Merging bands. Would it work?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by eflatbass, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. eflatbass

    eflatbass Supporting Member

    With so many bands finding it difficult to fill positions, what would be the practicalities of two bands from the same section, and within a few miles of each other, merging and changing to an agreed new name?

    Perhaps this has already been done, but I do not have the equivalent knowledge of many of those who post on this forum.
  2. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    It's happened a few times in Leicester. I suppose the problem is the chances of the two merging bands being a perfect fit, and all members ending up in a seat they are happy with, are pretty slim.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  3. Frontman

    Frontman Member

    May I suggest that you contact the Secretarys at both Farnworth & Walkden Band and Coppull & Standish Band for advice.

    Both Bands have recently gone through a merger and both are extremely successful.

    Farnworth and Walkden Band had a fine reult at the recent Lower Section Finals in Harrogate with a fabulous 3rd place.

    Coppull and Standish Band are very strong contenders for the 4th Section Area Contest in 2011.
  4. Ali

    Ali Member

    It's happened before and no doubt will happen again. Oldham band was a merger of cobden and Chadwick band who merged with lees band (I'm sure I will be corrected if I'm wrong) as is milnrow who were milnrow and United co-op Rochdale bands respectively.
  5. euph77

    euph77 Member

    Bristol East and Bendix Kingswood merged a few years ago to form Bristol East and Kingswood (BEaK) and are doing very well in the 2nd section in the West of England.
  6. DMBabe

    DMBabe Supporting Member

    My band did it way back in 1989 and we're still going.... success depends on whether people are willing to budge to accommodate other players. Last thing you need is two principal cornets warring with their egos! Admittedly from then there is only one person from each side left from the merger plus our treasurer but don't think that's bad going in 21 years. Some people who'd left before the merger came back too. Like most situations a lot can be made out of people being prepared to leave their egos at the door for the good of the band.
  7. eflatbass

    eflatbass Supporting Member

    There are already some interesting and encouraging replies.

    I wonder if there are any Salvation Army band members who believe that their band would benefit from a merger? I know of two SA bands, each fielding around 14 players, and situated within a few miles of each other, that could possibly work together. Each of these bands once sported 30 to 40 members.
  8. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    When I lived in Melbourne there were a few bands who had the choice between death or merging. Surprising how many chose death! I agree with the whole ego thing, I'd rather play with my 'enemy' than on my own.
  9. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    This is a situation I am kind of Familiar with, and its nearly always a disaster.

    As a member of Southwark Corps which was a merger of Borough and Kennington Lane, instead of 2 small corps becomming a medium sized corps - It ended upas one small corps. Its not just who sits where in the Band? but also who is the CSM/CT/CS etc etc.
  10. eflatbass

    eflatbass Supporting Member

    Hi Pete

    I can understand the underlying problems when two corps merge. it's notable that you mention the CSM, CT, and CS, but not the respective bandmasters! How well did the two bands come together?
  11. Chris Hicks

    Chris Hicks Member

    If you look at top section bands it's happened in the past, Aveley & Newham are an example of this, who would have merged in the early 90s, they seem to have not done too badly for themselves!
  12. Simes

    Simes Supporting Member

    I think all the replies in this thread show that it can work - but it's up to the people in the bands - and the MD's/Band leaders etc. Some good strong personalities at the front who are 100% for the new band can make a lot of difference - however, equally two dying bands merging can just lead to the merged band dying too, if the reasons for the first two bands failing isn't addressed.
  13. Yorkshire Co-op were an amalgamation of both Jayess (Queensbury) and Jayess '87 bands and merged in 1998/99 due to a lack of players on both sides - somebody may want to correct me on the dates (I can't remember, I was living in Greece back then!).
    I believe as a result, the new band did indeed become stronger, placing 3rd at the 1st section national finals and undertaking contests abroad, including Switzerland, Amboise and New Zealand, as well as a 4th place at the Grand Shield, and for a good 10 years were always hovering between championship/top first section status.

    Hope that helps....

    Andy, still bandless for th'areas....
  14. Further to my previous post, I think we were incredibly lucky to have such a talented and hard-working MD as John Roberts, a fantastic commitee and quality round the stands from both merging bands.

  15. euphsrock

    euphsrock Member

    Ocean Brass was 2 different bands just over ten years ago.
    Probably not a very helpful comment as I wasn't there at the time, but they've made it ten years....
  16. rosolino

    rosolino Member

    Didn't seem to hinder Tottenham & Enfield! ;)
  17. jim

    jim Member

    It can work and has done very successfully but my concern always is, it starts fine and you have a full band etc but what happens when players start leaving and you look for a replacement there will end up being less and less bands to get players from/to borrow and even to produce players there for shrinking the movement. Thoughts?
  18. eflatbass

    eflatbass Supporting Member

    Is this the one area that needs addressing by all bands, i.e. the necessity to attract new blood to the banding world? I know this subject has been discussed at some length in other threads, and I also accept that it is a major problem, but without incoming youngsters, our bands will surely suffer in the long term. Indeed, many are already suffering.
  19. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    A real success story of merged bands would be Aveley and Newham. I suppose Brighouse and Rastrick were once two bands - any idea when they merged?
  20. eflatbass

    eflatbass Supporting Member

    Direct from the Briggus web site:

    “The Brighouse and Rastrick Temperance Band, formed around 1881”

    So; it seems that they have always been Brighouse and Rastrick.

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