English National in 2011 ??

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Paddy Flower, Jun 1, 2010.


Should the ENBBC run a 2010 English National?

  1. Yes

    20 vote(s)
  2. No

    46 vote(s)
  1. Paddy Flower

    Paddy Flower Active Member

    Simple question to be answered, is it time to say that the brass band movement (in England) does not need a seperate qualifying event for the Europeans.

    I'd be grateful if this thread could be forward thinking, not retrospective on the rights and wrongs of bands withdrawing from a position of previous commitment to this year's event.

    There are few occasions when a back step can be seen an progessive (i.e. going back to selecting England's representative from the National Finals result in October), but perhaps this is one of those occasions.

    Question in poll should say 2011 not 2010 :oops:
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  2. bassmittens

    bassmittens Member

    I'm not 100% certain what every other country does? Should'nt they all be the same qualifying criteria?

    TBH i had thought that all entries to the Europeans were from each countries nationals (which would makes sense to me)
  3. John_D

    John_D Member

    I'm wondering why the Poll asks about 2010? Thought this years was sorted and people were discussing 2011

    Just seen the edit to the first post. Doh!!!
  4. Paddy Flower

    Paddy Flower Active Member

    Yes they are, so giving England's qualifying spot to the Masters (which was mooted a number of years ago) would have been un-precedented in Euro banding.

    To me, we have a contest that has open qualification for ALL bands and takes place at The Royal Albert Hall every october. Here's a radical idea, why not give England's place to the highest English placed band at that event... :rolleyes:

    Scotland and Wales, that's a matter for their own council's and I'm sure they're happy with there own particular method of selection, they haven't seen the need to create an extra contest for this purpose, so why do we hamstring our own bands with this extra burden?
  5. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    The issue in the UK is that there are four separate EBBA memberships - England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - and because of the nature of the Union, 5 separate National Championships (the "main" one at the cake tin in October, plus the individual ones for each of the four parts of the UK). in 2004 all except England had a contest (or series of contests) which specifically chose a "National Champion" - the Area in Wales, the Scottish and NI Championship. England was the only country in the EBBA which didn't have a single contest specifically to decide the "Champion Band of England". In other countries, eg.g Switzerland or Norway they have a single National Championship, with no regional qualifiers, and the winners of those go forward to the European. The situation in the UK was deemed "unsatisfactory" because the contest which chose the English Euro rep was in fact the "British" National Championship. The other problem from the BFBB's point of view is that they faced a challenge from a rival "EFBB" at the time, who were threatening to run their own contest - the dichotomy being that the BFBB claims to represent all British bands but only actually decides the English qualification - so they felt that they had to do something to avoid becoming even more marginalised and pointless, hence the birth of the ENBBC. Interesting experiment; hasn't worked, imo.

    I think there does need to be a mechanism for deciding the "Champion Band of England", but it doesn't even need to be a contest - there's no reason why it couldn't be an aggregate of results from the National and Open, for instance, with the winners giving a concert at BiC or Butlins where they're presented with the trophy and title.

    So my answer is that there should be a Champion Band of England (with maybe even a trophy and some prize money), but a separate contest to decide it isn't needed. Let's face it, if the contest didn't run, there could be more money given to the winners to fund the trip.
  6. bassmittens

    bassmittens Member

    It's all making a little more sense now! I don't really understand these contests and the criteria for getting in. Obviously play better than everyone else all the time and you stand a pretty good chance :rolleyes:

    Some further points/questions:

    1) Are Scottish/Welsh/Irish bands members of the BFBB? If so why not just have a British entry to the European championships (akin with it's pop equivalent ;)). I'm sure the EFBB would see sense and offer one or two more places if it was expalined what was happening to allow everyone a fair crack of the whip. The 'UK' would still be putting forward the same number of bands in effect, just could end up being 4 English bands some years. (i'm sure that there will be bands in Wales/Scotland/Ireland who may disagree due to potentially losing out with this system, but makes sense to me)

    2) What is the criteria for an invite to the English nationals? It may already be this - but shouldn't the top 3 or 4 bands (not already qualified for the Euro's) from each English region be invited to compete for a place in Europe (as i say i don't really understand all the criteria, so this may already be the case). Then if bands choose not to go - their loss! This would then cover Paddy's point of allowing "Open Qualification".
  7. Paddy Flower

    Paddy Flower Active Member

    But these contests had and have more than one facet, "Champion of Nation" AND qualification for London. So why not have the Nationals as having more than one facet, National Champs AND English Euro representatives?

    I thought it then, i'll say it now, So what!! (sorry, Anno, don't mean to be argumentative)

    OK you've just filled a gap in my knowledge, thank you. I (obviously) agree with you that it hasn't worked

    Nice idea except that Euro qualification is given to each country based on an Open contest, ironically 'The Open' is anything but as you need to be invited into 'The Senior Trophy' and make you way up, the basis for these 'invites' are not transparant and in any case the British Open is an entirely independent contest of the Nationals and it's affiliation to the EBBC (to my knowledge, which i'll admit is at times sketchy)

    Completely agree with you there, seperate Cup and cheque to be awarded from the stage of 'the cake tin'??. In these tough financial times the extra cheque will be of great benefit towards the travelling costs of the Euro trip.

    Did I hear that the Norwegian government/arts council chips in with their representative? Aidan, are you hear to comment?

  8. bassmittens

    bassmittens Member

    I think you have a good point here. The 'invitation' process is not transparent, and in many peoples eyes (certainly mine) how you can qualify for the Euro's is a bit messy and confusing.

    So perhaps the point is do we need (what is seen by some as) a pointless and confusing contest to allow qualification?

    Surely a simpler system where the best bands in each championship region go into an English contest (Regardless of 'who' they may be, or how well they have done in the past) and this then selects the English entry to the Europeans.

    By all means this could be done using the highest English bands at the nationals, or even at another contest using the nationals or regionals piece.

    I think the bigger point is no-one really knows how is works, so no-one is that bothered/motivated. If you could see that you could be only 2 good contest results (not even 2 wins!!) away from being invited to take part in the Europeans wouldn't that give you just a little more incentive?
  9. bassmittens

    bassmittens Member

    Paddy - to answer your question posed in the poll. My reply would be:

    In it's current form NO
    With a little restructuring - then possibly, YES.

    Not really much use to a 'yes or no' Poll i know :dunno

    Sorry! :-?

    Useful and interesting discussion though.
  10. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    Wht not ask Andew Lloyd Webber to write a new musical based on the soon to be crowned English Champion Band.

    Get renowned adjudicators to complete the panel, and Graham Norton to present it. Give the public a vote, and allow the nation to pick the representative band based on performance. Have a play off for last place and the winner of the play off stays in for another week. If you start it with 12 bands which get expenses, and each band plays in civvies, so that Jo Public cannot identify them, the selected band to represent England at the European Championship would be a popular choice. If this were the case I'm positive that funding would be given to support the trip to wherever it may be.

    Admittedly, it would probably be shown on BBC4 at about 3am, and get about twelve votes per show :biggrin:
  11. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    The Scottish position is quite simply that we have had a national brass band association and a national championship in place since 1895, which predates the BFBB by almost a century. To the best of my knowledge no Scottish band is currently a member of the BFBB.
  12. bassmittens

    bassmittens Member

    Ta John - i would guess the same true of Wales and Ireland then? If so why are they called the British Fed of Brass Bands :-?

    I should've remembered that cos i had to ditch my old SABBA registration card when i moved to Sheffield and registered here :oops:
  13. Paddy Flower

    Paddy Flower Active Member

    No, absolutely not

    But that's pretty much what is done at the moment, an extra (expensive & and irrelevant) contest. The best bands in each championship region DO go into a contest, it's held at The Royal Albert Hall in October.

    AT LAST!!, sensible policies for a happier Britain (or maybe that should be England) :D

    Only one tiny problem, it might mean England got represented by Dinnington Colliery :eek:
  14. Paddy Flower

    Paddy Flower Active Member

    No amount of re-structuring the contest would change that fact that it (in itself) is not required to select a Champion Band of England.
  15. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    Isn't that how it is done at the ENBBC now? iirc, the top band from each English region is invited; additionally 10 bands are invited based on the world of brass ranking. Are you suggesting a "English national" contest with just one participant per region? In what way would that be a better solution than the current selection method?

    They could go back to the old system, just selecting the highest English band at the Nationals. The reason they stopped using this criterium, if I remember correctly, was because Besson (or Kapitol?), the organiser of the Nationals and "owner" of the title "European Brass Band Championships" (or something like that), threatened to organise a rival European Championship and thus bypass the EBBC and their English representative, the BFBB. Around the same time, the English Masters were changing their format to "International Masters" and there was also talk about a new "English Federation of Brass Bands", but I don't remember exactly how they fit into the picture. It was a very confusing period. So to prevent a "European Schism", the BFBB set up the new English National contest. (Maybe someone with a better memory can correct my story).

    A couple of years later, there doesn't seem to be a danger any more of the European championships splitting, so maybe it's time for the BFBB as well to return to the old selection method?

    Some people suggested that the selection criteria for the Europeans should be the same in each member country. That's just not possible in practice. The number of championship section bands various a lot between the different countries: Austria only has 1 band I think?, while there are less than 5 in France, Denmark?, Sweden?, ... 5-15 bands in Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Scotland, Wales and how many in England? 70?

    Of course, what would seem to be the ideal solution to me, is to set up a "premier league" of maximum 12 bands (or 18), above the championship level. These 12 bands would be promoted from the regional championships, initially 2 (or 3) per region; every year, the winner of the "premier league" contest would be invited to the European championship. the lowest 2 bands would be relegated.
    Every year, a separate contest is held between the first 2 (or 3) of every regional championship, and the highest 2 of this contest are promoted to the "premier league".

    But probably that would be too radical ;)
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  16. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    AT LAST!!, sensible policies for a happier Britain (or maybe that should be England) :D

    Only one tiny problem, it might mean England got represented by Dinnington Colliery :eek:[/QUOTE]

    I have a solution for that, X Factor/Britians got talent style auditions. Most of the good ones get winkled out prior to the televised auditions, and as they are playing in civviies, and balaclavas no one will recognise them :wink:
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  17. Martin

    Martin Member

    And (Sir) Simon Cowell can add Brass Band adjudication to his CV!!!!!!!:tup :)
  18. DeafeningRoar

    DeafeningRoar Member

    The "elephant in the room" in all of this is that until English banders organise themselves along the same lines as every other nation in Europe (ie. seperately!) this will always be a bit of a dogs breakfast.
    The logical thing to do would be for the six English regions to go it alone minus the other home nations, form an english national body and use the resulting all english regional contests and RAH final as the qualifier for the european.
    Unlike the current British set-up this would make us EBBC compliant and "groundhog day" threads like these would disappear.
    We are trying to solve an English problem whilst trapped in a privately owned British contest in my view.
    In debates like these I am always shocked at the people who don`t the know the difference between England and Britain!
  19. tkhbss

    tkhbss Member

    I think I saw that the BFBB said that they have data which suggests that English Bands do support the English National Contest.

    Seems to me that the question must have been loaded, as it clearly seems that English Bands do NOT support the English National either as an idea or indeed the physical contest itself.

    Does the BFBB actually think it represents the views of the English or British Bands? How does it communicate with bands? Is it only those who are members? Is it saying that members support the concept of an English National Brass Band Contest to decide which band should represent England at the Europeans?

    I humbly suggest that if the BFBB did in fact ask the question: "Do you support the concept of the English National Brass Brand Contest as a means to identify the band which should represent England in the European Championships?" then the answer would probably be a resounding no.

    Perhaps the BFBB are afraid to ask in such and open way. Paddy Flowers - what are the odds of a Yes vote for this from the top 30 ranked bands in England?
  20. DeafeningRoar

    DeafeningRoar Member

    The BFBB were selected by the EBBC as the body (in the absence of anyone else!) that best represented the will of English (not British) banding.The BFBB are to be applauded for trying to give English banding a modicum of democracy and direction in what is an unorganised shambles.
    A geniune question to you reference the Euro`s ,if not the BFBB and the English National, who and what?