How does contesting work?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by choirmaster, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. choirmaster

    choirmaster Member

    After all the varied opinions on whether contesting is a good or bad thing. Without wishing to get caught up in the debate could I maybe ask 'how does it work anyway' i.e. the mechanics and procedures involved?
    I am to start conducting a non-contesting band very soon and would like to start contesting with them, more as a yard stick to gauge our standard and hopefully raise it further etc etc. The problem is most of my previous conducting has usually been with choirs, orchestras and non contesting bands. Therefore i'm not really sure where to start. Before I present my case to the band I obviously need to get all the information I need. I suppose the questions I need answers to would be along the lines of:

    1.How many contests per year is it necessary to compete in order to gain promotion?
    2.Is there some information sent to bands as to what contests are taking place?
    3.How can a band be in 2 diferent sections (nationally and locally at the same time)?
    4.Do all bands have to register with the brass band registry ( I checked out their site for some answers to these questions, but it just seemed to be full of rules and no general info as to what contesting is all about)?
    5.Can a player play for 2 contesting bands ( i presume not)?

    I think you probably understand what i'm after. Thanks :tup
  2. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    The areas is the only one that matters (for national grading)

    I think, although I am not positive, that if you are registered with the BFBB you will get the information sent to your bands address. It is often easy to find as well on tMP or 4BR, etc...

    You get your grading nationally from the areas, the local gradings are from local association contest. Sme local associations do not have as many sections as there are nationally.

    If you are going to compete, yes..

    Not really...there are some contests that allow a certain number of 'day transfers.' Currently the areas is notone of them

    Well, choirmaster...hopefully somebody will be along to grade my paper and tell me how well I've done learning my British Band Beaucracy in the 8 months I've been here.

    I feel pretty good that I got a perfect score though ;)
  3. Simon_Horn

    Simon_Horn Member

    All sounds pretty good to me BBCbari - question though :- is Whit Friday contest the only contest situation whereby only the band name needs to be registered but there is no check on players?

  4. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I don't even think the band name needs to be registered for the Whits. (the only problem is that if your band is not registered, you automatically compete in the Open section against Championship bands)
  5. Simon_Horn

    Simon_Horn Member

    Yes, this is correct I feel. But if you go under a registered name of a band you compete against the bands in the graded section of the band AND as the best band overall in each village.
  6. michellegarbutt

    michellegarbutt Supporting Member

    1 The area is the only one that counts for promotion. The band placed 1st is given 1 point, band placed 2nd is given 2 points ect. Your marks over 3 years are added up highest gets promotion, lowest gets demotion. If you are competeing for the 1st time, have been promoted or demoted you are given average marks for the previous 2 years

    2 You have to go out and look for contests. Your local association normally has details of a few contests, some are advertised in the british bandsman and people on here are always willing to give advice. I would advise you to contact other local band secretaries who will probably be more than willing to give you contest details. Once it's known that you are interested in contesting some contest organisers will automatically start sending you details

    3 Some local associations have their own gradings and their own contests. So you can be in one section at a contest run by the local association and a different section for contests run to nation rules

    4 It depends which contests you want to do. A lot of entertainment and march contests have sections for unregistered bands in which case you don't need to register but if you want to do contests such as the areas, Butlins, Pontins and most local contests you do need to register.

    5 No as a rule players can only play for one band unless their 2nd band is a youth band or an unregistered band. This is usually taken on trust that these 2nd bands will only play players who are genuine members of their band. If you try to use this rule to sneak in championship players just for the day ect. and another band complains you may end up finding yourself disqualified from the contest.
  7. Owen S

    Owen S Member

    For national registration contests, only one - the area qualifiers. These are held in February or March. If you're talking about a Hampshire-based band, this means the West of England area, currently in Torquay. If you're talking about a Sussex-based band, this means the London and Southern Counties area, which this year took place in Stevenage, but there are rumours we may be returning to Basildon next year, which is a better venue.

    Your two local associations are SCABA and The Wessex BBA. SCABA run contests in Ringmer, near Lewes (February - quartets and ensembles), Hove (April - own choice test piece), Crawley (May - entertainments) and Folkestone (October - own choice test piece), and they definitely run good contests. Wessex run a contest in Poole in December, but I don't know much about that. SCABA run their own gradings that are completely separate from the national registry used for the area qualifiers. As far as I can tell, SCABA promotion and relegation is dependent on the decision of the committee members, occasionally influenced by complaints from other competing bands. A slightly strange system, but it generally works OK.
    I think I've listed many of those in the southeast above. Off the top of my head, there are also contests in Milton Keynes and Aylesbury, both of which were cancelled this year, the latter seemingly permanently.
    As BBCBari says, these are completely separate registrations. In addition, SCABA has 4 sections, whereas the national registry has 5.
    If you compete at a contest that uses national registration of players, then yes. You don't have to for SCABA contests, but you can use national registration instead of SCABA registration there if you wish.
    Only if depping for one of them. I don't know what happens if you are registered for one band under SCABA registration and for another under national registration.

    Hope that helps. :)

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