Conductors Prize

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by Johncornetflugel, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. Johncornetflugel

    Johncornetflugel New Member

    Having just returned to banding after a break of 30 years at the SCABA contest at Folkestone yesterday, I am curious to know what the criteria is for awarding the conductors prize. Initial thoughts would suggest that the winning band has the best conductor but as all the conductors prizes yesterday went to lower finishing bands this is obviously not the case.
    Does the prize go to the conductor who most closely follows the score as written albeit the band may have made a mistake or two in the performance and the winning band is the one with fewest errors but not having followed the score so rigidly? Apologises if this has been covered elsewhere but a quick search didn't reveal anything.
  2. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Like all the other prizes, its subjective and different adjudicators often award them to different bands/people. Personally I love it when all the special prizes don't just go to the winners - it shows the adjudicator(s) are really paying attention and not just taking the easy option.

    Our conductor Chris King won yesterday because the guy in the box thought he deserved it... and the band think he does too! Just because we didn't play as well as we would have liked, or well enough to win, doesn't mean the interpretation and direction weren't first class.
  3. Splitzer

    Splitzer Member

    Maybe it's a bit like a politically correct school sports day where even the losers are winners, and all the children get a prize!?
    I prefer to think the chap in the box (or peeping over it to judge conducting?) just has the courage to recognise different strengths and weaknesses within bands. A good conductor should get recognition, even if his band is rubbish.
  4. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    The clue is in the wording. I haven't been to Folkestone for several years, however I remember when I used to go regularly the announcement of the conductor's prize was always preceded by the very carefully worded announcement, (something along the lines of) "The Conductor's Prize is awarded to the conductor who, in the adjudicator's opinion (John Pickett always used to emphasis that bit!) gave the best interpretation of the chosen testpiece, and not necessarily the conductor of the winning band " (again, emphasised). Clearly under the terms of that specific definition it's perfectly reasonable for an adjudicator to feel that a conductor has made a good job of making musical sense of a piece, but that on the day his band hasn't quite been able to deliver as intended.

    I've been the recipient of said conductor's prize on a number of occasions, and I can't remember all the placings, but I know on several occasions we didn't win, or sometimes weren't even in the podium placings (I remember one particular occasion when I was awarded the conductor's prize and the band came 10th (albeit out of a fairly large field, as I recall).

    But it does vary from one adjudicator to another; sometimes the adjudicator take the brief seriously and gives some thought to the award, but I'd guess on other occasions they routinely award it to the conductor of the winning band, either to avoid controversy, or on the grounds (as the OP said) that logically the conductor of the winning band must have done a decent job in any case. However I don't think that's in the spirit of the prize as intended by the organisers.
  5. Nigel Hall

    Nigel Hall Supporting Member

    Gareth is correct, that is exactly the brief that Peter Roberts and myself were given.
  6. Johncornetflugel

    Johncornetflugel New Member

    Thanks for your comments. I had guessed it must be something along those lines.