I thought I'd take a little time to introduce myself to you all. Firstly, I apologise for using a pseudonym, but a good friend of mine has reported that a certain individual is of a rather litigious nature and has a habit of phoning up band secretaries and making veiled threats. I would rather not allow any of my friends and colleagues be subject to such actions. Where does Number6 come from? It's a long story but worth telling. My dad was a devotee of "The Prisoner" and my early memories are of him glued to the rediffusion telly whenever it was on. This led to me getting the cane at school due to a smart-Alec reply to the register (we had a form tutor who preferred us to call out a number instead of answering our names). When it got to me, I answered in my best impression of Patrick McGoohan "I am not a number..." That one hurt, but sealed my reputation at school and ultimately my future. I will happily be accused of being somewhat of a maverick and for not suffering fools gladly, so do expect some controversial posts from time to time. I don't come from a traditional brass band background: more choral and orchestral, being also a fairly reasonable organist, but was persuaded to recommence playing the cornet a few years back. As such I can take more of an outsider's view of things, and hopefully this will come across. My main concern is that the brass band world is far too inward looking, and in many cases it seems that the head is biting the tail and a great musical heritage is in serious danger of falling into a terminal decline. I also struggle a little with the obsession with contesting as the be-all-and-end-all of so much of what I see and hear, as well as this demand that "we'll only consider you as a player if you can make all rehearsals etc, etc". In this respect, I think a less blinkered approach is needed to encourage players who, through family or work commitments are unable to meet those demands. I certainly know of one Midlands band who has adopted this principle, and as such has a number of very good players on the books, but has been slagged off by former players who can't seem to grasp the concept. I hope that I can give a slightly different perspective on the brass band world, but I promise that I won't be intimidated out of making sometimes controversial postings.