Brass band artical in Daily Mail

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by daveredhead, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. daveredhead

    daveredhead Member

    Did anyone else read the artical in today Daily Mail about a brass also band near Bolton, It really brings home to Joe Public about real grass roots in banding, fund raising and gigs etc, and it also compares the money granted to Opera against the brass band movement, (£276,000,000 against £987.000 in the last five years) it also states there were 35,000 bands in 1900 compared to about 1000 today (The Mails figures) it is frightening reading when put into print like that, what do we all think, hopefully around Oxfordshire there seems to be a interest in youngsters taking up brass instruments but what a terrible decline.
  2. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

  3. Bass Man

    Bass Man Active Member

    Frightening stuff but it certainly hit's the nail right on the head.
  4. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    In my usual pedantic way, the article tells us nothing new, except that the Mail doesn't know its geography. Bamfurlong is actually near to Wigan, not Bolton. I should know I travel through it to go to work.

    Bands have been in decline for years. Children have too many other distractions these days and banding is pretty low down on their, and their parents, list of things to do. The scale of the decline is quite scary, but having just read the thread on Boosey & Hawkes/Besson elsewhere, can anyone be truly surprised? Depressed maybe. but not surprised.
  5. Robhibberd29

    Robhibberd29 Active Member

    Have to agree with Mike as above, you can't compare now with 1900 to now, it's just not possible. Your going back to a time before telecision, even radio! This is before the time of families huddled round the radio, 2 world wars, air travel etc etc so is there any wonder numbers are so different? What it does do for me is make me feel proud to be associated with the Banding movement and be amazed that after all the other changes around us since 1900, it is still here today. That's a testament to banding not a criticism.
  6. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    I find it ironic that its now hard to get a lottery grant for a band because it's perceived as a white middle class hobby (our co-ordinator said to us "It'd be easy if you played African drums!"), but a white upper-class hobby like opera gets 300+ times as much funding.......

    A microcosm of what's wrong with Britain today - those in power deciding what's politically correct for the masses whilst keeping the best for themselves.

    We used to play Bamfurlong Walking Day, and a very good one it was too, one of the best teas anywhere!
  7. flugel_fancy

    flugel_fancy Member

    Funilly enough I was having a convo last night about a similar subject and how Brass band are perceived in today's society and especially by the younger generation. Some of your small local bands are deteriorating simply because there is not enough new blood coming in. Lets face it if you offered a choice of 2 free tickets, one to a Dyke concert and one to a Take That concert, how many kids would chose the band? Not many I should imagine.

    But do the figures in the papers really tell us WHY banding is at such a low? I mean, don't get me wrong, I completely agree that the amount of funding provided to Opera societies is outrageous in comparison to that towards brass bands but would money make a difference if we had it? Unless we show this next generation what it is all about and unless the are given the chance to feel that toe curling feeling you get when a final chord is played at double ff in a massive hall they will never appreciate what they are missing.

    It is sad to say that these days everyting that children do is completely controlled by marketing. When was the last time you saw an advert for a brass band CD on TV or a poster in a tram/bus adverstising tickets to a band concert?

    Bands, be then large or small, do not have the resources to do this and maybe that is where the funds would so useful. Maybe we need to fight but then are we just fighting a losing battle?
  8. Hornblower RN

    Hornblower RN Member

  9. Lawrencediana

    Lawrencediana Member

    They are definitely not the only ones, my daughter was actively discouraged from brass band membership by the head of Brass at the Dorset music service. She was told that she would have to play in an orchestra if she wanted to acheive anything in music. :mad:
  10. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    I've mostly found that attitude amongst peris who think the only way to have a successful musical career is to go the orchetsral route. It's very short-sighted. I would never dream of preventing a child from enjoying and learning from brass bands. I encourage them to join as many ensembles as they can spare the time for so that they get as broad an experience as possible. I just wish I had enought brass players these days to give a wider range of experience. When I was young, the opportunities I had to play in different ensembles helped my understanding of what the music was about and how music is constructed. I even played in a jazz ensemble which gave me the chance to practice improvisation..

    Somebody ought to report that brass teacher to his boss!
  11. Morghoven

    Morghoven Member

    It probably does tell us nothing new, but then we're all (I presume) involved or at least interested in banding. What about the tens, possibly hundreds of thousands of people who read the Mail who aren't banders?
  12. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    They will have got the impression that we are a declining anachronistic group of geriatric, grey haired, balding, red faced, twinkly eyed fellows who produce loud untuneful oompah noises for fun and dare to refer to it as music !!
    Please treat my above words as "Tongue in cheek", I don't want any of you humourless brigade tapping out reprimands !
    I just felt that whilst a lot of the article rang true and was genuinely informative to a public not familiar with our blessed "Movement", a fair amount of the slant was stereotypical.
    There was much mention of older players ages and the obvious physical signs of aging.(I speak as one who displays all these symptoms of geriatric decline !!)
    There was little mention of younger players of either sex and, of course it would not have been PC to mention older women.
    I was surprised that the article got past a modern day media editor as there was no evidence of ethnic band members.
    Lastly, although I spent a good many years running a Bavarian Oompah band, I can't stand the word "Oompah" being used in a Brass Band context !!!
    There - Rant over !!
    - Wilkie
  13. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    Once again, I will raise the point that it can only be "us" (those regularly involved in brass bands) who can do something to help the future of the movement. It always surprises me how many bands don't have a training band, and don't work with local schools, churches, youth groups etc. to promote their training band. I know of a few newly formed training bands and am sure that from each there will be a fair few players that make it through to the senior bands, hopefully some may encourage their friends to come along as well. Banders are too much of the doom and gloom mindset, and need to spend less time moaning that Opera gets more money, and more time working out how we need to change to survive.

    An interesting statistic might be - how much money was spent by the general public in the last 5 years on attending operas and buying opera cds, and how much was spent on attending band concerts/contests and buying band cds. 276 times as much? Quite possibly.
  14. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    interesting reading it makes
  15. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    Thanks, Yoda.
  16. $hytalk

    $hytalk Member

    I think, maybe a thought for 2008, let's see what's happening and accept that there isn't going to be a lot you can do about it (for many different reasons). Is the glass half empty or is it half full. If we celebrated what we have instead of mourning what we have lost, we could all enjoy ourselves more. I know personally that banding has changed forever, but it has for Morris dancing, stripey sweets and marbles, so if there is a shift in attitude, we can enjoy ourselves.We have to accept that we are a minority sport and that's o.k.
  17. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    How do I put this without upsetting some one? I feel Brass bands have for too long stuck not only with the traditional image, which has to change, but also traditional or traditional styled brass band music. I know there are a few modern popular music pieces that have been arranged for brass but that is not enough. We must find and draft in some good arrangers with the remit to produce music that the average Joe in the street can associate with. There is one heck of a lot of good modern popular music out there that has been written in say the last five years or perhaps a bit more, most of which could be reasonably well arranged for brass. If I knew how, I would be doing a lot of it myself. So lets get away from the stuffy, and to be quite honest drear, stuff we have been playing for years. I feel that in itself would improve the image and popularity of brass bands with the younger folk. It is the youngsters we need to impress in order to get them learning, or at least be interested enough to be in the audience.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2007
  18. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    I think you'll find that the composers and arrangers are already 'out there' doing their bit, and there is a considerable wealth of new music to choose from, but personally I think the problem with choice of reportoire lies with Conductors who seem very reluctant to programme 'new' music. It's very interesting looking at the recent concert programme thread and seeing how much music we still perform today that was written 20-30 years ago.

  19. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    Well can we tread on some toes of conductors and MDs ? For you are right in that respect, but I still don't think there is enough modern stuff yet out there. Although I know as I said there is some, I am trying to persuade our director to have a look at Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. I believe it is a pretty good arrangement, or there may even be more than one available.
  20. on_castors

    on_castors Member

    Boy, you really have got a problem there if this "modern" stuff hasn't reached your band yet... what year was it released by Queen: 1975 or 76 ? I have played it with so many bands on so many different instruments, I can't even remember where it was I first played it!


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