Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Heppy, Jan 4, 2006.
How many Brass Bands are there registered in the UK?
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I think it is somewhere in the region of 3500 - I've no idea where I've got that number from though! I may have made it up
There are only about 400-500 that compete in the Areas
Registered? With whom? The BFBB may have a registry of bands who compete in the national championships, but that is not what you are asking.
The answer to your question is that nobody knows how many bands there are in the UK, and what is more, nobody ever has known. Incredible, isn't it, that an activity with more than a century and a half of history, and an active membership who blithely natter on about a 'movement', has never bothered to organise itself nationally.
Why you being such a BOC Smed?! x
I did mean registered with BFBB. Sorry for upsetting you.
Yeah I know!
Why do your own essays for uni when you can get tMp'ers to do them for you!
No need to apologise. I like riding my numerous hobby horses. You will find the answer you seek here:
Ahh! Good trick! I asked the odd question on here in my day! x
You make yourself sound like an old lady What was the odd question you asked though?
This is yet another example of how the brass band movement is being let down by their organising bodies. Surely information such as how many registered bands there are or the current state of play in the area grading tables should be common knowledge. There should be web sites and publications with such information on it.
Organisations like the FA (Football Association) are updating their league tables daily and there are probably more than 20 registered footbal teams for every brass band.
Why the handful of area committees can't get their act together and publicise one table for 5 leagues once a year is beyond me.
Just a thought - the tMP areas competition has been running a couple of years now. After this years Areas, (if you still hold the past results), the three sets of results could be used to compile a national table. I know its not really tMPs responsibility and would involve much effort by our friendly programming Guru Mod. But I am sure it would be greatly appreciated by all tMP members.
I could be an old lady, I might just look young! I'm 23 this year!!! I wrote an essay on women in banding, it was a beauty! x
It strikes me that what is needed here is a completely new approach, so that a national body is seen to offer so many benefits to its member bands - and not only as regards contests - that all bands have an incentive to belong, and for their membership to be active. We seem to have a something of a vicious cirle at the moment, whereby bands seem reluctant to spend out on subs etc as they are unclear as to how it will benefit them, whilst the association is hamstrung by both a lack of funds and also clear indications of what the member bands requirements are.
I definitely agree that it is important that someone, somewhere, gathers together some accurate figures as to the number of bands - contesting and non-contesting - and also bandsmen/bandswomen. Without the information to hand, it makes it difficult to lobby possible funding and supportive agencies - and broadcasters - and to show the lvel of interest there is out there.
Peter makes a good point and to extend the original question from just "registered" bands how many additional non-register bands exist?
Quote from the BBBR site "There are 507 bands registered in England but only 424 in this years regionals, why?"
They indicate that they are concerned to note why 83 bands didn't take part in the 2005 areas and suggest that in order to reverse a decline in the number of bands they concur with Peter's point -
Quote - "It is therefore vital that we create a united movement and develop a coherent national strategy, working in partnership through national campaigns and lobbying in order to reverse the apparent decline".
They then go on to consider the fate of some bands
Quote - "It has become apparent to the BBBR that a number of the band demises have in fact been self-inflicted. It is a fact that at least two bands this year look likely to fold early. The reason? Both bands for different reasons did not enter their respective regional contest. Shortly after their decision, players eager to pursue their hobby transferred registrations to other bands in order to participate in the contest."
In conculsion they then propose some changes to contesting and regulation rules in an attempt to stem the decline however they only see the solution as being related to contesting - these rule changes won't be of any interest to non-competing bands.
Quote - " These changes together would help to create an atmosphere of comradeship and encourage healthy competition, replacing the conflicts that surround us at present.
The retrogressionists will not agree, but the choice is stark, we either adapt to the new climate or continue the course of defeatism"
Whilst I appreciate the BBBR is the body that deals with the registration of bands - it is owned by the BFBB and their aims are stated as
"The BFBB aims to maintain, improve, represent and promote the practice and performance of brass band music in the UK. The BFBB is constantly working on behalf of member bands to meet these objectives"
So just another question - how many bands are members of the BFBB but not part of the Registry? or to make my point are the 507 bands that are members of the registry also the only members of BFBB?
What about all the training and junior bands as well - how many more of these are there?
Does anyone have a copy of the BFBB Directory of British Brass Bands and does this list any non-competing bands? The membership page suggests they have 550 bands which if correct would suggest there are actually 43 non contesting member bands.
I know for a fact that Killamarsh are not a member of the BFBB - but if is I suspect they are only really interested in "contesting" bands what would be the benefit to a non-contesting band of joining?
This still doesn't answer the question "How many bands are registered in the UK" the link quite clearly states England....what about the Scottish and Welsh entrants or are they included in that number? It really is amazing, as James Yelland states, that no record has been kept of an organisation which has been active for a century and a half.
Yes, a fair point, and the answer is 'I don't know'. You would think, wouldn't you, that the BRITISH Federation would encompass bands in Scotland and Wales, as well as England - but things never seem to be so simple in the brass band world. I vaguely recall, last year, the BFBB reduced to following the lead of one of Britain's constituent parts, when the Scottish Association announced details of Brass Band Week (?? I think). And of course, the British body is promoting the English, not British, Championships later this year. All very confusing. Perhaps someone needs to sit down and work out exactly what's what.
So are there also separate registries for Wales and Scotland?
Hopefully this link may help for Scotland!!
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