Europeans allow more players?....

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Matt-Trom939, May 30, 2006.

  1. Matt-Trom939

    Matt-Trom939 Member

    As i am a sad brass band anorak i tend to look at different band websites to see whats been happening with them-its a problem, ill admit it. However, i am not hear to discuss my OCDs but something else that has got me rather confused.

    After looking at bands pics of them on stage(and on dvds i buy of 4bars rest :oops:) ive noticed that some top bands playing in the Europeans have say 5 front cornets or 5 basses or 4 troms, without any other players missing. Does this mean the rules for the amount of players you can have at the Euros are different? Im very curious so if anyone could pass on the info behind this then i would be very gratefull.
  2. Horny Dentist

    Horny Dentist Member

    I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that in the Europeans you're allowed to play up to 35 brass players on stage.
  3. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    For the Belgian nationals, the maximum is indeed 35 players ("including percussionists").
    Several bands play with 3 second, 3 3rd cornets, a 5th solo cornet and/or 3 BBb Bass. The other instrument groups are usually not changed (in contesting bands)
    Last edited: May 30, 2006
  4. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    So whose rules do the European Bands have to comply with when competing against British bands?
  5. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    The rules of the contest. Some contests (like the EBBC, I think also the Masters) have their own specific rules. Also the Belgian bands that compete in the SCABA contests for example, have to abide by the SCABA rules (regarding guest players etc.).
  6. $hytalk

    $hytalk Member

    At the wmc in Kerkrade, last year, we were allowed 35 players, I think I used 31.
  7. tubaturk

    tubaturk Member

    I don't see why we shouldn't be able to increase the 25 brass maximum number in the UK. At a time when we are trying to avoid dropping numbers etc., isn't it a bit counter-productive for us to be having to explain to up-and-coming teenagers (or more experienced players for that matter) that they'll have to sit out another contest?

    It also doesn't do morale much good when tensions are created within the band due to selection of personnel for the contest. Although we've had some success on the contest stage in recent years, we have (thankfully) not got to the stage of sacking people on the basis of ability. However, that brings its own problems when it comes to contests with us having to select from more than 25 brass players.

    A relaxation of the 25 rule would not only solve some of the problems above, but it would give youngsters a bit more of a contesting apprentiship without being thrown in the deep end. In this way, the youngsters can learn from the more senior players and the senior players don't need to feel that their places are being threatened! Maybe the rules could be changed to 25 brass, 3/4 percussion plus 5 apprentices (aged under 18 perhaps).

    As much as some people would have you believe, brass banding is not a sport, it is just a rather misunderstood form of music-making. If we want to rid ourselves of the cloth-cap image, we should be doing everything we can to get as many people involved as possible (especially the youngsters) - and before anyone goes on about it being unfair if one band has 30 brass on stage and another only 22, consider this:

    1. It's harder to get 30 players to play together.
    2. 52 happy brass players are better than 47 happyish plus 5 "dropped and more likely to pack it in" brass players.

    Anyway, off my high horse
  8. Matt-Trom939

    Matt-Trom939 Member

    I think the idea behind what you are saying is good. However, the under 18 rule in my perspective is slightly flawed. There are many extremely talented youths in brass banding today(well in south wales there is anyway). And i know in my band one of previous principal cornet players was a youth, our bumper up is a youth, our flug was a youth, our solo baritone is a youth and our solo trombone is a youth(me!). And some might say that is reflective in many lower section bands, but i mayself fo not consider my band to be lower section as we r first section. Therefore it just shows wat sought of talent there are in youth so 'giving them a chance' would not be necessary as they may already be better than many of the adults anyway.
  9. tubaturk

    tubaturk Member

    Fair comment, but if a band is good at bringing on its young 'uns, then good on them I say. In practice it isn't really a problem, they could still label these players as "apprentices", allowing extra places for the old foagies who would otherwise have to make way!

    Alternatively, the rule could be adapted such that a principal player cannot be regarded as an apprentice, or perhaps an apprentice can be defined as someone who has done less than 5 contests (Wynton Marsalis, for example ;))
  10. Matt-Trom939

    Matt-Trom939 Member

    Thanks for the idea. Just rang him. Got him booked for the next contest :biggrin:.
  11. persins

    persins Member

    I am led to believe that a number of the european / australian bands played with "extra" brass players at the masters. I didn't see it myself but apparently there were extra baritones, basses and cornets on display.
    I suppose this leads into the whole level playing field discussion topics and ultimately those regarding cheating! I expect to see another rant from Rich (midwelshman) at some point!!!
    As people have previously mentioned, it is difficult enough to get 25 brass players to play together let alone extra ones as well!!!
    However, as long as it is within the rules of the contest then I see no problem with it. If it reduces the bad feeling of being dropped for the important gigs then I'm all for it. It would also be a good opportunity to develop some of the fringe players and give them a bit of experience, especially in the lower sections if they have previously felt isolated by having to play their part on their own.

  12. Matt-Trom939

    Matt-Trom939 Member

    I agree thats its very difficult sometimes to get full band for the da-especially during a rebuilding process. So why should we have to go to the trouble of trying to get more than a full band, just trying to stand a chance against bands who are overflowing with players.

    Although i dont know many bands that have so many players they are sitting on each others laps...