Holme Valley Brass Band Contest - 21st May 2006

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by Tiffers, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. Tiffers

    Tiffers New Member

    The 80th running of the Holme Valley Brass Band Contest (more popularly known as Holmfirth contest) is taking place on Sunday 21st May 2006.

    The adjudicator this year will be Mr Richard Evans.

    The contest is arranged in three sections: Section A for Championship and First Section Bands, Section B for Second and Third Section Bands and Section C for Fourth Section, unregistered and Youth Bands. Bands are required to play an own choice test piece and a hymn tune.

    The contest is due to commence at 10am and finish around 7pm (ish) with the traditional march through the centre of Holmfirth (and past the "merry" crowds outside The Postcard!)

    There are still a couple of places left in each of the sections so please come along to what is usually a good days contesting and socialising.

    For further details and to enter please contact myself on 07773 595331 or email to iantiffany@ukonline.co.uk


    Ian Tiffany
  2. yorkyboy

    yorkyboy Member

    Does anyone have any clarification on the rule changes that have been applied to the contest this year. As I understand you can only borrow players from the section you play in and below. Whilst this is nothing new, this application in relation to the Championship & 1st Section contest is.

    Again I have been led to believe that 1st Section bands cannot borrow players from Championship section bands. This is not the case in any major contest which involves a joint Championship and 1st section. Surely if this rule is to be applied then out of fairness there needs to be a seperate Championship and 1st section contest. It is difficult enough for 1st section bands to compete against championship section bands but when the playing field is then altered to favour the championship section bands even more then that makes things even harder.

    If someone could clarify this situation that would be great.
  3. Tiffers

    Tiffers New Member


    At last year's contest we circulated a questionnaire within the contest program. Within it we asked what aspects people thought were good about the contest, what aspects they thought not so good and what improvements they would like to see. This was an attempt to gather people's views and to try to develop the contest in line with people's expectations.

    One very strong theme that came out of the exercise was that of registration and borrowed players. Traditionally Holmfirth Contest has tried to remain as flexible and accomodating in this area as possible, after all, we are trying to be a local friendly contest, not the British Open and such like. However, within the replies we received last year there was an overwhelming view that whilst the rules on borrowed players were attempting to remove as many obstacles as possible for bands, they were in fact unfair and discriminating against the bands who had their own full complement of players.

    Lets take an hypothetical example of two 1st section bands: Band A have a full complement of their own players and have worked hard to develop that team over a period of time and have put in a lot of effort to prepare their chosen testpiece.

    Band B are also a 1st section band but have a couple (or number) of "empty chairs". Under the previous rule they were freely able to borrow however many members of say Black Dyke, YBS, B&R, Fodens etc as they wished.

    This surely is unfair on Band A as they are not playing on a level playing field.
    This same scenario is also true in Section B for 2nd and 3rd Section bands.

    I understand that this is a difficult area but we have carefully considered people's views (and our own) and tried to act fairly and equally towards all competing bands.


  4. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    Totally understand why that might be unfair, but what about the 1st section band that hasn't got a full compliment either through work or holidays etc and they have to borrow they are also not on a level playing field if a Championship section band in the section gets to borrow form Dyke, Brighouse and co. I think that's where the argument comes apart a bit
  5. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    I'd rather play my team against any set of borrowed players, i think the fact that you're playing together week in week out builds a unit and that's what it takes to win a contest, not just a couple of flash end chairs!

    But if you do have an empty chair, and you're trying to play a test piece to push the band towards the next level (like ourselves at Emley, and i would think maybe Marsden too) you can't always find a dep who can do lots of rehearsals. You need a higher quality player sometimes to fill that seat capably!

    We can't borrow from above the 4th sec for example, we want to play what was recently a 2nd section piece, It makes it tough on the bands to find players, a little leway would seem the senisible option, hopefully used by the bands "in the spirit of banding"

    Also just a quickie . . . . Unregistered bands - do all the players have to be unregistered? can they borrow registered players, from what sections?

  6. VenusTromster

    VenusTromster Member

    So I take it it would be ok for a first section band to borrow unregistered players that were of championship standard then?

    I see the point of the rule, but it becomes a bit unfair when you have championship and first section in the same class. The rule would probably work if there were seperate classes.

    As Ploughboy says, its not always possible to get players in to fill the empty seats to attend the rehearsals which is where a better class of player is needed. There may be a band that has a team of players that have worked together and built themselves up over a period of time, but with the amount of players about today (very few), there will always be a few empty seats that will need filling close to a contest.
  7. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    Well, just to let people know, Hade Edge will be there (as they always are) and as defending champs, we're looking forward to it! It's a great little contest and we had a lot of fun last year (it was my first contest on solo euph!), although admittedly most of that fun seems to be at the Postcard ... :)

    As for my opinion on the rules, I agree with the relaxed approach to the rules regarding player transfers and depping, etc. However, I also realise last year there were some incidences of "unsporting" behaviour in deps. Not that I know any details (I took no interest whatsoever), so whatever people feel should probably go.

    I personally think a cap on the number of deps and perhaps not from any more than 1 section higher is a good idea. There's a fine line between fair rules tho and ones that can be exploited.
  8. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    How is this rule change being policed this year? I seem to remember that bands do not register using their reg cards at Holmfirth. Is this also changing, or can we all rely on the good sportsmanship that prevails so heavily in this wonderful movement of ours?
  9. Pav

    Pav Member

    I can't believe they're spoiling the finest of all contests with the introduction of rules.

    I've never really forgiven them for dropping the march element though.

    Anyone fancy a thread on your favourite Holmfirth memories?

    The year was they asked a band (who was it?) to double up in the top section and Glyn Williams got a load of deps in from Fodens?.

    Wam band on Year of the Dragon

    Jigby on Paganini (and Jack shouting out 'it won't that good' after the hymn.

    Happy Days

  10. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    That was Marsden last year, we weren't doubling up, just struggling with loadsa players away on holiday. 7 players from Top section bands (mostly Fodens) were borrowed, and it still wasn't enough to stop Hade Edge walking away with 1st prize, so does the contest really need the rule change in the first place?
  11. Heppy

    Heppy Member

    What a sham! I know I played in that great band that day, it was smashing! As Bayerd says, it wasnt a cheating thing or anything, I got asked to play on the morning of the contest with no rehearsals... because their sop player went down with a severe case of **** rot, idiot. Plus we didnt win, the Hade Edge Band won with their rousing rendition of English Heritage! Cant see the problem myself.....
  12. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    Hear,Hear, and what a great show you put on at such short notice. IMO Holmfirth contest doesn't need to alter in too many ways, it's personally my favourite contest of the year for several reasons-

    1. The hall is usually more or less full (how many contests can boast that)

    2. The atmosphere is generally great, especially around the Postcard

    3. The wobbly legged march at the end is always good for a giggle

    Here's looking forward to 21st May this year!
  13. VenusTromster

    VenusTromster Member

    How many bands at the moment will hvae the lucky situation of band A? We have a stong number of players who are always there at rehearsals, but we still have empty seats that we cannot fill - mostlydue to players moving to champ sections bands around the Yorkshire area. If this rules happens our good friends who have offered to come back and help, and who attend our rehearsals won't be able to play - even though they are just as much a part of the band.

    Plus band A won't be playing on a level field at all, as the Championship section bands who will be competeing against first section will still be able to borrow top name players as they are in the same section, so it will only work if the sections are divided.

    My fav times including marching down the street and then running as fast as poss to get back to the postcard for beer!
  14. Chris Sanders

    Chris Sanders Active Member

    I think the best thing about Holmfirth contest is the fact that I dont have to play there...

    Dont get me wrong, the village is very nice, and I do love contesting, but its jus disheartening that there are never enough bands do it.

    I have done the contest twice, and both times felt like ive wasted my time, winning it was very nice, but when there are only three bands it doesnt really feel like a real contest.

    Though I love the idea of playing a hymn tune, I think more contests should do this.
  15. Tiffers

    Tiffers New Member

    Official Statement from Holme Valley Brass Band Contest Comittee

    Following formal representations made to the comittee by a couple of bands, who have supported the contest for a very large number of years, we discussed the issue of the rule for borrowed players at a comittee meeting last week.

    We have considered the views put forward and attempted to strike a balance between making Holmfirth Contest as accessible as possible for all bands and to try to ensure the integrity of the contest for all competing bands concerned.

    As a result of this we have decided to amend the rule on borrowed players for this years competition. Rule 7 now reads:

    "There will be no limit on the number of players that can be borrowed and they may be from bands with a national grading equivalent to the section in which the band is competing in at the Holme Valley Contest, or below".

    In essence this means that a band can borrow from the same section as the bands it is competing against.

    Our aim for Holmfirth Contest is for the event to remain as popular as it has been over the years and for it to maintain its integrity as a brass band contest which is treated fairly and repsectfully by competing bands and supporters.


    Ian Tiffany
    Holme Valley Brass Band Contest
  16. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    A much better idea. Well done. :clap:
  17. VenusTromster

    VenusTromster Member

    Smashing news. We'll have to make sure that more representativies from bands attend meetings to make sure that all views are heard and to prevent problems like this again. If we are all there to start with then no band can complain about the rules.
  18. Tiffers

    Tiffers New Member

    Oooooh please!

    There was a time when the comittee was made up entirely by representatives of all the local Holme Valley bands. Over the years this has fallen away to the point where no band is involved in the organisation of the contest, as people have retired or lost interest in being involved.

    We would welcome more input from the local bands by them having representatives on the comittee. Personally I would like to return to the old format of having representatives from all local bands.

    Once we have got this year's contest out of the way I would like to talk to all the local bands about this, and how we can take the contest forward (in a sensible way) that ensures it's survival into the future.

  19. The key to its survival (and it is a good day) is obviously more bands. So come on fellow Huddersfield Bands (and other Yorkshire Bands) lets all make the effort, otherwise the future looks bleak.

    Its understandable that bands can't enter every year (we all have other things going on and every band has different committments and priorities) but to never enter year in year is poor really. The rules are flexible enough so that having a few missing players can be overcome with a bit of effort.

    We're returning after a 3 year absence (the timing in previous years did make it difficult in relation to the Spring Festival) and our B Band has also entered again.

    Looking forward to it, it must be the friendliest contest around.

    Lets see lots of bands and lots of supporters turn up, and lets hope that there are no late withdrawels!!


    Innovate Skelmanthorpe

    ps Vote for our website on the Website of the Month Page!!!
  20. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    well done to the commitee, there's many a commitee that would have buried it's head and said we're doing it our way!! So to listen to the plea's of the bands and make a slight alteration for the benifit of all is excellent.

    We have found in precious years that the contest has clashed with concerts, but with the moving of the date to may this year I was very pleased to be able to enter with Emley. I've never done thois contest before and am looking foward to it, sounds like a good day out, and i've already got a lift arranged!

    If the contest stays where it is (may) then it may be an idea to have a march judged too, give our contest marches a early run out before marching season! - Maybe i'll pop along to this here commitee!! :)

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