English National Adjudication Panel

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by tkhbss, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. tkhbss

    tkhbss Member

    I see the English National Adjudication Panel includes Derek Broadbent again, who is almost synonymous with Brighouse and Rastrick, and Steve Sykes who conducted Fairey at the Brass In Concert contest only last November. How can this be? I know it is difficult to find adjudicators without any kind of connection to a competing band, but these two in particular are very questionable - does anyone agree?

    A bit like having Philip Wilby and Bob Childs adjudicate and Dyke were in the contest.

  2. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Forgetting not of course that Derek Broadbent was conductor of black dyke for a number of years too...

    The issue you have is thus. In order to adjudicate a band at a certain level, the adjudicators have to have a requisite level of musical ability commensurate with that level.

    If they have that level of musical knowledge, it's very likely they can conduct at that level, and probably have.

    The number of people who have that level of musical knowledge is small, so it's only natural that anyone in any adjudicator's box at the very top level will have some association with one or more of the bands in the contest.

    Put bluntly, it's not a new phenomenon and it can't be avoided. All we have to do is trust in the impartiality and professional integrity of our adjudicators.
  3. euphalogy

    euphalogy Member

    It can be because both are two of the finest the movement has produced, and both as straight as an arrow.
    As a bandsman of 50+ years i find such continued innuendo about the integrity of adjudicators offensive.
    Question their choice of winners yes, but for goodness sake do yourself a favour and take up darts.
  4. tkhbss

    tkhbss Member

    So would it be okay then to invite Philip Wilby to adjudicate the Nationals or The Open - he is also as straight as an arrow
  5. euphalogy

    euphalogy Member

    Absolutely, and why not? you conspiracy theorists do this movement of ours no good whatsoever!! get a life.
  6. sjs

    sjs Member

    :clap: Absolutely agree!
  7. yorkie19

    yorkie19 Active Member

    Yawn - here we go again. On this basis, shouldn't Ian Brownbill be discounted because of his association with Dyke?

    I think Andi has summed it up, so to quote euphalogy "Get a life!".
  8. tkhbss

    tkhbss Member

    I am not suggesting a conspiracy. I am merely suggesting that there must be adjudicators who are not so closely linked with the competing bands. I would think there would be an outcry, despite your comments, if Phil Wilby was invited to adjudicate or John Roberts or others with close links to some of the other bands. If you maintain that this is nonsense, then why would Wilby not have been invited to adjudicate one of the Areas with Paganini? Or perhaps he was invited and turned it down because of his association wih Dyke?

    I am not particularly a big fan of any one of the bands there, just like to see fair play and I think it would be difficult for adjudicators with close links to competing bands distance themselves sufficiently
  9. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Or perhaps he considers himself primarily a composer and not an adjudicator? Did you consider that?

    It's my experience that musicians with a long association with a band are actually more prone to identify weaknesses with a performance through their familiarity with the band membership.

    That is of course, if you assume they actually know or even give a damn who's on stage....

    I cannot speak regarding Mr Sykes as he's never been in the box when I've been playing, although I am aware of his reputation within banding - something which is not constructed overnight. I've been adjudicated by Mr Broadbent on a number of occasions, and never had any complaints. I've also been conducted by him on more than one occasion, and he's a man with an astonishing knowledge of and sympathy for music - and a very keen ear for errors.

    For precisely these reasons, I doubt any of the bands playing are unduly concerned. Both of these men have earned the respect of their peers a hundred times and have nothing to prove to us here on a forum web-page.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  10. JR

    JR Member

    name dropping again...

    Given my name has been mentioned alongside Phil Wilby (I'm honoured!) I think I ought to contribute..

    We discussed this problem at the ABBA AGM and agreed that a guideline "gap" period of 6 months between any "association" with a band (usually conducting) and then judging a contest with the particular band entered, should be observed. There are other problems of course to which you allude involving close relatives.

    It is my view that common sense on the part of the prospective adjudicator must prevail - and if in any doubt one should refuse the job

    I'm afraid this question won't go away - we are primarily judged by our peers (and I'm not aware of any sea change of opinion towards favouring judges from other musical genres) - but some of the "six degrees of separation" connections I've heard attempting to link some judges to bands are pretty wide of the mark.

    John R
  11. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Name me a well known adjudicator who doesn't have a history of some sort with one of the top bands. In fact, every time an adjudicator is used who isn't recently associated with top flight conducting success, you can guarantee there'll be public complaining about their "lack of recent experience".

    Regarding Wilby, have you considered that he may have been asked and turned it down because it's a thankless, horrible task? Although, given recent history of composers being asked to adjudicate their own music (off the top of my head, I can think of Simon Dobson, and, er.... maybe Philip Sparke and Michael Ball?) the chances are he wasn't asked because he doesn't have high level playing/conducting history.

    The underlying assumption here, as with almost all discussions about brass band contest adjudication, is that adjudicators are so lacking in professional judgement and discretion that they will automatically show bias (even if unintentional) towards "their" bands. I'm sorry, but I just don't buy it. At all. For a start, the post contest scrutiny these people are under simply doesn't allow it - witness the pages of internet spleen-venting generated by Steven Mead's post-Open outburst.

    And, not inconsequentially, your post assumes that an adjudicator will know, despite the box, who is on stage at any given time. In which case, why have the box? Your original post is an indirect argument for open adjudication - if closed adjudication genuinely does disguise who is on stage, there would be no possibility for any bias to be shown, would there?

    The answer: Get respected musicians from outside the British banding rock pool, and sit them in the open.
  12. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    let's get someone who was born deaf and dumb in the box... at least that way it's guaranteed that they haven't heard xyz band before and they won't be able to ask anyone who's on stage.
    It's clearly the way forward in this scandal-ridden world we live in.

    edit: although in all seriousness, for all you anti-favoritism paranoia-riddled sceptics out there, Andrew's last line hits the bullseye. Move with the times, everyone else has.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  13. :clap: We live in hope (though not holding our breath)
  14. Space Cowboy

    Space Cowboy Member

  15. tkhbss

    tkhbss Member

    What a great idea

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