Bfbb ..?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by WhatSharp?, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    It's not often I find myself moved to such an extent that I'll post something serious on tMP, however the arrival of a letter from the BFBB and it's tone and content have (not to put to finer point on it ) really got my hackles up.

    Now granted I'm not the most fervent supporter of this organisation which proports to represent the bands of England, Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland, however I was in the past fairly happy to let them get on with what they were doing with a general feeling that they believed in what they were doing. I have , however, changed my mind somewhat on this after recieving what can only be described as something close to a final demand, the like of which I would expect from a utility company! :mad: . Just so you all know what I'm talking about I'll copy it out to you word for word format for format :

    <quote BFBB> "I am writing to you as the secretary, or the First Contact of a band, and to remind you that the 2006 Subscriptions became due on the 1s January, 2006. So far in 2006 you have neglected to give us your supports. THIS LETTER IS TO REMIND YOU OF THIS FACT." </quote>

    Is it me or does this sound more than a little threatening?, no mention of our band name (they couldn't be bothered with that it seems) and I really think they need to run a spell checker (mind you so do I at times :D ). But never mind that, "Pay up or else" seems to be the tone...

    Ok well lets move on since the letter then goes on to point out the "benefits" of membership.. (oh and bear in mind we are a 2nd section band).

    • Representation within the Arts Sector, ensuring brass bands are recognised where it matters.
    And this would be where exactly? In all my years of banding every band I have known generally gets itself represented on local arts councils and has to promote themselves. or are they referring to getting "top" bands on the radio?

    • Preferential Brass band Insurance rates which provide substantial savings.
    I'll let them have this one as I've never used their insurance, we use a private company.

    • Advice on issues essential to the brass band movement so you are always up to date.
    Erm... Anyone?, I use tMP and 4BarsRest.

    • Complimentary copy of the Directoy of Brass Bands and entry to the federation website.
    Ok, possibly helpful but usally more accurate to go to our regional website or look on the internet or tMP.

    • We operate a helpline at our national headquarters in Barnsley
    Has anyone used this?, if so what for? I can't really think of anything which my band would require help on that we can't get from local sources or the internet.

    • Representation of member bands in Europe to ensure your voice is heard.
    Eh? why would I worry about our voice being heard in Europe?, Only a handful of bands get through to the europeans and we certainly wouldn't be one of them.

    • There is free access to Member Bands to our Music and Score Library
    Ah at last something I can use... anyone else used this? how does it work (cause this is the first I've heard of this one) can we borrow our test piece for the areas next year to save us spending £60 on toilet paper?

    • There are discounts on Overseas Tours
    Possibly useful once every four years. Once again anyone used this?

    • There is low price on Hotel Accomodation
    Where?, someone enlighten me please.

    • We operate and manage the British Brass Band Registry, incorporating over 17000 bandsmen and over 500 bands.
    Ah, here we are, the lynch pin. Forget the benfits this is the crux of the matter really. Don't we have to pay for this anyway to get our cards renewed each year? Or is there now the catch of "no BFBB membership, no cards". As far as I remember this was never the case, and why should be forced to belong to an organisation to participate in a national event which is sponsered an run by a completely serperate organisation (and other organisations for local competitions)?.

    • We shall be runnign the newly-formed English Championship (Championship only) at the lowery center in Manchester on the 1st July 2006.
    Yes I know it's in the press, how does this benfit me?

    So essentially they want my band to cough up £65 for a load of stuff which I don't really need or isn't applicable to me. Whilst I can accept that they do run the registry and I'm sure theres plenty they do for top section bands (Europeans, English Champs etc), tbh they do very little for us lower section bands. They didn't help my band secure funding for it's trainging band, they don't help us promote our concerts or help promote bands in general in the area in which I live. So forgive me guys at BFBB if I get more than a little bit narky when I get what seems to be a "Final Demand!".

    Thoughts anyone? (oh and can someone let me know if you have to be a BFBB member to use the registry..).
  2. davidsait

    davidsait Member

    No, you don't have to be a member of the BFBB to get registry cards. University of Warwick aren't BFBB members, and we're still with the Registry.
  3. midwalesman

    midwalesman Member

    First of all let me say how much I do sympathise with you on all of the points that you have highlighted and yes it does seem like a final demand. BUT, it is about time that banding had a central body. The Barbershop tradition in this country and America has had one for decades and other hobbies seem to manage it too, for example wind bands. Whilst there are deficiencies in the organisation now, the age where Victorian rivalry (whilst still exists I know) surely must stop and have a collective criteria for the future of banding, which I have to say should be more than contesting, top section or not. However, in a time where contesting seems so strong yet pointless I think collective action is about as likely as commonsense appearing on Big Brother!
  4. bassinthebathroom

    bassinthebathroom Active Member

    OK, perhaps a little badly thought out in concept as a letter, but the BFBB do offer these services, which are normally outlined either in the handbook (I think) and also on their website. The BFBB (and BBBR) have always been very helpful in my experience of dealing with them, the registry especially so. I admit there are still lots of things which need to be improved, and they need to perhaps be a little more proactive about things at times, but I still think that we are much better off with them than without.
    As for the subs, I think they have been pretty good letting your band stay a member for six months unpaid, though perhaps they should have sent a letter sooner. If you want to remain a member, pay your subs (on time) in the future). If you don't want your band to be in it, it is courteous to write to them to that end less than six months after the due date.
  5. Bungle

    Bungle Member

    Our band is a member and I can't see what we get for our money. We don't do the regionals and from their website you don't have to be a member to be in the directory. I am on the band committee and never have seen their magazine. I think the federation are a good idea, but need to work on their own PR, at the moment they are coming across as the equivalent of the English F.A. How about they start visiting bands on rehearsal nights and talk to bands about what they do.
  6. GingerMaestro

    GingerMaestro Active Member

    Yes the letter is a bit on the agressive side and maybe could have been worded a bit better.

    As far as what they do for banding

    Without the BFBB the whole banding movement would fall into a state of commercialism with the likes of certain promotors/sponsors taking over the running of our primary contests and possibly due to Kapitol gain from the lower sections not being as high as the big boys in the Champ section they would leave us high and dry

    So while we have the BFBB keeping an eye on things with the interest of all banding levels from Youth to Championship section the movement came keep going in the upwards direction it is.

    With regards to the English Chapionships. This a new venture and I'm sure if the first one goes well then the consideration of expanding it to other sections could be taken. It also gives the Champ bands who wouldn't normally get the chance of playing at the Europeans a realist goal to work towards. We all know that there an elite group of bands in this country and in Europe but without giving the others a chance then the divide will only get bigger. So on that note well done to the BFBB for putting in the effort to organise something that in time could become even bigger

    Yes I have had to use the help of the BFBB/BBBR for advice on various issues and found them very helpful indeed.

    I hope this makes sense and keep up the good work BFBB/BBBR:clap:
  7. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    We got one of these letters! Just typed up and stuffed in an envolope, not personally addressed, We thought the tone was a little off too. The BFBB do some great work behind the scene's, but that particullar letter got filed in the corner of the bandroom ;-)

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