Contesting - why do we do it?

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by Al, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. Al

    Al Member

    Just reading a comment on 4barsrest which made me think:

    Obviously it is fantastic to compete and especially to win or get in the prizes.....but all that work, time, effort and money in the balance for just 15 minutes on the stage?

    Our band enjoys contesting and the Regionals are the highlight of our year, no matter how we do. Even if we don't do well there is so much to be gained from all those weeks working on a piece.

    Or is there?

    A nearby band never contests and otherwise seems to do just as well throughout the year, socially and musically.

    I certainly could not imagine being in a band that didn't hold March as a focus and feel that friends in the other band are missing out. Perhaps ignorance is bliss but I do feel they are missing out on a great experience.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    Contesting is fun but I reckon a band could manage without it because they could have concerts as a focus.

    Whilst I have enjoyed the contests i've done, I really enjoy the concerts and civic events my band plays for because they are just as fun or even more so in a way because there isn't an adjudicator deciding whether band X was better than you or not.
  3. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    I suspect most contesting band members have asked themselves that question at some point or another.

    Contesting was what first got me hooked on banding. OK, I enjoyed the playing but when I started as an 8 year old it was one of a number of distractions. But the first contest I went to blew me away - it was the youth section at the North Wales Rally when it was held at Kelsterton College and I don't think we came anywhere, but the sheer drama and emotion of the occasion had me gripped.

    Since then I've wondered what on earth there is to be gained by it, and had Corinthian moments of idealism where I've wished we didn't do it and just played quality music because we enjoy it.

    And then you win one. I can count three big wins that have stuck in my memory - Pontins 2nd section with Northop in 1990-ish, the old North Midlands Area at Nottingham Uni in 1992 with Nottingham City Transport and the 3rd section Nationals with Middleton in 2007. On every occasion I think the bands felt we'd beaten the odds to an extent and earned it, and the occasion creates memories that last and last. If I never win another National championship (and there are many players who finish their careers having never got close) I'll always have that memory, and the "team photo" from backstage immediately afterward. Those occasions when you feel you've achieved something special and memorable are like a drug, and having tried it a few times, I reckon I'll always have to come back for another "last go" :biggrin:

    That's why I do it, and why I have to keep coming back to it, like a dog to its vomit :rolleyes:
  4. agentorange

    agentorange Member

    Summed up very nicely. That 'hit' you get when you win one is the reason i keep going back for more.
  5. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    Yes...and the self-discovery aspect as you climb through that 15 minute window to the other don't have to do it, but it's there....:icon_razz:
  6. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    I've never won....(yet)...but it is great fun and a good social thing to do :)
  7. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    I'm sure you will one day, even a blind squirrel finds the odd nut....


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