Girls against Boys

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by bigmamabadger, Dec 7, 2003.

  1. bigmamabadger

    bigmamabadger Active Member

    I'm going to open an enormous can of big fat flesh-eating worms...

    Just been reading the thread about SA horn plyers from Razor and I noticed something odd about his fantasy band:
    No women. :shock:
    Are there really no top-flight women players out there? On a previous thread about bestest horn players in UK there were plenty of women named so some people obviously think the girls are up there.

    If there really aren't any superlative girl players, why not? Are men better blowers then women? Do women have a more intuitive approach to music? Is the (potential) lack of really top women due to ability/misogyny/figments of the imagination?

    Certainly amongst the players I know ability has nothing to do with gender, age, background, training etc. some are good and some are not so good.

    BMB who has retired to her bunker... :wink:

    a) This is sooooo NOT a go at Razor for his choice of fantasy band so let's not go down that road. :roll:
    b) This isn't a feminist rant, I really would like to know. So no comments on my shaven head, Doc Martens and stripey dungarees.
  2. Razor

    Razor Member

    Please remember the names included in my selection only span the last 30 years or so of players originating only from the Salvation Army and is purely my personal choice of players whose music making and skill I have admired along with a number whose playing credentials speak for themselves.

    As stated I could have chopped and changed the sections a fair bit but with any fantasy/select band you cannot include all your favourites. The list of players to make my selection from would be fairly long!

    So in terms of female players yes there are few who could have been included the foremost probably being Maissie Wiggins, former principal trombone with the Halle Orchestra. Others to consider would be Peggy Thomas - cornet(Chicago Staff Band), Vanda Spence - trombone(former ISB and New York Staff Band). No doubt there are others unknown to me.

    I suppose a contributory factor regards superlative players originating from the SA could be that it is only fairly recently(last 12 - 15 years or so) that some of the top SA bands have included females in their lineup i.e. ISB, Canadian Staff, Enfield Citadel.
  3. bigmamabadger

    bigmamabadger Active Member

    I take your points, (you did read the disclaimer!) and I had a feeling I knew that from somewhere. I think that might well also be the case with some of the more well-known bands in UK.
    Again, I wonder why? Possibly because a large proportion of those bands were originally works bands and the works didn't employ many women?

    Once more, NOT a rant, just curiousity. I certainly don't feel I was ever "kept down" because of my gender. It's a question of ability and I was never going to play for the Dyke anyway.... :lol:
  4. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    I do know an Aussie tenor horn player who's just moved over your side of the pond. Rosie.......Rosie......I can't remember her last name. She's playing with one of the bigger bands (Yorkshire??? I dunno). There are good women players, they just aren't anywhere for the men to oggle them :wink:

    I remember her name now - Rosie Pearce from Leyland!!!!!
  5. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Amanda Nielsen, from Croydon Citadel, was one of the first women to join the ISB (on horn), but left when she had a baby.

    As I said in another thread, I think one factor that influences the male/female balance in the SA is that, in a number of cases, women with musical talents may well be involved in the songsters (choir) rather than the band, and it is not always possible to do both. I know in my own situation, when the children came along I stepped down from the songsters, so that I looked after the kids when Janet was at her practice, and she did the same when I was at band.
  6. Rambo Chick

    Rambo Chick Member

    Certainly amongst the players I know ability has nothing to do with gender, age, background, training etc. some are good and some are not so good.

    its true. men are not better than women and vice versa. together they form a balanced happy band! :D

  7. shedophone

    shedophone Member

    Until recently i've never felt restricted at all by gender issues in banding.

    However i'm starting to wonder why some top bands are still adamant that having women in the band would be a bad idea.

    there are loads of good bands who accept women, but not all. This means that good women players have to compete more as there are fewer places for them!

    So you could say that women have to be better to get into a top band!..... but maybe thats going a bit too far eh?...

    Personally i'd love to play for Grimey. That'd be the day...
  8. cornetgirl

    cornetgirl Active Member

    So would I....but I draw the line at a sex change! Come on guys - you don't know what you're missing out on!

    Rach x
  9. Hollso

    Hollso Member

    Girls dont seem to be a majority in some bands... quite possibly it was because in the olden days it was all men in the brass bands of the country (in Brighouse anyway...)
    In our junior band, there are 4 girls, including myself. In the senior band we're mixed numbers.
    I think lasses an lads are on equal playing grounds when it comes to blowing. i find that lads are a bit headstong and go blasting into things (ie our band master) but sometimes this isnt the case.
    so really, it mostly depends on ability, training and sometimes temperment. my experience with male musicians shows they're rude, arrogant, inconsiderable... well, the minority. thank goodness that twit has left...ahem... Good job my boyfriend (my 2nd man down in the Junior band) isnt like that, he's great support for me and for our little 3rd man
  10. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    I'd agree with that...I dont reckon men have a distinct advantage when it comes to blowing. I know some women who can blow just as loud and powerfully as us blokes.

    p.s.. would that certain bandmaster be good old John Clay???

  11. Di B

    Di B Member

    Interesting that some ladies are wishing they could join Grimey, but imo there are other bands just as good out there that are just as strong and will accept the odd femme fatale.

    So girls, why do you want to join Grimey?

    a) Because they are the best band ever, in your opinion
    b) Because you are a stubborn mule and want them to upturn their way of thinking for you because you are such a fantastic player that every band should want!
    c) You like the idea of being surrounded by 26 sweaty men every practice! :wink:

    Personaly, I go for b) every single time..... :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
    Well, a girl can dream! :)
  12. twigglet

    twigglet Member

    think i'd go for c) mwahaha :lol:
  13. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    Do these bands have an official policy of no women or is it just that they haven't had 1 in band yet. If its the first I think they should be barred from contests. If a band came out and said they wouldn't have any non-white players (I know most bands don't have any) there would be uproar. Why are bands allowed to say that they won't have women

    I'm not suggesting quotas though.
  14. JonP

    JonP Member

    This is an area much discussed in banding circles, especially in the north where our only all male outfits still exist.

    Id like to point out right now that I am of the opinion that the ability of a player has absolutely nothing to do with gender whatsoever. Having been the "fixer" for BnR for just over 12 months i know that had females been alowed to play in the band my job of finding players to "dep" in concerts would have been made much easier, and in some cases we would not have had to settle for the second best player, just because it had to be a man.

    On the other hand having played with BnR for just over 2 years, deputised with faireys and grimey i know that being involved in an all male band is a different experience than playing in a mixed one. Its not to do with the playing but more the extra playing activities. Of course your swapping one set of problems for another with no women but i have to honestly say that I enjoyed it more. Its just a better laugh, the bus, pub and contest hotel stays are just a little bit more hard core. For me it was a serious full time hobby and the more a'la rugby team the after match party the better!! Its just more fun. (sorry ladies)

    Now being a member of a mixed ensemble in wales again I have to say that banding was better for me with no women, not for playing reasons but just because women deal with things differently to men. I go to band because i enjoy it, im generally positive about things and cant stand atmospheres in the band room. Im my experience arguments between men take minutes and then are over (generally). With girls the arguments can take weeks, the politics get worse and worse and in the worst case scenario, one of the guys will be seeing the girl and, well, the politics get rediculous. (of course this is only one negative aspect and is only my opinion.) Its just different.

    I have no problem with lady players and would never lead a revolution to get girls out of a mixed outfit. I think that would be wrong, However, i would also fiercely protect the right of existing all male ensembles to reamain so. Banding is amature, nothing more really than a musical club and if a club wishes to be all male then they should be allowed to do that. (free masons, cirtain rotary clubs etc) Similarly if someone wanted to set up an all female band they should be allowed to do so.

    Just because a woman may be the best player does not mean that an ensemble that is historically all male should have to take her on. They are not obliged to, and I would hope that they stick to their guns rather than bow to the anti descriminatory peer pressure.

    If a band turned professional a whole new argument would ensue!!

    Sorry if ive upset anyone. In my defence i would say that to understand this you would really need to be in one of these outfits or a similar one to understand the difference. Also it suited me and that wont be the same for everyone.

    Also i realise that not all women are like the ones ive outlined above and i apologise for the generalisation. :oops:

    :twisted: :twisted: :evil: :evil: :evil:
  15. bigmamabadger

    bigmamabadger Active Member

    Do we know why they think women would be a bad idea? I know the argument against having girl choristers is that they have a completely different sound and would "spoil the purity of the tone" :shock: I can't see that being an issue with brass players.

    Or is it something as simple as the plumbing the antiquated bandroom....
    Or maybe, juuust maybe, they're scared the girls might be just as good as them.... :twisted:
  16. JonP

    JonP Member

    Or is it something as simple as the plumbing the antiquated bandroom....
    Or maybe, juuust maybe, they're scared the girls might be just as good as them.... :twisted:

    Dont think thats the case at all mate. Anyone with half a brain knows that there are fab female players all over the shop. Linda Nicholson, Sheona White, Morvern, Leslie Howie, Angela Wheelan, Katie Price etc etc etc

    I think its just a social issue.
  17. Di B

    Di B Member

    Hmmm..... so, in our band, there are only two left who know any rugby songs... and I am one of them! (the other, unfortunatly male!) As for hard core..... you ain't seen nothing! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

    I know of a certain female however who I will bow down to for her drinking prowess though before she posts here!

    I guess this is what gets to me... although I am female, I am probably more of a man than most men when on a drinking session, so I just wonder is it because the guys don't want a girlie drinking them under the table before going for the old kareoke belching?! :wink:

    Surely, that just as gender makes no difference on playing it makes no difference on vulgarity and alcohol consumption?

    Also, (nasty question I know) would you have a problem with a effeminate man joining the band? One who wanted tea and a cupcake at 7pm before retiring to bed?

    Also, thankyou for putting your viewpoint across - it was interesting to read, but you knew some of us would disagree with you :p :p :p :twisted:
  18. JonP

    JonP Member

    Your absolutely right in everthing you have said. Im not sure what would happen if an efeminate man had joined the band while i was in it. Similarly obviously there are women whos ativities are more akind to those of a man.

    This an age old arguement that can never have a satisfactory conclusion due to the fact that we are all different.

    I think that idealy every person would be vetted on every aspect of their person to see if they are suitable for the position they want in the band they want, unfortulatily thats impossible and the terrible genralisations persist that exclude those who should really be included.

    However if the band decide "no girls" or " no boys" they are alowed to do so and i would protect their right to do it. :evil: :D
  19. Di B

    Di B Member

    Sorry (again! :oops: ) but another thought......

    In this day and age, what if a transgendered person came to your band? (Think Hayley in Corrie here, but it can happen either way!) How would that affect things?

    Sorry, I am not picking on you (honest!) but you are one of the few who has been honest here and put their viewpoint across so I thought I would just try picking that old grey matter again :wink:
  20. Hollso

    Hollso Member

    heh heh, aye it is :D

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