English Nationals Test Piece 2009

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by Hove Edge, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. Hove Edge

    Hove Edge Member

    Does anyone know what the test for the English National is?

    I have been told on the grapevine that Paul Lovatt Cooper has written the piece but don’t have any official confirmation.

    If this is the case, what do other people think if a competing bands, composer in residence and player, composes a major test piece in which he will be playing.

    It opens all sorts of questions like:-

    1 Has he written the piece around the players in his own band?
    2 Will he have an input on interpretation with adjudicators
    3 Will this input with adjudicators mirror that with his own conductor?

    Just a few of my own concerns should it be the case.
    Like I say I have no confirmation. Just that grapevine again!!!!!
  2. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    You can't judge the quality of the wine before you harvest the grapes. It didn't take you long to start stirring the brown stuff, did it?
  3. Bluebander

    Bluebander New Member

    Didn't take you long to jump on the bandwagon though did it!
  4. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    From another thread ;)
  5. Timpking

    Timpking Member

    Here we go again!!

    Yet another thread based on speculation and rumour!
  6. stephenmrry

    stephenmrry Member

    I am nearly certain that the BFBB will use a piece already written. They work under the system of using a commission one year and then a piece already written the next. With this in mind last year was Infinity by R. Redhead so this year will not be a new piece!
  7. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    I offered my arrangement of 'Baa Baa Black Sheep and 50 Variations', but it was turned down... :confused:
  8. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    And you wouldnt make wine out of lesser grapes unless you owned the vineyard.
  9. Hove Edge

    Hove Edge Member

    No need for that.
    Its NOT a swipe at Paul or Black Dyke.
    Its just a few of my own concerns and I want to see what others think. I dont mind one bit if they dont have them same concerns
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  10. Can't understand whats wrong with the question. Its a theoretical question. The trouble is with some of you on here is that you like to think everything in brass bands is great. The thing is it isn't.
    There are so many things that go on in this movement that in the "real world" wouldn't be allowed to happen but for some reason the bands and individuals allow it to happen.. Hove Edge is asking a question which does need some answers if it is true. How many times have you gone to a contest and been in a bar and heard tales about underhanded things taking place but what is done about it. Nothing. All Hove Edge is doing is asking about something that could be a problem because i can guarantee that if it is true and say Black Dyke win people will be asking questions and wanting some answers. So lets sort it before and not after the horse has bolted. Whats the problem?
  11. I remember this kind of argument being made when A Night to Sing was the Open piece and when Eden was the RAH piece. Also, Philip Wilby has written pieces, and he has an association with a band. However, I don't really see a problem.

    The first point is not a real point: Is it possible we expect a composer writing a test piece, to write a piece that doesn't require great playing from around the stands? The fact that he plays for one of the bands that could win is of no advantage. There are also great players at other bands that will be able to play the piece!

    2nd and 3rd point: Well, this would be unfair if the information shared with the conductors is only available to them and his band. However, why not write a feature on the piece, do an interview on 4br or here?

    More and more composers seem to be associated with bands - most of them good too. I think this is healthy for the movement, and should be encouraged. We don't want (any more) second rate pieces for contests, so an easy solution would be to make t transparent, as I outlined above.


  12. Hove Edge

    Hove Edge Member

    Thanks for your views. I know Philip Wilby was associated with Dyke when other pieces were used in contests, however people didnt accept that it was fair and transparent.
  13. Ok - well, that is in the past, and whether through lack of complaint, or through lack of listening from the organisers, nothing has happened to make it more transparent. Nothing can be done about the past, but it can't be that tough to change it for the future, so that all bands people feel on a level playing field.

    All I know is that being associated with a band gave me an invaluable experience that you can't get in a composition lesson: interaction with players. Composers only learn from mistakes, and you can't tell what mistakes are until you have heard through your piece, fragment of a piece, scoring of a chord etc.

    So hopefully we can all agree that Composer in Residence schemes are good things in the long run, as hopefully it will lead to more music, and better music (For the reasons outlined above). However, I don't think players should have questions - such as yours - about the fairness of a contest commissioning a particular composer either. So...would making it transparent, in the way I suggested earlier, make yourself and other concerned players more comfortable with the situation?
  14. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    This may just be one of those Urban Myths that go around, but didn't Eric Ball (or someone equally prestigious) conduct a band at a contest on one of his own pieces where the adjudicators (blind) felt that his interpretation 'wasn't as the composor would have intended'!!?

    No advantage there then! :)
  15. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    It happened with Drake Rimmer as well (and probably a few others).
  16. floppymute

    floppymute Member

    Give us a break please!!
    I'm sorry, but I have no time for all these conspiracy theories. I've been involved in bands now for some 45 years as a player, MD, composer and adjudicator and not once have I come across "underhanded things taking place". It's all in the minds of the gossipmongers.
    In my extensive experience,contest organisers and adjudicators are amongst the most decent and honest people I've come across. They just do what can be a difficult job to the best of their abilities.
  17. ScaryFlugel

    ScaryFlugel Member

    How many times?...umm, none.
    It's banding, not life and death!
  18. Hove Edge

    Hove Edge Member

    Can I suggest, Thats fine, if that is your own experience. I myself have come accross things like this many times.

    I like what Peter says in a earlier post about transparent actions. Trouble is banding never seems to be very transparent.
  19. TheFopp

    TheFopp Member

    In otherwords you have heard rumours.... propogated by people who can't take the fact that one man in a box preferred another bands interpretation of a piece of music....
  20. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    My two penn'orth, even though I'm an Arban Dodging 4th section conductor ;)

    Are Dyke definitely going this year? If so...

    1: Almost certainly with those players in mind, even if he didn't intend to. That said, the bands that compete in the English Nationals will in most cases have players of comparable quality in most seats.
    2: Almost certainly not. As far as I'm aware it's very rare for adjudicators to consult with composers about how the interpretation should go, preferring to make up their own minds - there's a whole other debate to be had there! Plus, I would imagine that any adjudicator of any integrity would be deeply reticent about consulting a playing member of a competing band about the correct interpretation.
    3: Bearing in mind the answer to (2), can't imagine it would be relevant. And most conductors at that level are strong willed enough to want to put their own stamp on things anyway.

    So the only possible advantage that PLC's band might have would be if he's been using them to run through bits (or even all) of the piece, so he can see what it sounds like; but really, is that much of an advantage at this level? If he has been doing that, as Peter suggested earlier as quick way to "level the playing field" if it needs it, is for the contest organisers to host a composer's workshop of some description so that everyone gets similar insights into the composer's thought processes. Would be interesting for those who are planning to go for a listen as well.....

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