Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by jpbray, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. jpbray

    jpbray Member

    I have read the BFBB mission statement, and it appears a genuine attempt to lift the profile of banding i.e. with co-operation with other compatible bodies. However, is there enough being done at grass root level to encourage and support local bands? How about a course to help band manages, or courses to help band members who have little teaching ability and are asked to help teach learners? etc, or is this over the top. What do you think?
  2. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    I thought I'd wait a while before replying just to reinforce my thoughts on the subject. As you can see, Mr Bray, the BFBB induces only apathy amongst the people it is designed to represent - hence the complete lack of responses to your post, and indeed to my recent attempt to elicit from people whether they had spotted the presence of the BFBB at any of the major contests this year (this being one of the BFBB's stated aims in its strategic business plan).

    People will no doubt argue that they have no interest in the BFBB because they don't perceive it to have any relevance or value to what they (the bandsmen) want done. This of course disregards the fact that, as a democratic body, the BFBB is bound to do the will of its members - in other words, by joining it, one gains influence. But it's more fun to moan from the sidelines, and it's cheaper too - to become a member of the BFBB costs money, you know!

    I agree that the strategic business plan is a genuine attempt to lift the profile of banding, but it seems to me that the Federation is severely handicapped by a chronic shortage of money - hardly surprising when you consider the meagre support from arts bodies and the ludicrously low subscription rates.

    Brass bands in the UK have never shown any interest in national representation, nor with they things which would spring from it, such as courses for band managers or teacher training, for example - they've been far too busy chasing tin trophies at contests. That's why, whatever you want to call brass bands, let's not called it a movement. It most certainly isn't.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2004
  3. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    James - I agree with you in part here, but let's not thwart any enthusiasm people may have for improving the 'movement' you feel we don't have. Yes indeed, most bands have certainly acted in a very insular manner during recent times... contesting, and lottery finding are cases in point. As soon as money was made available through lottery grants etc, bands were clambering all over each other for cash - and having been cash starved for many years, this is not surprising at all.

    However, what people didn't realise in their mad scramble for this horde of lottery cash, was that this money could not only buy metal, silver, bricks and mortar - but it could easily have bought a person. This person could have been employed from that funding to build/promote/develop the area's banding commuity. This would most certainly have helped in many ways and just imagine what might have transpired. Collaboration is something bands are inherently not very good at, this would have been an excellent starting point.

    Has the opportunity been missed...? Possibly not. With people such as Mr Bray and others making entirely valid and pragmatic suggestions, here on tMP and in the banding media - who knows what might transpire. Let's not knock it too hard eh... ;) just look at tMP objective #1 - and how we have brought banders together eh!
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2004
  4. jpbray

    jpbray Member

    Banding is a "good product" and this needs to be realised. I feel we need, not so much interference in the day to day of our local band, but leadership with such as the BFBB doing more to promote al aspects banding and not just at the top level.

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