Contesting - divided loyalties?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by PeterBale, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I've just been reading some of the background stuff on 4barsrest prior to the British Open on Saturday. It is clear that in the past conductors did not think of it as unusual to conduct more than one band in a major competition - for example, Alex Owen took 10 bands in 1898, and William Halliwell had 5 out of the top 6 in 1909, plus one that came further down!
    Also, reading the Eric Ball article in Brass Band World, he had his 4 bands drawn consecutively on one occasion.

    These days, although conductors will often get a couple of bands through the Regionals, it seems very rare for them also to take them in the final itself. What do people think of this, and do you think it is their choice not to double up, or is it more likely to be down to the bands concerned?
  2. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    can i just say that the British Open, isnt the British Open anymore cos they dropped the British rule havent they... :p


    As with the thread topic... errr, i think it is a little unfair for conductors to take more than one band for the same contest in the same section... but i reckon different sections is fine...

    It's down to the bands naturally, but the conductor plays the impression of the piece.
  3. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    With the amount of rehearsals that the top bands put in days before these contests I would think that a conductor would find it impossible to take two or more bands to the same contest.

    It would be interesting to know how conductors of yesteryear managed to do it?

  4. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    And Eric Ball was travelling everywhere by train!
  5. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    He was lucky - I couldn't afford the train fare - I had to walk!

    :lol: :lol:
  6. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    . . . but at least you could cut corners by walking across the water :wink: :lol: :lol:
  7. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    :lol: :lol:

    Come on, we're waiting for you on the "association thread"

  8. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    Yes, with most bands doing rehearsals nearly every night of the week in the run up to contests like the Open these days, it would be impossible for someone to take two bands with the same amount of preparation. However, in the earlier years we are talking about, most of the bands will have been proper works bands (i.e. virtually all the band would be workers in the pit/factory/mill to which the band belonged). Due to the popularity of bands back then, they were most likely allowed rehearsals during the day in the week before allowing a conductor to take say three different bands rehearsals in one day, unlike now were only evenings are spare. I might be completely wrong and maybe we just rehearse too much these days! :wink:
  9. Jo Elson

    Jo Elson Member

    Apparantly they have made a car now that can drive off road straight into a river etc and go 30 miles an hour! Completely useless info an nothing to do with the topic but hey!
  10. markyboy

    markyboy Member

    Regards then old days of contesting when a conductor took five bands at a contest. I think they would like to take the top five places simply for their own ego and reputation.
    Not that todays conductors have an ego problem! (joke!!)
    But the stories about the old Belle Vue contests in the 1800's are amazing. Twenty thousand people going to listen! Those blokes must have been real megastars.
    I once read that Alex Owen was raised in an orphanage but left £30,000 in his will when he died in 1920. That must be over a million pounds in todays money.
  11. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    You're not wrong!
  12. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Having skipped through the 4barsrest archive , apart from 2000, when Michael Fowles is shown as taking both Point of Ayr and Leyland, the only conductor to double up in the last 20 years at either the Open or the Nationals was Howard Snell, taking Fodens and CWS Glasgow in 1988, and Desford and Fodens in 83, 84, 85 and 86, all in the Open.
  13. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member

    Melvin White tends to do this sort of thing with an enviable record in the London & Southern Counties region. Personally, I dont see how he can do it but he does and credit to him.

    I remember once when Steve Sykes was taking my band and one of our rivals at our regional contest on Journey into Freedom. The other band were drawn right before us and they didn't have a good day at the office. I remember Steve wasn't best pleased but encouraged us that we could beat them, which we did. Still, It was such a bizarre situation and I seem to remember that we played it differently stylistically as well. I thought that was quite impressive of him at the time.

    Having said that, we had problems the week before the contest in that we only had him for an hour to an hour and a half before he left for the other band. I'm sure they had the same problem.

    I just think that if you are paying a conductor £X to conduct you at a contest then you expect his/her full and undivided attention. Do you really get that when that conductor takes another band irrespective of section.

  14. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    In the distant past many of the 'works' bands would rehearse during the daytime so that it was presumably possible for a conductor to fit more bands into his schedule.

    It would be interesting to know how much time Messrs. Gladney, Owen, Fred Mortimer, Haliwell etc. spent with bands before contests, and how much of the spadework was done by 'resident' conductors.

  15. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    See, I knew I wasn't just talking crap, for once :lol:
  16. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    Oops. Sorry Chris - I missed your moment of brilliance back there...

  17. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    Damn, you'll have to wait ten years for the next one... just like Leyland at contests :wink:

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