criticism of adjudicators...

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by el_blasto, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. el_blasto

    el_blasto Member

    Do the losers who come up with such fantastic lines as "he's deaf", "what a farce", "sort out the adjudication" realise that not only are they slandering professional musicians who do an essential job (and need I say, there are precious few going around at the moment), but are also in effect slandering any band that did well by bringing into account the competance of the very person who gave them a good result? And to think a lot of this criticism is coming from "professional" musicians themselves; quite frankly I think its ridiculously childish. Some people take themselves and their bands far too seriously. Whilst we all strive for particular standards and achievements, lets just think before we bring into account the competance of other professionals. I would like to see some of these whingers even attempt to adjudicate a contest, only then would they realise how childish and absurd they're being.

    Rant over :) Lets cheer the hell up people, we're supposed to be enjoying what we do!
  2. toptutti

    toptutti Member

    I don't envy any adjudicator who has to sit in that little box all day and have never left a contest moaning that the adjudicator robbed my band of what should have been our trophy. If we didn’t win then we didn’t produce what the man in the box wanted on that day

    My only criticism directed at an adjudicator is that the notes are sparse and offer little advice to improve a performance - I play in the fourth section, getting everyone to play together and in tune is one problem even I know about.

    Maybe the number of bands in each section could be reduced if the problem writers cramp

    Opinions from any adjudicators out there?
  3. axelo

    axelo Member

    This winter I had the opportunity to take "classes" from Tom Brevik. I and all the others from the youth band got a partiture, heard for recordings of the piece and then we were supposed to sort them out.

    I really was tired afterwards, 45 minutes of full concentration was tough. I actually managed to sort them the way it was meant to, but one funny thing was that the first and fourth recording were the same one! When Tom did this with real adjudicators it could differ up to as much as 10 points between the same recording.

    I really now do understand how tough it is to be an adjudicator, sitting for like eight hours concentrating to maximum. I really can't blame them for doing mistakes once in a while Neither should you.
  4. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    Have a look at my rant in the NW Area thread! How many banders have experience of adjudicating? Most, none. So how can the slam something they know nothing about?
  5. Lawrencediana

    Lawrencediana Member

    The problem with abusing our adjudicators is that no one with any sense will want to become an adjudicator and so the quality of people applying will diminish and we will end up with severe dross. We should encourage our adjudicators to perform well and there should be more dialogue between the adjudicators panel and the bands themselves to get a better more consistant service.
  6. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    Here is my rant from the NW area thread.

    Can I just say something in the defence of the adjudicators.

    The thing about adjudicating is that you get it once and once only.
    Try doing some adjudicating, it is damned hard stuff.

    Get a live recording of a band, sit down with a score and without listening to it more than once, give an accurate constructive, destructive whatever criticism and then come back and slag adjudicators off.

    People wonder why there is no young blood in the adjudicators boxes. Maybe it is because Adjudicators are damned if they do and damned if they don't?

    I see a trend forming after every contest. As with conductors, if a band does well, it is the band that does well, not the conductor or the adjudicator. If a band does badly it is not the band that has done it wrong but the conductor or the adjudicator.

    Don't get me wrong there was a time when I used to hate the adjudicator that place my band 8th. That was until I actually sat down and tried to adjudicate. I found it impossible. Even with slow pieces, sat analysing the score.

    Do what I said, get a cd of a live recording, get the score and listen to it once. No pausing the music, no replay to see if that one note in the 1st movement was out of tune or if the solo cornet played a Bb in the semiquaver run that should have been a B natural. Write everything out in detail. Remember, you can't pause the music or replay it to make sure you got it right!
    I guarantee that by the end of one sentence you have missed an entire page of music.
    So what should you do? Adjudicate every other page in detail or adjudicate the whole movement with small comments?

    Seriously, try it. Since I tried it, I don't envy the adjudicator's job. But I also now look differently on the outcome of contests.

    Try it. Let me know if you still think the same afterwards.

    Try it. Then come back and slag the adjudicators off.
  7. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Adjudication will always be criticize -- and so will be the draw. For the NABBA Championships (North American Brass Band Association) they have a panel of 7 judges behind screens.

    But here is the catch. In the US, there are basically two major events a year, the NABBA championships and the US Open (which draws a European Band or two every year). Finding 7 judges in a large country like the US is easier than finding an adjudicator or two from areas in the UK.

    Drum Corps International has 105+ contests each summer and a panel of at least 7 judges. They thing is, they only have to concentrate on one special part of the performance. Much easier (but still tough to do).

    Drum Corps International trains their judges every year. That helps some.

    But it is VERY difficult to concentrate that hard all day. I have adjudicated solo and ensemble contests and even that is mighty difficult all day long.

    Mistakes will be made -- and some of this is based on taste. It is after all, an art. What would happen if there was an oil painting competition? Who would judge and who would get mad?

    Nah, sometimes you just might get the short end of the stick. Other times, the benefit of the doubt. My thought -- it all works out in the end.

    Dr. Jim
  8. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    Not quite accurate, Jim. NAABA has three adjudicators for each section of the contest. Of course, the same three may judge more than one grade. This year there's a panel of nine judges. They operate quite independently, each in his/her own sealed off box and cannot confer with each other. The method requires each adjudicator to comment verbally during the performance onto a 2-track CD, i.e., one track records the band's playing, the other track the adjudicator's voice. Band's are later given the CD that contains their playing and the synchronised comments of the adjudicator. Adjudicators also write a summing up along with their marks for each band. The three sets of marks are combined by an impartial referee.
  9. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    That's what I get for always having my store setup up when I go to NABBA. Oh well, thanks for the correction. Anyway, most of my point remains the same.

    I can tell you, it is HARD WORK and nobody is every going to say any judge got it right.

  10. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    I have said it several times before on tMP, and that is of all the adjudicators associated with the ABBA, some are absolutely superb and are top class adjudicators, most are very good, but there are a few who in my opinion are not good at all.

    The only real thing we can criticise regarding adjudication in the UK is that adjudicators are not accountable to those they represent i.e. bandspeople. They are appointed to the ABBA by invite, and it seems sometimes, with little or no credibility from the people they represent.

    There is absolutely no quality control system or feedback mechanism in place in any contest judged by adjudicators from the ABBA which would otherwise ensure the standard of adjudication is monitored and maintained, and where erroneous or inconsistent performance was identified could be remedied. As long as there is this 'break' in the feedback loop, we will always experience these type of issues.
  11. Dago

    Dago Member

    If they are writing - they aint listening!
  12. toptutti

    toptutti Member

    What? They don't multi task. I have to read the music, listen to the guys around me and follow the stick (well maybe not so much of the last one)
  13. Owen S

    Owen S Member

    I don't think I quite agree with that, John. There is a feedback system in place, namely for bands to complain to their area committee or the relevant contest committee, the problem is that clearly this isn't really adequate for what is required.

    What changes would you suggest?
  14. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    And they have to read the whole score, listen to everyone in the band, and apparently write essays on every bar.

    If you all know about it, and it's still drawing negative comments from the adjudicators, maybe you should be working on it?
  15. BrianT

    BrianT Member


    Why not invite the adjudicators to demonstrate their musical ability by playing a solo to the massed bandsmen? Then the gathered folk can decide how much credence to give to the adjudicator's subsequent opinions. Unfair pressure you say - but if someone can't perform at the same level they are adjudicating, how else can you say for certain they are able to adjudicate at that level? Just a thought...

    BTW, some of the harshest adjudication I've ever heard was from someone who really could have done a brilliant solo at the drop of a hat - just knowing this helped sweeten their comments a lot.
  16. toptutti

    toptutti Member

    Ah but I do, it's all them around me that are out of tune
  17. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    My one and only comment on this thread is:

    Read my Signature
  18. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member missed out trolls. :)
  19. jim

    jim Member

    One thing that douse worry me genrally is when you get an adjudicators and not mentioning names who have not exsperianced banding at the level there adjudicating at, this douse worry me. Our country's top bands have some of the most talanted muscians anywere in the country surley should they be judged by somwon of a simuler pedegree?
  20. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    The thing is Owen, is that simply complaining to your regional committee is not a quality feedback process, it's simply a complaint mechanism. We need accountability, which is one of the items a QC procedure provides

    A QC procedure will be mandatory, and will routinely collate and measure information on the performance of an adjudicator via a specified and easily identified process. The process will be repeatable, and so consistent across all adjudicators and all contests thus providing value added measurement of an adjudicators performance. At the moment, adjudicators can offer whatever results they deem appropriate, with absolutely no accountability at all to those they represent.

    I don't have the answers as to what an effectve QC process should be, but I am aware that Alan Morrison did compile something which was I think presented to the ABBA, but what happened to that I have no idea. Alan's ideas were excellent, fresh and provided a means of improving the credibility of adjudicators across the piece. My guess is that the ABBA threw it out because they would have then become accountable and their performance measured, in part, by those whom they judge.

    It's only my opinion, but I stand by what I said earlier; some are excellent, most are very good but some... gosh, they are really bad and should never be permitted to judge.

    Just to add, I don't think that adjudicators necessarily need to be accomlished performers. Probably so... but necessarily so... nah! I know many people who are far better at conducting than they were at playing for example, and the same would apply to adjudicating.