Conducting one band and playing in another

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by purcell thwaites, May 7, 2004.

  1. purcell thwaites

    purcell thwaites New Member

    play or conduct ?

    As a player and conductor i am finding it ever more difficult to give full commitment to both positions. Both of the bands i am involved with are ever improving, and i now feel that one should take priority of my available time. I would like to develop more as a conductor, but still enjoy playing. However continous clashes mean that i am having to be less than truthfull in stating my wherabouts and absences. Do conductors become ex-players or can both be accomplished to the satisfaction of all parties ?
  2. Spanky Rear

    Spanky Rear Member

    Play or Conduct?

    Choices....choices........ choices. Isn't life a b****r !
    What about facing the facts?..........Take up another instrument and then you'll make the first two problems seem smaller.
  3. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    If you're really serious about continuing as a conductor, you may want to concentrate on that. Perhaps you could continue playing in a part-time or deputy-only kind of role. It all depends on the bands involved.
  4. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    It's obviously something you've got to come to terms with, but from what you say it doesn't look as if you can just leave things as they are. Ideally, you should try and be straight with both bands, otherwise you could lose your credibility - the banding world is only a very small one with lots of links, and if you have been, shall we say, economical with the truth, and one band hears on the grapevine that you were out with the other it would not look very good.

    You don't say what your position is in the band you play with, but with the one you are conducting I presume they are really up the swannee if there is no conductor - 25 or so folk will be depending on you, and if, as you say, they are aiming to go places, then I would not have thought it was fair to them if their conductor is missing other than in an emergency.

    I would say that you need to decide where your main interest lies - thinking not only of the present but also of the future, and then lay your cards on the table with the other band. If they are prepared to accept you with a lower level of commitment then all well and good; if not, then maybe you could find some other opportunities elsewhere.
  5. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    first of all only you can make the choices here.

    I found when I started conducting whilst I was playing it was ok, both bands were in the same organisation and so jobs never clashed, but now I conduct elsewhere it is/was a problem. I love my conducting and decided that was what I wanted to concentrate on, so I play with a band part-time, make as many rehearsal's and jobs as possible but I explained clearly when I started that Emley comes first. Wetherby my playing band are happy to have me as (at the moment) Kit player, and If thet find a Kit player (and there activley seeking) then I will play 3rd (extra) percussion and help out when I can, It works for eveyone and I'm lucky to find a decent band that accepts me and my terms.

    That's just me tho, you have to make you're own decision.
  6. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    My music teacher conducted both the Jr and Sr band, plus 5 school bands. He still is a state Champion of Champions, so needless to say he got antsy for a while over his playing. He took time off to play with our band for a while, and in the end, transferred to Brisbane, home of the besy Brass bands in the State. He still conducts, and if he has clashes with gigs, I presume he weighs them fairly, and his conductor understands.

    If you play and conduct at a standard worth noticing, there'll be a band somewhere that'll let you do both should you decide to do it. I was lucky, where I had that opportunity....until the #1 band conductor quit....... :evil:
  7. stotty74

    stotty74 Member

    I've only been conducting on a regular basis for about 18 months, and i've got to say i'm really enjoying it. I'm lucky in that i conduct the youth band and play in the seniors of the same band, so there are very rarely any clashes.
    Having commitments to two different bands is always going to be difficult. If you do want to develop as a conductor, then you really should concentrate on that. The most important thing is to be totally truthful about your commitments with all parties. If not, you could find yourself without either.
  8. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Hello from someone who does both! If I'm going to be honest, I would say that in the situation of a clash of dates with bands I conduct and play in, the conducting comes first. I suppose that although competent, I'm no great shakes as a player and I've gone just about as far as the practice levels will allow me, but with conducting I feel there's always room for improvement which I can dedicate time to working on, even if it's merely by listening to recordings of good bands or any ensemlbe to try and ascertain how they achieve such a consistently good sound (and yes, I DO practice in front of the mirror!). To be honest, as conducting is comparatively a newer skill to learn after playing, I get more of a buzz out of it (some might say you should get more of a 'buzz' from playing on a mouthpiece, but there you go! ;-)) - at least when things go well!
  9. Dave1

    Dave1 Member

    Like many I've done both conduct and played and have fallen foul of clashes etc. These days the conducting takes priority although I did come out of "retirement" the other year to play in the 1st Section Scottish area. Now it is conducting again. Time is the factor against both unless you are single and can please yourself, a family takes up most of the spare time and band the rest.
    Anyway we do it cause we love it - don't we ???
  10. IYOUNG

    IYOUNG Member

    Like everyone else I will always put my conducting before my playing, and yes when clashes occur it is unfortunate. Just make sure your lower priority band has a clear - and I mean clear - understanding of the situation!!
    I fell foul of this at my last band who I thought understood but didn't really and it has rather put me off re-starting my playing career which I would very much like to do.

    MD - Marlow Band
  11. David Pegram

    David Pegram Member

    When people try to conduct and play conducting must come 1st.But they must be HONEST with the band they play with.I prefer conducting its easier.
  12. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    When holding the fort at Fulham I found two things.

    1. Properly preparing for rehearsals took up so much time that even dreaming about practicing wasn't a goer.

    2. That said, I missed playing so much I temporarily joined another Band who kindly accommodated me until a few weeks before the areas.

    I could not honestly do both on a regular basis. At the moment, I'm enjoying playing and arranging and composing, but eventually I will be a conductor full time - (maybe when I retire as a Civil Servant in about 12 years time :!: )
  13. MattB

    MattB Member

    Must admit I far prefer conducting, but that doesn't mean I don't miss playing! I found it impossible to commit fully to two bands, and looked at it this way, in the band you play with it's likely there will be another player to cover your part (2nd Euph etc.). The band you conduct with however are totally sunk if you can't make it!

    You will find you wrestle with your conscience many many times before deciding what to do!
  14. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Just asking peoples' opinions and thoughts on this.

    If, as a player, you get to the stage where you want to expand your horizons by taking on a band as its conductor/MD/whatever, where do your priorities lie?

    If you play in a band in one section and conduct a band in another section, where do you draw the line when it comes to loyalty?

    Does the band you play for take priority over the band you conduct or vice-versa.
    If both bands rehearse on the same night, which band do you go to?
    How many people have an arrangement with their playing band to allow them to miss one rehearsal a week?
    Can an MD dictate rehearsal nights for his band - other than at contest times?
    Have people had to make a final choice between playing or conducting?

    How hard was it to do this?
    (It might be the death of me :eek: )
  15. cornet.kid

    cornet.kid Member

    there was a thread a bit like this before the areas.

    You might like to message the person who started that thread about it - he was conductiong one and playing in another and may be able to answer some questions

    Also it may be useful to read that erlier thread (if you havent alredy that is).

    Hope this helps
  16. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Today, Paul McLaughlin played with Sandhurst, and counducted Fulham. Had there been a clash, he'd have given Fulham priority.

    Fortunately, there was no clash, and we both got his services.
  17. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    Yea theres been another thread on this but cba to find it just at this second...

    For me, I'd prioritise Conducting as this is the direction I'm heading towards... playing would be my hobbie and I would not put that first if I had a band to lead...
  18. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    I don't think the earlier thread had quite the same slant. It was more a case of Nigel bragging about the fact that he and someone else were playing in each other's bands and the coincidence that they were playing each others' instruments - if you see what I mean ;)

    I'm much more concerned with the moral issues involved and the conflicts that might occur.
  19. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

  20. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    My apologies. I completely missed this one. :oops:

    Edit: Threads merged - ta for the link Naomi. (dyl)
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2005

Share This Page