Fellow conductor's -

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by ploughboy, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    how do you handle holiday season?

    It seems our band holiday season is stretching over about 2.5 months this year, with no prospect of a near full rehearsal until sept, and no such thing since Mid june.

    Is it OK to suggest bandsfolk book within a certain time frame? or several if needs vary?

    I find it very difficult to motivate myself and thus the band when there's an entire section missing, or one full section (basses tonight, well done boys) but only halves of other sections?

    how do other bands do it?
    any advice? from anyone really?

  2. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    We've asked everyone to put their holidays on the noticeboard, so I can plan round them. We'll probably do some sectionals for the autumn contest season on nights that I know attendance will be bad, rather than try and have a rehearsal with 12 players.
  3. stotty74

    stotty74 Member

    Exactly what i'm doing. Yes it is very hard to motivate yourself let alone the band when attendance is down, but it's something you just have to do...similar to motivating you and your band when a set-test is announced and it's not a great piece, too hard for the band, etc.

    Or if possible, get some deps in to help out. Some people are glad to keep their lips in, especially if their own band has shut down for the summer. I invited 3 friends down tonight because of holidays, and one person brought another player along, so we were pretty much covered.

    Or the other alternative is to stop for a month or so :shock: . You might find some players even organise their holidays around the break.
  4. Beesa

    Beesa Member

    Our band committee have a holiday chart but I think they use it to decide when to have the Band Photo taken as it seems the band are intent on making sure one long serving member is never on an official band photo.

    Which I would say is a bit horrible, but there again I'm not on the committee and don't know what they decide and why behind close doors.

    Eeeh, band politics.....
  5. David Pegram

    David Pegram Member

    We have holiday list,plus list of engagements on board where players put there names if they can't make a job.This is taken off 4 weeks before job so i can arrange deps.
    i find rehearsals with only a few players don't end up being productive for anyone.If i feel that we will not be able to achieve much i cancel the rehearsal.This saves players and conductor getting flustrated.
  6. Lewis Chris

    Lewis Chris Member

    We try and rehearse, but school holidays do take their toil. I use it to play with the library and get new (and old) music out to blow through. Seems to work quite well. People accept that they won't be overly productive rehearsals but even if it's a few people keeping their lip in over summer it will show in September. You may always find that some music works well within a small group and this could lead to a 10 piece within the band, which is always useful for weddings in a small venue etc.
  7. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    4 weeks before!! you must have a very reliable bunch of players - I'm still waiting for people to let me know about jobs 4 days before:mad:.
  8. David Pegram

    David Pegram Member

    Yes they are a great bunch but it did take time to get to this stage.
  9. agentorange

    agentorange Member

    Hi Garry.

    There's no easy fix for this one i'm afraid. At EYMS we have a short break of 4 weeks or so over the summer. We still have people taking hols at other times of the year though, so thats not the solution.

    I'm not sure that suggesting a certain time frame to take holidays is workable either. Some people need to tie in hols with the school holidays, others wish to avoid them! Shift workers often have set holidays rostered into the shift pattern which cannot be changed, some (lucky) people like to have 2, 3 or even 4 holidays a year. And then there's those with caravans, which rules out every weekend in summer! You'd probably need 3 or 4 'holiday periods' per year, of 2 months each to please everyone!

    I think that you just have to accept it as a fact of life and trust people to at least consider the band, and not book holidays at busy times.

    On a more positive note(!), i'm one of those aforementioned people who likes to keep their lip in over the summer break so if you're short at any time then i'd be happy to come through and have a blow (euph or bari, solo or 2nd, i don't mind).
  10. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    I think I'd take exception if a conductor or committee member were to suggest I took holidays at a certain time to fit around band. I'm as committed to "the cause" as anyone, but I would draw the line at that - I organise my life around band enough already!

    Apart from anything else its just not possible for me to take holiday in the "normal" months at the moment. I reckon the earliest I can take time off this year is sometime in late September/ early October and this is not uncommon with where I work - we always seem to have our largest machinery projects in build in the summer months. I know a few other members of our band have similar issues.

    To reply to the OP, I'd say its just something you have to ride out every year. I hate poorly attended rehearsals too, and if large rafts of the band are missing it seems a waste of everyone's evening to hold a rehearsal. We tend to take the worst months (late June / July / early August) on a practice by practice basis depending on our jobs and who is missing. As long as everyone informs the band manager when they're not there and everyone is told when a practice is cancelled its as good a way of keeping the band ticking over as any.
  11. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Generally I used to avoid taking band engagements in the month of August - however the holiday period is really anywhere from early July right up to late September. So now I take bookings in August and assume that people will be away just trust the old dep book to cover the parts missing.

    We never seem to have a particular time when the highest number of players are away. In fact because a lot of bands dont take bookings in August it means that there are actually more deps available in that month. July always seems to be the peak for band summer engagements and consequently the hardest period in which to find deps. Second Saturday in July - whats that all about I think every band in the country must do a gig then.
  12. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    i have to use my holidays mainly for band as i cant get saturdays off for contests i.e Area each year and Butlins contest as well;
    That leaves me 2 weeks holiday of my own which this year my fiance &i are going to Glamis Scotland in October .
    As for the other wait & see
  13. honey bun

    honey bun Active Member

    Didn't know whether to start a new thread or ok to put it in this one - sort of along the same lines.

    We've got a fete job to do but with a smaller band and wondered if anyone knows of any of the old "fete favourites" full band pieces that would work with a smaller group prob. 14ish+
  14. Robin Norman

    Robin Norman Member

    At Ipswich the tradition was to coincide a band holiday with the school holidays; i.e. somewhere between 4 and 6 weeks. With quite a few teachers in the band they wanted a long holiday.

    However things changed last year when we were putting on the Arnold memorial concert and, with a very tough program to learn, we rehearsed right through and just coped with holidays. A couple were cancelled but, on the whole, went on as normal.

    This year we have just started a band break this week but only for 2 1/2 weeks as we need to get back and get to grips with 'Haakon' ready for the finals at the end of September. Also have another big concert at the end of October in Norwich Cathedral.
  15. GJacko

    GJacko Member

    Take the time off. We always take at least three weeks off in the summer, to fit in with most player's (and conductor's) holidays. No jobs, no rehearsals, nothing. Everyone enjoys the break and comes back ready for the next challenge. Make sure you have one ready.
  16. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    We always stop practices for the whole of August, recommencing either the first or second Thursday in September. We're quite fortunate, though, in that the band is still able to function on Sundays throughout the summer, even if it sometimes calls for a bit of a shuffle round of players, and careful choice of repertoire (the grey favourites book and the favourite marches and hymn settings prove their worth at this time of year!)
  17. alanl58

    alanl58 Member

    Gosh wouldn't it be nice to close down for August! The summer months are when we are at our busiest, and most people take holidays "out of season" when it is quieter.

    If anyone is on holiday down here, and needs to keep their lip in, we would be delighted to have extra support! Rehearsals Monday evenings followed by the pub, play out most weekends.

    Bude Metric Brass