How Do You Become An Adjudicator?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by mikelyons, Aug 25, 2004.


If you had the chance, would you like to be an adjudicator?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  1. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Sparked by Dave Payn's thread, an idea has entered my pointy little head.

    How do you become an adjudicator? How can you get experience of adjudicating and what do you need in the way of formal qualifications, if any? :)

    Is it a case of, as so often happens, not what you know, but who? Is there a formal route to this exalted station?
  2. nickjones

    nickjones Active Member

    North Wales
    I think there was a course at Salford with Roy Newsome , am sure Stephen Tighe( sp ) a tmp member was a " graduate "
  3. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Isle of Arran and lovin' it!
    I suppose I would like to, only to end up instantly regretting it afterwards were I to be given the chance! There certainly are courses for this. What I don't know is whther passing certain adjudication exams are compulsory to become an accepted judge. I'd guess they probably are but someone more informed could enlighten us perhaps?
  4. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    This is precisely how I feel, Dave. But it would be nice to see it from the other side of the curtain just once.
  5. SteveT

    SteveT Member

    Northern England

    To become an adjudicator you normally have to be a recognised conductor, who has demonstrated success at band training and experience at the top level of banding. Experience in the classical and other worlds is also useful.... Then you have to wait to be hired by contest organisers.

    If you want to do the LDBBA, Initially you submit a cv and then appear in front of a panel of distinguished musicians where you are asked to show skills in arranging and score analysis, there is also a viva voce section. In addition you are asked to adjudicate recorded performances. If you pass this initial assesment you are invited to take further assesments.

    I should explain that when I took the exams, there was no "course" as such. It is a series of tests taking various formats, incuding "live" adjudications. So you were expected to have a very high level of demonstrable musicianship, as you would in the end be judging your peers. You will be asked to "shadow adjudicate" at contests and your adjudications are then assesed by normally Roy Newsome and David Read. They look for all sorts of things, even grammar.

    A recent development is a "Pre-Diploma" course, which is intended to prepare people for this initial assessment. This is because there have not been that many successful applicants and I think this it to help prepare candidates up to the initial threshold standard. I was only the 4th person to get the diploma (2001).. at the moment I think there are only 6 recipients in total... so more candidates are I am sure ... welcome.

    If you wish to become a Licentiate in Brass Band Adjudication and take the "examinations" sponsored by the National Association of Brass Band Conductors & ratified by Salford University, you need to contact Mr. E. J. Howard, 30 Havant Road, Waterlooville, Hants, PO8 0DT. He is the National Sec for NABBC and is in charge of sylbus etc. Tel: 023 9259 8162. or However, this will not guarantee that you will be invited to adjudicate.

    After all this you have to become a member of Association of Brass Band Adjudicators, and also after a bit of time you may be invited onto the BFBB panel to adjudicate at the National Championships.

    The downside is that you will probably lose most of yer mates and be suspected of all sorts of underhand doings.... so beware. You will also have to dye your hair grey and lose your sense of humour!

    Hope this is helpful... best of luck. If I can be of any further assistance please ring me... my number is in the professional cards section on 4barsrest.

  6. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Thanks for all that information, Stephen.

    Sadly, your first point knocks me completely out of the field, as I only wave the stick on relatively rare occasions, when Neil can't manage it and we can get away with only 1 Eb Bass, or when the band are playing through one of my compositions. :(

    As for all the rest, it's a wonder any of you manage to live long enough to finish the process by the sound of it.

    Losing my friends - that I probably couldn't cope with. I am both gregarious and egregious by nature. Oh well, that's yet another career path down the pan. Still, I can always hope to make my name in composition - assuming I can keep off tMP for long enough to write another one. :) :shock: :)
  7. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Isle of Arran and lovin' it!
    Knocks me out, too. (Mind you, there are some adjudicators out there..... no, stop there, Dave... ;-))

    Tell you what, Mike; how about doing a one off, fun, unofficial tMP contest, with us adjudicating, heavily disguised as an adjudicator's box, with a trap door underneath so we can make a quick escape after the last band has finished, leaving our results and adjudications on the table for the organisers to collect and announce. We'll have to adopt aliases, of course. I'll be David Read and you can be Roy Newsome, so they'll get the blame if the bands don't like the results, and if they DO like them, we'll own up to our real identities and hopefully get recommendations to become adjudicators without having to sit the tests. We can't lose... :)
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2004
  8. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    It's obvious you've never seen me in the flesh, Dave (so to speak) I could be Stan Laurel to Roy's Oliver Hardy. I could never get a suit big enough to portray that wonderful man. :( Maybe you should be Roy and I can be a baton, or summat?
  9. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Isle of Arran and lovin' it!
    You can be a baton if you don't mind me hitting you on the conductor's stand several times to attract the attention of the band... ;-)
    (Actually, you'd be redundant in that case, 'cos I don't use batons! :))
  10. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Thanks for the offer Dave, but I'll give it a miss, I think. Foolish of me really. I am getting enough 'stick' as it is over the expired passport without letting myself in for more.

  11. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    Yea I'd love to audjudicate.... one day may actually look into these courses.... but first, need to get my degree under my belt .... then Masters in conducting hopefully next year if Kingy thinks I'm good enough.... phd.... etc.....

    As for losing friends.... I mean, come on.... it's only banding and contesting at the end of the day in which these contests are giving prizes to the best sounding and musical bands.... not to the people you know... so if I did it and lost friends it wouldnt be down to me having a problem at the end of the day.... sad losers... :roll:

  12. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    Heh, I actually quite like the idea of adjudicating, but after reading the process, I'd imagine I'd have to wait several years at least first to be up to their high standards - if I ever get anywhere near that! :)
  13. Sonny Barker

    Sonny Barker Member


    Becoming an adjudicator is easy. Don't get booked to conduct!
  14. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    A pub, Surrey, UK
    Apologies to those who have seen this before, however given the nature of the thread I couldn't resist the temptation....

    "Do you have what it takes to be a brass band adjudicator? Following recent criticism of the standard of adjudicating we at the Department for Examining Adjudication Fairness (D.E.A.F.) have devised the following assessment test for prospective judges....

    1. Are you...
    a. A practising musician with a wealth of current experience?
    b. A retired administrator who won a few pots in the 50's and 60's?
    c. Free most weekends?

    2. What should you listen for in a performance?
    a. A satisfying musical experience shaped by the conductor and players to best convey the composers intentions.
    b. You have to listen?
    c. Pardon?

    3. What is your favourite T.V. programme?
    a. I don't have time to watch T.V. I'm too busy giving concerts and making music.
    b. Anything which doesn't require much concentration.
    c. Opportunity Knocks. That clapometer was foolproof.

    4. Your ideal band....
    a. adapts it's approach, sound, style and tone colour to suit the music being played.
    b. sounds like an old 78
    c. is dead.

    5. How do you get to know the score before adjudicating?
    a. Study the work's structure and form and further develop your understanding of it by working on the music with a good band.
    b. You should get to know the score?
    c. What's a score?

    6. If you cannot decide on a winner do you...
    a. admit you are just not up to it and never do it again?
    b. count up the split notes?
    c. blame it on the other judges?

    7. Adjudicators should be...
    a. well respected professional musicians.
    b. shot.
    c. old.

    8. Bands drawn early are...
    a. just as likely to impress you as any others.
    b. a good way of letting you get to know the music.
    c. unlucky.

    9. Conductors who abuse the composers intentions should be...
    a. deported.
    b. castigated for trying on cheap tricks.
    c. given 1st prize for being inventive.

    10. Adjudicators remarks are...
    a. useful to remind yourself of your impression of each band's performance.
    b. useful to remind soloists where they split notes.
    c. copied from the judge sitting next to you.


    Mostly A's
    You are obviously over qualified for the job and have no real conception of the responsibilities of a brass band adjudicator. Apply again in 40 years when both your embouchure and hearing have given out.

    Mostly B's
    You are learning quickly and well on the road to reaching the standard required for the job.

    Mostly C's
    You have fully grasped the qualities required for this job and can now expect to while away your twilight years sitting in judgement over and passing on your experience to others less fortunate than yourselves.
  15. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    New York City

    That's Great!

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