Help needed

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Bob Sherunkle, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. Bob Sherunkle

    Bob Sherunkle Member

    Dear theMouthPiece.

    I'm writing up my thesis today to in order to gain a doctorate in baritone studies.

    The subject is "the need for taller conductors in 21st century brass banding".

    I'm sure you will all have noticed that at the Albert Hall the other day the winners were conducted by Phil Harper (8 feet tall) while Regent Brass (last) had Alan Duguid (3 foot 6") with all the other MDs having both height and placing in the results between these extremes.

    Just to check I am onto something here I wondered if any readers know the height of any other conductors. Ian Porthouse or Prof King for example.

    Thanks for any help. Especially if you have a picture of a conductor standing by a famous landmark for perspective eg Blackpool Tower.

    Kind Regards

    Dr (soon) Bob
  2. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Dear Bob

    I wonder if Walter Hargreaves, known as 'The Wee Professor', would have confirmed or confounded your observations, had he still been alive? (I should explain that Mr Hargreaves was a fine brass band conductor of diminished stature, not a senior physician specialising in urology).

    Yours intrigued

  3. Bob Sherunkle

    Bob Sherunkle Member

    Do keep up Jim.

    I am concerned with the 21st century here, not the diminutive figures of your youth.

    However, funnily enough I know of a urologist called Dick Pocock! (true, altho he preferred to be called Richard for some reason).

    Come on people. Does no-one have any data or pictures about MD height. This might be important.

    I may have to go around measuring them myself if all else fails.

  4. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    I think your theory might be in trouble. Russell Gray won London with Leyland in 2005 despite being one of our more lilliputian conductors and having to stand on a breadcrate even when the band are sitting down. Ian McElligott, on the other hand, is like the BFG but hasn't yet troubled the scorers in Birmingham or London.
  5. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    I'm sure I've read somewhere that David King is a giant....I honestly don't know if that refers to his height, his conducting record or both! I don't know his height but he doesn't strike me as being I assume it's a reference to both.
  6. Bob Sherunkle

    Bob Sherunkle Member

    Well there are exceptions to every rule AD. As you well know.

    But when did Garry Cutt last win anything?

    Other than in Greenland. And I am guessing everyone is really tiny up there as it's so cold. So he would look bigger.

    However. I am not sure where Dave Nesbitt fits in to this because altho' he looks massive, it could just be that he is surrounded by Imps...
  7. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Ian McElligott: Top six finishes with Brighouse, including winning the Yorkshire Area in 2003;

    Winners of the Yorkshire Area Championships 2003

    4th place—All England Masters 2003

    6th place—National Championships 2003

    5th place—British Open 2003

    4th place—European Championships 2003

    4th place—British Open 2002

    6th place—National Championships 2002

    Selected results by Garry Cutt:

    2011 Swedish National Championship (Elite Division) Windcorp Brass Band 1

    2011 Grand Shield Kirkintilloch 2

    2011 Norwegian National Championships (Division 1) Jaren Hornmusikkforening 1

    2010 Swedish National Championship (Elite Division) Windcorp Brass Band 1

    2010 Danish National Championship (Championship Division) Lyngby Taarbaek 2

    2010 North West Area (Championship Section) Fodens 1

    2009 Swedish National Championship (Elite Division) Windcorp Brass Band 1

    2009 National Championship of Great Britain (Championship Section Final) Fodens 2

    2009 British Open Foden's 6

    2009 English Nationals Fodens 3

    2009 All England International Masters Fodens Richardson 1

    2009 North West Area (Championship Section) Fodens 1
  8. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    I'm doing my best, but I'm not very tall myself.

    I think that any ambitious band should be thinking of engaging Sultan Kosen, who at 8 feet 3 inches is the world's tallest man, as a guarantee of contest success. There are one or two potential drawbacks - he lives in Turkey, for a start. And he's just got married, which is enough to blight any chap's social diary. And there doesn't seem to be any suggestion that he has an affinity with conducting - but that hasn't stopped any number of other people from having a go. In fact, the more I think of it, the more it makes sense, but at this time of the evening, I find it often does.

    Yours befuddled

  9. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Bingo! Where's Paddy Flower when you need him?
  10. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    my band's done much better with our current MD than his much-shorter predecessor.... it never occurred to me that there was a causal link with their heights though!
  11. Red Elvis

    Red Elvis Active Member

    I have first-hand practical evidence to support your thesis. During a somewhat fallow spell for Becontree I (6'4'') led the famed Becontree 10 piece to victory at the Ringmer Ensembles and Quartets contest. This has been my only conducting performance * thus far and so I claim a 100% record and therefore can only suggest that your esteemed academic institution confers the suitable degree upon you immediately.
    * There are two possible reasons for this:1) My idiosyncratic approach to interpretation of the genre , (unencumbered by anything more than a basic knowledge of musical theory and a total lack of any skill in the arena of band training) was never truly appreciated within the conservative world of English banding , or 2) I was only waving my hands about in the first place because the famed Becontree 10 piece would have been an 11 piece otherwise , and one A.Flower Esq had sewn up the euph seat on this occasion.
  12. Bob Sherunkle

    Bob Sherunkle Member

    Thanks for all your help with this people.

    The evidence is beginning to mount up with the above 2 posts. I am particularly impressed by Red Elvis' 100% record as a conductor. All the more impressive to win if Mr Flower was playing without doubt and clearly your stature must have been a big part in the victory. Similarly Alex's experience of replacing MD with a taller one and hey presto, Albert Hall here you come.

    It would really help if you could all measure your MDs and post the results here. Ideally with a picture of them lying on the bandroom floor next to a tape measure (ideally). Or something of standard size such as a Besson BBb bass would do. If they will not co-operate perhaps you could sneak up behind them with the tape measure and get an approximate height.

    Dr (almost) Bob

    PS AD you have lost me with the Paddy reference but I assume he is still locked in the mods wardrobe with masking tape over his mouth and a betting shop pencil in each nostril
  13. Chris Hicks

    Chris Hicks Member

    Just to throw a spanner in to the works Bob (Dr). Our current MD is actually smaller than his predecessor (who is having a rather large amount of success at the moment), however, our current MD is proving more successful with our band than said predecessor.

    Sorry to throw this out there, but i guess you can discard it as an anomaly perhaps?
  14. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    I know I'm thousands of miles away and across the Atlantic Ocean but I'm sure I just felt an earthquake. Could it have been Nick Childs quaking in his books at having to compete with such a record?
  15. Bob Sherunkle

    Bob Sherunkle Member

    Reasonable point Chris.

    However. Both very tall. Both successful. QED

    Lets not quibble about an inch or two here and there for goodness sake.

    PS get the photo
  16. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    My son is 6' 8" and very musical. Any offers? I'll be glad to act as his manager!
  17. Red Elvis

    Red Elvis Active Member

    Brother Brooks - Kind words indeed. Many members of the famed Becontree 10 piece will indeed confirm that they have never played under a conductor of my level before or since. I am available for weddings , funerals and bar mitzvahs.Reasonable rates available on application.I have my own white waggly sick to waggle and am prepared to travel. I've not met Dr Nick but have stood behind Dr Bob at a burger van outside the RAH once and held a bog door open for Prof King at the same venue.

    Comrade Sherunkle - this is a good thread. Have you ever thought about writing a whimsical column in one of the printed brass brand periodicals ? :)
  18. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Dammit. 5'11". Looks like I'd better stick to writing and bass playing....
  19. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    Printed is probably about right for and old man who still uses a typewriter, and 2 bottles of tippex a week.
  20. Bob Sherunkle

    Bob Sherunkle Member

    Dear Red Elvis.

    It's a nice idea. Maybe once I get my baritone doctorship they will come knocking.

    Perhaps next time you are hobnobbing with the banding glitterati you could have a tape measure at the ready and I could get my thesis finished.

    What would be your estimated height of a Childs and the King ? Both were top 6 at the Nationals this year so this information could be vital.

    I was at BBC television centre once (cleaning the lavs) and held the door open for what I took to be an approaching small child or dwarf. Imagine my horror when I realised it was in fact Noel Edmonds but it was too late to slam the door. Estimated height 4 ft 2" in platform shoes.

    Must go now. It's Tippex o'clock.

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