Couple of questions.....

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by horn__blower, May 17, 2006.

  1. horn__blower

    horn__blower Member

    .....been wondering for a while (there i a reason!)
    - when did Black Dyke start allowing females to play in the band?
    - whats a drum major? if its just an ordinary percussion, why do some peopel call it drum major and some people perc?

    answers on a postcard please ;)

    many thanks.

    TIMBONE Active Member

    I cannot answer the first question precisely, but it was a news item :biggrin: I am sure that someone like Peter Bale will be on soon to tell you the exact date.

    Drum Major? This is a military term. The Drum Major is a WOII, (Warrant Officer 2nd Class), who has worked his way up in the Corps of Drums in a Regiment, (or The Royal Marines). They carry a Mace (a long stick with a crown on the top) and lead the band and corps of drums, (watch the Trooping of the Colour). The Mace is used to signal what the band and corps of drums do, like which direction to go, whether to stop and so on.
  3. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I think the first female was Leslie Howe back around 2000ish
  4. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Michelle Ibbotson (sop.) played with Dyke in the late '90s.
  5. CubbRep

    CubbRep Member

  6. nickjones

    nickjones Active Member

    Linda Nicholson recorded with Black Dyke in the 1990's ( Gregson Vol 2 1995) , Debbie French ( Percussion) was the 1st registered player ( Severn Suite Open 1996).
  7. horn__blower

    horn__blower Member

    hmmm, interesting. thanks for the answers so far!
    so, does this mean that you dont get drum majors in non military bands? what about championship section bands - do they have them? do they have them at the whit fridays?
  8. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    The term "drum major" is in common usage for anyone who marches in front of a band with a mace, regardless of whether there is any link to a corps of drums. Sometimes the drum major will do little more than march in front of the band, but often they will control the march by means of various signals given by raising the mace in different ways. This can cover stopping playing as well as stopping marching and controlling any turns etc.

    The drum major will normally work closely with the bass drummer in such circumstances, and in these modern times the drum major may well be female. Some drum majors may also throw the mace in the air - and hopefully catch it again , and not lose it in the nearest tree :oops: . Incidentally, drum majors in the Household Division bands have been forbidden from throwing the mace ever since one was dropped spectaculalry in front of Queen Victoria.

    TIMBONE Active Member

    I knew that Peter Bale would give us some fresh information, and an intersting anectote. He still hasn't told us the name and date of the first female player in Black Dyke, but I am sure he is working on it, :D

    As for the question about Drum Major's in Brass Bands, I would say that it is very rare. I have seen two at the Whit Friday contests. One was with a band thrown together by the Guards Division, very impressive, with countermarching etc. The other was, I think, a youth band. They had a drum major, and their MD marched between him and the band in a smart frock coat. I would guess that in this case, the MD was an ex-military bandsman - even an ex-Bandmaster.
  10. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    First female to join Dyke was Lesley Howie in 1999 :)
  11. Splitone

    Splitone Member

    Some of the Australian bands seem to have a drum major - perhaps because thay have to do more marching than British bands do. Could it also be that the southern hemisphere bands are marked for their marching as opposed to here, when apart from the odd deportment prize, the points go to for the playing standard? I seem to think that the recent centrefold picture in BBW of an Australian band, had the band in what looked concert dress, with a drum major in a military type uniform.
  12. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    We have a drum major when we march on the street with our fanfare band and drum band. Actually, we call him "tambour maitre" in French or "tamboer majoor" in Dutch
  13. Crazysop

    Crazysop Member

    Sometimes we have a guy with a mace leading us on whit friday, so i suppose you could call him our drum major. he throws it and catches it well too!
  14. Harold.Wells

    Harold.Wells Active Member

    In Scotland, and I dare say anywhere else in the world, pipe bands all have drum majors.

    The Pipe Major is, if you like, the "principal piper" who tunes and rehearses the pipers as well as being in charge of the music repertoire.

    The Drum Major is, as has been stated above, in charge on the march, starting and stopping the marching and the music (in conjunction with the drummers, and particularly the bass drummer) and signalling changes in direction for turns and counter-marching etc.
    In non-military bands there is obviously no rank (such as WOII) attached to the post.

    At pipe band contests, as well as there being adjudicators for the playing of the band, there are judges for deportment and quite often (especially in the bigger contests), prizes for the best Drum Majors.

    The Drum Majors are encouraged to spectacularly spin and throw their maces as the band plays. Drum Majors will often have more than one mace - expensive ceremonial maces that never get thrown in case they get dropped, and lesser maces that are used for the showy gigs!

    Just never liken a Drum Major to a least not to his face!
  15. paddo

    paddo Member

    I would have said Michelle Ibbotson was well before Leslie!

    sure of it......
  16. Bones

    Bones Member

    Nope Lesley was the first Appointment. Kevin Crockford was the sop when Lesley was appointed. Michelle was appointed on Kev's departure to Faireys.

    However, I recall one boozy conversation with Billy Rushworth that there was a previous female appointment, either percussion or cornet. Don't remeber which. I'm sure he will throw some light on it.
  17. BoozyBTrom

    BoozyBTrom Member

    Dobx use a drum major on Whit Fridays. I have seen his fancy foot work on many occasions.