Brass Band Associations - what will YOU do for them?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by peterg, May 25, 2010.

  1. peterg

    peterg Member

    Brass Band Associations have been around for many years and it would seem they are slowly withering due to lack of interest from the brass bands and players in general. Set up to look after the interests of the brass band movement and to promote contests etc for their member bands. Some associations are struggling to survive with dwindling memberships and a severe lack of new faces and ideas that appeal to bands. As the current Chairman of the Yorks & Humberside Association, I can say clearly that we are no different than the others.

    What we have going for us is a portfolio of contests and events that seem to appeal to bands and players. Easingwold march contest - 13 bands but entries not yet closed, Kiverton Park entertainment - in its second year with a full entry. Hardraw Scar contest - oversubscribed. Malton - revamped with new venue and format but lack of entries to date. Minsthorpe brass workshop, Bi annual conductors workshop. On a personal note, I organise the Ripon entertainment contest and know all the problems and stress that goes with it.t

    The association is trying to give YOU what you want. With the exception of the Easingwold contest (no control over format) we have revamped all the contests to a more `entertainment' format with open adjudication.

    The downside for us and what has not changed in the last ten years is the organisers of all these events. It is still the same `ageing' people, despite appeals at contests and in programmes for help, who put in countless hours before, during and after these events, at their own expense so that YOU can have a good (or bad) days banding.

    As I looked around the last meeting, (last saturday) I can confidently say that of the members there, none were under 50, most not under 60 and two or three over 70.
    and yet they still turn up.

    The only people who can keep these associations going and the events that they put on for bands and players is YOU. Yes you, the player who turns up at contests, has a blow and then retires immediatly to the nearest boozer, thinking your duty is done for the day. If there is no influx of fresh blood into these associations, ten or fifteen years down the line they won't exist and neither will the events they put on. A great loss to the banding movement and for our future players who we are trying to encourge to keep our hobby going.

    Many of you will think that this is just a moan on my behalf, think that if you must, but you are very very wrong. Anyone who knows me knows that I love brass bands and their music and the social scene that flows all around it and I have made some good friends due to my involvement with bands and long may it continue.

    One fact is very simple to understand, people grow old and if there is no-one to take their place, then whatever they did before will not get done anymore. The future of these associations is in your hands, please get involved.

    Your comments on the above or any ideas for improving the situation will be gratefully received. Or of course, if you think am talking a load of tosh, still please comment. its a free world.

  2. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    I can't find anything to disagree with here.

    A sad fact now days is that a growing number of people expect everything for nothing - there seems little appreciation that for everything we are involved with, some poor person(s) is giving up time and resources to hold it all together and that maybe we should donate some of our own time in return for this.

    I'm not sure what the solution is sadly... :(

    At this point I personally could not give up any more spare time (due to not actually having any!), although I appreciate the effort others are able to put in and can promise that at some point in my life I will step in and put my money where my mouth is.
  3. Simon_Horn

    Simon_Horn Member

    Whilst I don't disagree with anything that has been said, I do feel that the system of autonomous regional brass band associations may be contributing towards fragmenting a Movement which really needs to be unified. The work that goes on in regional association is really fantastic - thanks to unsung volunteers. None can disagree with this. So, yes, please have regional associations that look after a particular area but each association should be represented upwards at the national level (maybe via BFBB??) so that the Movement has one body that can speak on behalf of UK brass bands for issues which need a national approach and to ensure consistency across it's regional associations. The problem is that i'm not sure BFBB has this remit currently?? I think it's obligation is only towards it's own member bands and many bands are not signed up to them. If we want national leadership then we should apply for central arts funding to set up (or expand) the remit of BFBB and it's regional associations with the appropriate level of funding to manage this workload? Then, BFBB does not rely on individual bands paying subscription and efforts can be focused on raising the profile of bands. I'm suggesting that regional associations become linked and governed by an expanded BFBB (or other such body) that has a remit to speak on behalf of all registered UK brass bands and can cascade information, funding, learning etc etc. down to regional level through the association links.
  4. JTKBrass

    JTKBrass Member

    This is the basic model that's now in place in Scotland, with the area associations having 5 seats on the 15 member SBBA committee, and the cascade you mention taking place regularly (last weekend being the first formal forum to do that - It's working really well, but probably a lot easier for us to manage up here.

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