L&SC Entries

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by stevetrom, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. owain_s

    owain_s Member

    I do wonder which of the more obnoxious and omnipresent commenters have ever had to deal with getting a full band on stage for a contest....
  2. Euphonium Lite

    Euphonium Lite Active Member

    Possibly rather insulting to many of the LSC top section bands. Whilst at the very top level LSC is perhaps weaker than some of the other regions, to put it on a par with 2nd Section elsewhere is probably not totally accurate. On the other hand, never having played the Torchbearers, whether its within the reach of many 2nd Sec players (if that is your suggestion) is a valid question. Its certainly no St Magnus

    Owain - I have, and yes its difficult - or can be. Filling the band isnt usually the problem. Its filling the band with players capable of playing the piece, and can make the majority of rehearsals that can create problems.....especially the higher up you go. I live in East Anglia as well and bands are fairly thinly spread - even at the NC end. Trying to get players that are capable of playing in S2 and above isnt easy - especially when some of those players dont want the hassle of two or 3 rehearsals a week. Most of our catchment area is sea - and unti someone finds a way of teaching Mackeral how to play front row cornet, many bands in this area will struggle unfortunately
  3. Red Elvis

    Red Elvis Active Member

    Cheers for the comments on the Clacton situation. I must make it clear that I'm not speaking in any way , shape or form as an "official" representative of the band - just giving an insight based on how I saw it and based on speaking to the committee members.

    Re getting deps in - I suspect that had it just been a case of 2, 3 or 4 we'd have done so but we were if memory serves looking at double figures . Up until just after Xmas 2013 the band had been virtually full - couple of vacancies here and there and like most bands members came and went as domestic and professional circumstances changed. Indeed , the band had not long bagged a creditable 4th place at the Leicester contest that previous November.

    Unfortunately , due again to job moves and relocations (to Bulgaria in one case!) the band lost virtually the entire front row about 6 weeks before the area. This , together with a couple of vacancies on bass and percussion (where again , a long-standing and committed member of the band had to move for work), plus another key player being laid off for a spell due to hospital admissions / illness led to a "perfect storm" scenario pretty quickly that led to that year's withdrawal.

    I would imagine that it was a difficult call for the committee to make , and again have some sympathy with the view expressed above that its better to compete , even with a bunch of deps than not to at all but experience would suggest that such a high number of deps , no matter how good , would not have led to a great result in that short space of time. Undoubtedly it is subsequently difficult to attract players to a band that is in hiatus so to speak though.

    Also , I hope my comments about deps in the original post were not seen as a comment on the likes of Desford - they are a completely different set up , and do what they do very well. I personally have no problem at all with bands that come together primarily to contest as the ones that do so are open about that , and at the end of day are still subject to the same registration rules as the rest of us and have to get the bums on seats as well !

    Regarding numbers of players - for an area with such a concentrated poulation there are relatively few bands (I'll leave it to a good statistician like Dave to see how this compares with either the wider L&SC area or indeed other areas of the UK). There are a few well-established lower section bands in the area and indeed there has always been a level of two way trafiic between them and the 1st / champ section bands but not in huge numbers as far as my experience goes. On top of these , there are also a number of non-contesting bands but in my experience again a lot of the members of these combinations have very little interest in contesting (and there are days when I see their point !! :) ).

    I'll take Hobgoblin's last comment in the spirit that it was hopefully meant - yes , 2nd section players(or indeed any others) that want to work and put the commitment in would of course have been welcome if they had expressed an interest but again , in my experience in this particular region a promotion to the Champ section can actually scare off as many players as you'd hope it would attract.
  4. hobgoblin

    hobgoblin Member

    Just to clarify Mr Elvis - my comments about Desford were not aimed at all at Clacton (or Desford), but rather at Mr fixer in reference to his beef about ringers, and by point that it's difficult to define a regular member vs dep. Perhaps that argument should be confined to the NW area thread where it started? My comments re second section players being up to it were qualified I believe by the fact that I said 'experienced second section players' - meaning of course the better ones, which I think is fair. I'd actually not considered the demands of the piece, but rather the section as a whole.
  5. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Loads of good players hang around in lower section bands. There's nothing magic about the skills required to play in the championship section - I'd take a technically somewhat limited but keen and focussed player over a whizzkid with a bad attitude any day of the week. No-one's a "championship section player" until they've played in the championship section - we all come from somewhere else.
  6. Red Elvis

    Red Elvis Active Member

    Cheers Hobgoblin.
  7. Red Elvis

    Red Elvis Active Member

    Hammer / Nail / Head interface spot on there MoominDave.
    It's probably another debate entirely but perhaps higher section bands have been complacent for too long about just relying on players percolating their way up the ranks and not done enough to grow new players themselves .
    In my own local area I know of two non-contesting bands with a youth / training set up , plus a 2nd section band that have had a thriving academy set up for some years now. I know of a number of good players from these organisations that now play at a high level both locally and further afield.

    Outside of bands themselves putting the efort in with the kids these days I can't see how else we are going to keep fresh blood coming in. Successive governments of both stripes have stripped peri / local authority provision away from the schools . The SA was the route through which I learned to play but again they are not having the numbers through they once did which would have fed into adult participation in adult contest or SA banding (or both). When I was a Young People's Bandleader in the mid - late 90's I had a band of 20-25 7 to 15 year olds. Doing a rough count now , 4 of those (including myself) are still playing and only 2 within the SA.

    Again , a whole different topic though.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
  8. tallyman

    tallyman Member

    I should imagine most of them sweetheart.
  9. Euphonium Lite

    Euphonium Lite Active Member

    Thankyou for clarifying HG - thats always the danger with NonVerbal communication - the meaning behind the words can get lost

    As usual, Moomin's comment hits the nail on the head - you're not a "Championship player" until you've played in that section, but a lot of players fall outside that category but could do a good (or even excellent) job at that level. Its a shame some bands dont always think of that..... take each player on their merits, and you may find a real gem. We lost an excellent percussionist for our area due to a double booking - we've got a new percussionist from a nearby junior band come in and with a bit of help she's doing an amazing job (we're in section 4....)

    RedElvis - appreciate your point and the only way bands will increase membership is to do it themselves. We cant rely on schools any more and a lot of SA bands have suffered too....the local band to me closed for a while though it has started up again with a few services
  10. hobgoblin

    hobgoblin Member

    No worries - just in case anyone else gets upset, I should also make it clear that I don't expect the 2nd section bands in your area to put out the welcome mat if you wanted to pinch their best blowers!
  11. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Pinch? That along with poach is a rather outdated and unPC term. I think the term we use to describe such circumstances these days is to say that a player is 'percolating upwards through the ranks'
  12. hobgoblin

    hobgoblin Member

    I honestly don't think I've ever heard that. Surely percolating would be a downwards action? I only have my coffee maker for reference.
  13. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    I thought that myself and wikipedia says percolating is filtering downwards, but no in a brass band context, players can percolate upwards.
  14. hobgoblin

    hobgoblin Member

    So you mean you are wrong then? i.e. you made the phrase up, and it is incorrect, or wrong.
  15. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    I didn't make the phrase up myself, I am unsure of its origins, however I have seen it used elsewhere, for example on post #27 on this very thread.
  16. owain_s

    owain_s Member

    'Percolate' is direction-agnostic, unless you're specifically talking about coffee.

    Meh. One of our younger players just departed our second-section band for a significantly more prestigious seat elsewhere. We don't see it as poaching, we're happy for him and wish him all the best.
  17. Red Elvis

    Red Elvis Active Member

    Ok lads - fair play , "percolate" may have been the wrong term from a strictly etomylogical perspective . Play nicely.
  18. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    I for one like it.
  19. Surely the growth in 4 th section bands can't be ignored just to paint a doom and gloom picture? Overall, this is more good than bad.
  20. Mr N N Fixer

    Mr N N Fixer Member

    You are right about Desford's approach, I understand that that's how they work these days. However, they don't just buy in players for a contest so they're not deps and ringers. It's just my opinion not sour grapes. I don't like bands who 'buy in' lots of players just so that they can go to a contest., hopefully walk off with a cup, maintain their status, then sink back to the usual 16 players who will probably, as others have already pointed out, start to drift away or question why they are not being paid. I do however, applaud the number of music students who grace the ranks of the brass band world, and I have no argument with paying them expenses. I know what student finances are like from personal experience.

    Bye bye for now,
    Mr Fixer.

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