Encouraging 4th Section Area entries.

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by IanHeard, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. IanHeard

    IanHeard Member

    Just noticed that there are only 21 entries in the forthcoming West of England 4th section Area`s. I played in this section 3 or 4 years ago and can remember over thirty entries.
    It seems to me that when the powers that be choose well known "older" testpieces like Mexican Fiesta or Indian Summer, more 4th section bands decide to give it a go.
    Whilst I realise that lots of bands are struggling player-wise and this could be reason for the lower entry, why not get "traditional" for a couple of years and see if this "ups" the entry for arguably the most important section in the Nationals.
    Ian Heard.
  2. Phoenixhorn

    Phoenixhorn Member

    good point but saying that there are a few bands making there debut in the areas and some coming back from a rest so it looks promising for the future.
  3. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Interesting point, but I'm not convinced you'd find many quality, testing works for 4th section that are much older or better known than Gregson's Partita!

    My memories of L&SC 4th section with 30+ bands was that it was nearly impossible to get a decent result or make any impact on the gradings unless your band was fantastically better than everyone else.... so in years when (for whatever reason) the band wasn't doing so well, we were more likely to be put off entering by the size of the section than anything else. If a band is committed to progressing up the section then they'll enter no matter what - as in any section the choice of music is kind of irrelevant.

    But hey, that's just my opinion! :wink:
  4. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    fully concur with accidental here - the L&SC region is an absolute lottery in the bottom section due to the huge numbers.
    My band also rates our local association contest as being more important and that comes a little too close for us to be able to work up 2 pieces.
    I did consider it this year though as Partita is a good choice - first good one in a number of years though!
  5. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    Would it not be a good idea to introduce a "5th" Section. The 4th section could be spilt in half with the bottom half making up the 5th section.
    However unlike the other sections the top 4 bands would not qualify for the finals but would get the chance to go up to the 4th section the following year.

    This would limit the numbers in the 4th section to 15 bands say and take away the lottery effect.
    It would also encourage the less able bands in the 5th section to have the chance at doing something in a competition and so make them more likely to enter
  6. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Maybe in the south, but it couldn't be applied consistently across the country - for example Yorkshire has a tiny 4th section.
  7. eckyboy

    eckyboy Member

    In Scotland we only have 10 for the whole country and often a couple withdraw.Something has to be done or Scotland is going to have a very small banding circle-sad.
    Saying that-the bands at the top are amongst the best
  8. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    We've talked about adding a fifth section before: http://www.themouthpiece.com/viewtopic.php?t=3635.
    Imho the answer is in restructuring the areas and sections to even the numbers out - it'll be interesting to see what comes out of the BFBB review over the next year or so.
  9. IanHeard

    IanHeard Member

    I too played in the L&SC 4th section for a number years with Crystal Palace and remember with some affection those long Sunday`s at Watford Town Hall. We were for a number of years 1st section in SCABA yet regularly coming nowhere in the 4th section at the Area`s (although we put that right eventually!) so the point that the fourth section can be too large is a good one.
    I agree that this years Partita is a cracking peice, but I`m sure if they had selected Eric Balls Devon Fantasy, down here there would be extra 7 or 8 bands in the line-up.
    Ian Heard.
    Soundhouse Brass (Plymouth).
  10. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Why? I apologise if I'm being blonde and stupid, but I really don't see why a band that is serious about contesting nationally would scupper their rank and chances of maybe getting OUT of the fourth section just because they didn't like the choice of piece. Sounds more like an excuse to me than a good reason :?
  11. Laucrimus

    Laucrimus New Member

    Hi there, a newbie here.

    I agree that the choice of piece should not necessarily be a factor. For me and my band there are two main reasons we haven't gone to the L&SC areas, both of which i'm sure have been said a thousand times before.
    1. Lack of players
    2. Stevenage - it's an awful place to hold a contest. We go to the Hove and Folkestone contests and their great days out, Stevenage just isn't.
  12. IanHeard

    IanHeard Member

    Why? I apologise if I'm being blonde and stupid, but I really don't see why a band that is serious about contesting nationally would scupper their rank and chances of maybe getting OUT of the fourth section just because they didn't like the choice of piece. Sounds more like an excuse to me than a good reason :?[/quote]

    Don`t apologise for being blonde and stupid, you can`t help it! :wink:
    I guess I`m not talking about Bands who are serious about contesting, but those that tend to opt in and out, when things suit them (like testpeice selection?)
    I think we should try and create the conditions that encourage rather than
    put off would be contesting bands.
    Ian Heard (mousey & stupid !)
    Soundhouse Brass.
  13. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Just had a thought about your area in particular - is there a connection between high/low entries and where the venue is? Are people being put off by having to travel further some years?
  14. On the subject of travelling to venues. Can someone explain to me why areas are always held in the same venues year in year out? I appreciate that if you find a venue that can cope with numbers, trade stands etc then its good to keep it on board but every year? I refuse to believe that Stevenage leisure centre is the only suitable venue in the South East! Why can't we adopt a similar pattern to that in Scotland (at least it used to be the case) where the Areas go to a venue on the west coast one year and one on the east the following year. While it wouldn't stop me contesting, getting to Stevenage from SW London for 9.30am on a Sunday morning is a pain!
  15. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    Have to admit that I'm not keen on Stevenage as a venue, especially the "Concert Hall" which has awful acoustics, even with the drapes.

    Folkestone or Hove would be nice, however that would have a big impact on suffolk bands.

    I like the idea of moving it around. I used to like Basildon for the hall and soundproof warm up room, however the facilities around the venue were non-existant.

    Watford was great apart from the cramped changing area and bar, many happy memories of sitting in McDonalds for up to 6 hours trying not to get thrown out by the staff! :D
  16. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Paul, the South West area actually moves venue every year (between Torquay and Bristol?) to cater for bands at different ends of the region - hence my question to kirmat.

    As far as L&SC goes, we ended up at Stevenage a few years back because the organisers were let down by the Basildon venue at very short notice, and I think we've stayed there because the feedback Dave Hobbs and his team got was positive. Not being funny, but London to Stevenage is probably one of the easiest journeys anyone's got in the whole country! Its also pretty much central to the region (which is tough given it goes from Chichester to Norwich) and the facilities are much better than either Basildon or Watford ever were (but yeah, the drapes are poo!).

    Its not a bad idea to move about like the SW do though - why don't you have a chat with one of the committee about it at the contest, or talk to your local association rep (Colin Morrison?) before the next regional meeting.
  17. IanHeard

    IanHeard Member

    This year is the second year in succession that Torquay is hosting our Area contest, after alternating for a number of years with Bristol.
    Whether they`ve finally plumped for Torquay and not Bristol I don`t know.
    Speaking personally, the venue has played no part in any my bands decisions to attend the areas or not.
    I remember playing at Basildon the first year it was used, and I know that the facilities (especially the warm-up room!) were raved about, although the hall was in the middle of a concrete jungle (sorry Basildon!).
    Does anyone know why even after its refurbishment Watford Town Hall is not being used again?
    Ian Heard.
    Soundhouse Brass.
  18. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    I believe (but don't quote me on this) that it was just TOO expensive. Also I think they cut down the size of some of the changing areas. I did used to like the little "Window" in the registration room :D, gave you a chance to "Size up" the opposition.
  19. alks

    alks Member

    The reason why its in Torquay again tthis year is because the Colstan Hall in Bristol is undergoing a re-fit and cannot be used at this time. Hopefully it will be ready for next year?