MD's relationship with your band?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by hellraiser, Aug 13, 2004.

  1. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    I've found that this varies quite a bit. In some bands the MD will go down the pub with the band and attend the social events. Elsewhere the MD only mingles with the band during rehearsal/contests/concerts i.e. a professional/musical relationship only.

    Also, it seems many bands go for a resident conductor then get someone else in for a week or two for the big contests. Sometimes the resident conductor doesn't get to do any concerts either. Other bands have one guy conducting it at every occasion. Others get a different MD for each contest, which can sometimes be due to availability.

    There are pros and cons to each approach. What are your preferences?
  2. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    we have a "goes down the pub with the rest of the band and does a ridiculous amount of running about for an MD" sort of guy!

    For a band in our position I don't think we could have wished for a better MD (although he could buy a few more rounds, not wear shorts and stop reading the John Prescott book of tact!) :wink:

    Seriously, the range of different styles of music he has us attempt to play is good, he's improving our playing standard all the time and generally the feeling in the band is good.
    As in any band you look in our MD doesn't please everybody all the time but that's an impossibility anyway, so I think the job he does for us is excellent. Good man Ploughboy!!

    (I'll assume the cash is in the post eh?) :wink:
  3. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member


    Everything 2md said and in spades for our MD. The main difference seems to be that Neil uses the Saddam Hussein edition of "How to win an argument..." and his stock of jokes is infinitely limited.

    But - he's brought us from the 4th section to the 1st in a relatively short period of time. He can motivate a stick and despite his foibles he can get an audience in the palm of his hand in seconds.

    Neil often organises our social events. He even managed to get me :shock: to walk :shock: :shock: up Snowdon :shock: :shock: :shock: (This is the guy who thinks exercise is getting both eyes open in the morning :roll: )

    I'm just totally gutted that he's retiring this year. :cry: :cry: :cry:

    I hope we get someone who's as good.

    Along with our Solo Baritone player (The Lovely Susan), Neil was responsible for starting the band in the first place. He's not so much an MD as an institution. I know everyone in the band doesn't agree with me, but it'd be very odd if they did.

    We get guest conductors and trainers to help out with test pieces, but Neil usually conducts concerts and contests - except during this last couple of years when he has been ill.
  4. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

  5. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    I'm not sure a could have an aloof relationship with my band, turning up for gigs etc etc, I'm a sociable kinda guy and to help everyone out in the band and be around, it's part of who I am.

    Thanks 2MD for the glowing report.
  6. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    I tryto be a bandsman first, and MD only for 2 hours (well, technically and hour and 40) on a Monday night. I am only doing what I do because the band needed it, and while I love it, I still see myself as the ever faithful bass player.....
  7. cornetcheese

    cornetcheese Member

    I always try to maintain some manner of proffessional distance from any group I conduct, yet with brass bands this can be tricky due to thesocial nature of the institution! Yet I think it`s very dangerous for a band and MD to get a relationship that is too closely intermingled - The MD is a paid employee of the band and should therefore try to keep a slight distance. Familiarity breeds contempt as they say!
  8. BIG Paul

    BIG Paul Member

    our M.D. what can I say? he has been with us now for about 5 years. He is definately a member of the band as well as a paid employee (although most of the time I think that comes second) He is always the first in the bar after rehearsal (sometimes even before rehearsal) and usually stays till everyone else leaves. We have a young band and Kev is like a second dad to most of them. He does have his moments as we all do, but without him we would not be the band we are today. I have never come across this relationship between an MD and a band anywhere else. Kev is definately one of us and one of a kind. :D :oops:
  9. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    In some ways it can be a lot easier with an MD who comes from outside the band, rather than someone who's already a member. When dad was asked to take on Coventry Festival Band (now Jaguar Coventry) there were one or two who never seemed to give him their full support, and then when the band felt it was time for a change I'm sure that decision was much harder to take than it would have been without the existing ties. Fortunately any awkwardness was only temporary and he remained at least an occasional player with them for a long time afterwards.

    Not having had experience with non-SA bands for a long time, I feel that there should always we respect for the position of MD or bandmaster, but that should not in itself be allowed to put up unnecessary barriers between player and conductor. Whilst on the rostrum, the conductor is always right, but you should stilll be able to socialise freely once practice is over.
  10. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    I like that distance between MD and band and sometimes I think it's good to have an outsider come in and be blunt as an MD that's too familiar can too easily fall into the trap of being lenient on certain people to make life easy for himself for self survival purposes when that's bad for the band in the long run.

    It's interesting how the reasons people describe an MD as good or bad is often related to how much they get away with in rehearsals :lol:

    The resident and MD situation has its flaws. A resident can rehearse the band on a piece then the MD can arrive a week before and completely change the tempos and everything. I'd imagine residents get frustrated doing all the note bashing donkey work only to let someone else come in and do the more enjoyable tasks.
  11. backrowbloke

    backrowbloke Member

    interesting thread.... When I used to play in the top section i used to think that the resident and professional approach was best. Since coming back into banding I have now changed my views.

    Our MD (the esteemed Bottyburp) has been a vry good friend for more years than I care to remember - he is also married to the solo tromobone.
    However, when he is conducting he is defiantely not lenient and we certainly cannot get away with anything.

    He is always in the pub afer rehearsals and after a gig. He sees this as an important part of his job - but pulling the band together as a team socially as well as musically.
  12. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    I think it helps to be schizophrenic when you are an MD. You have to be a tyrranical despot on the stand :D (JOKE) And a member of the band off the stand.

    I often have a similar problem between school and band. There are a number of pupils (or were until they went to college/uni) in the band, who insisted on calling me Sir or Mr Lyons in band, even though I frequently tried to point out that I am a completely different person in band than in school. In the end I had to accept that they would always call me sir, they still do even now when they've been left for a few years. It's nice in a way, but it is also a bit irritating. :roll:
  13. eric

    eric Member

    I find that some M.D's get too close to the band and this inturn makes some decisions very difficult to administer. If a player needs moving from a certain chair it is easier to do this if the M.D. isn't close to the band. Sometimes a player doesn't get asked to move because they are friendly with the M.D, even if they need to be.
  14. jimothy

    jimothy Member

    I didn't relize you shared an Md with us. Especially the JOhn prescott book of tact!
  15. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    I still think I prefer an MD who is part of the band, rather than some aloof and distant visitor who only ever turns up for rehearsals and jobs and doesn't share the life of the band.

    It's all very well if you're a champ section band for whom banding is more in the nature of a career, but one of the strengths of Old Hall has always been that everybody feels part of the family. In that respect, at least, this is one of the best bands I've ever been in.
  16. lilcornetgirl

    lilcornetgirl Member

    I have to agree there paul. (couldnt put it better) Kev is one of a kind. :D
  17. Power Tooba

    Power Tooba Member

    I think this is definately right. In bands i've played for in the past i've seen really good quality potential players leave because the MD has been to afraid of moving someone distinctly not as good down from a higher seat. Familiarity does indeed breet contempt.

    That said i also think it's really important for a conductor to socially interact with the band perhaps to learn more about individuals and therefore how better to treat tricky situations.

    I don't really think there is a definate one side or the other in this argument, it's more down to the quality of the individual as a person, rather than whether he's a social player or not

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