 16-18 players turning up.
  7. Adamskied

    Adamskied Member

    Just heard to that Alliance have withdrawn from SOuthern Counties there any other bands that are struggling to get players for the areas? Maybe find out at the areas when they dont have 25 players????
  8. BrotherBone

    BrotherBone Member

    Horden are my old band and as far as I'm aware they've folded altogether for whatever reason. So unfortunately it doesnt look like they'll be "fighting fit" again next year =(
  9. stopher

    stopher Member

    I know in Wales (or more accurately in Beaumaris' case), it is down to the sheer cost of travelling to the area (see the thread on Welsh area!), a lot of players going to Uni, work commitments etc. and one hell of a long journey on a bus to Swansea (roughly 5 hours but it did take one band 7 last year from Anglesey!)
  10. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    such a shame to hear that news as played against them at National Finals in 2003 and Mineworkwers Contest as well in same year a great buch of people:clap:
  11. Lauradoll

    Lauradoll Active Member

    As already mentioned in the North East area thread, BHK Band have folded so technically don't exist. They weren't on the list of bands to compete at Darlington so haven't acutally pulled out.
  12. Bunnymonster

    Bunnymonster Member

    It is a terrible loss that bands are dropping out of the area contests. I don't mean to sound unsympathetic, however I have had experience of two championship bands folding and it all started with paying players. As soon as you offer a retainer for any player (regardless of quality of that player) others arond them will soon present a reason why they are also deserving of money. In my experience this pretty soon leads to the demise of a band (unless you are a really top-class band with unlimited funds) I refer you to both Trafford Band and Point of Ayr.

    The answer to banding is to play for fun - whatever your ability.
  13. smiler_38

    smiler_38 Member

    I Second that , Bunnymonster

    Money attracts the top players, established not as good players pushed out, money runs out, top players leave..... empty seats.
  14. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    Good point Laura. Beaumaris' absence is also explained in the Welsh Region thread, Alliance and Staines' are explained in the L&SC thread (as pointed out by Chunky) - and yet people still act surprised now they've read it in the Bandsman or 'just heard' off someone else. All the information is here on tMP if people only looked outside of their own Area threads......
  15. postie

    postie Member

    The reason why I started this thread because it is very concerning that all over the country that bands are disappearing, bands being forced to withdraw from the Areas and it's worrying for the movement. The lack of players is becoming a big problem and one that needs to be looked at.
  16. Craigsav83

    Craigsav83 Active Member

    Its a sad state of affairs really, that must be 7 or 8 bands from just the Championship section withdrawing from their respective areas - I think its more worrying as we are used to a few bands withdrawing from the lower sections, rather then the top section. This goes hand in hand with bands bringing players in from Europe - surely all these bandspersons havn't disappeared overnight? Where have they all gone?
  17. Lauradoll

    Lauradoll Active Member

    Ah! That MUST be the reason that these bands have pulled out then.....

    I don't really understand the point of your post, not meaning to sound unsympathetic! I know loads of people who played in both Trafford and Point of Ayr who weren't on "retainers" and actually did play for the fun of it. No-one at BHK was on any money (regardless of what people said!), the band just struggled to carry on with a core of 10ish players. I acutally left the band (before it wound up) in November due to an increased workload and was really sad to hear about the demise of what was a fab band and a great bunch of people that I had great times with at contests- cheers guys!!

    I don't think your post is sympathetic at all; I don't think any band who pulls out of any contest never mind the areas will have come to this decision lightly. Obviously this is a problem all over the country so how can it be addressed? Do we need less bands or more players? Where will these players come from? Where are all the ones who have "left"?
  18. Anonymous_user

    Anonymous_user New Member

    This is nothing new....its just coming to a head! The education system or lack of it) is to blame.

    The standard of so called top players is a million miles away from those in the 80s and 90s also.

    On top of this the commitment to play in a top band is nothing like it was in the 80s and 90s
    (I only compare to 80s and 90s because thats what I can remember)

    So what do we have?

    1 No real education system to bring on new players
    2 Falling standards of players
    3 lack of commitment

    Great mixture isnt it. Never mind the fact that the age of the average audience is now getting too old so we wont need as many bands to provide entertainment, if thats what you call it!!!!!!!!!!!!
  19. zak

    zak Member

    Agreed Simon!!!! :clap:
  20. cornetkate

    cornetkate Member

    From my experience of playing in the championship section it is not so much the lack of players, but more about the quality of the players there seems to be about these days.

    Obviously the championship section bands have a reputation to uphold and this can be undoubtedly diluted by accepting players who are not of the requisite caliber. Generally it can be better to pay a retainer for a better player than to accept someone of a lower standard; especially when the stakes are also high in respect of prize money too.

    I definitely agree the brass band world should do more for training the younger players :clap:

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