Midlands MD merry-go-round

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by stevetrom, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    Since the Midlands Area at least 3 bands are now looking for MDs


    Any more?
  2. mikey.smithy

    mikey.smithy Member

    I wonder if one of those ex MD's might end up as the new MD at one of those bands.
  3. TrumpetTom

    TrumpetTom Member

    Shame it's not Scotland...
  4. marksmith

    marksmith Active Member

    I am sure that each has it's own story to tell.
    It is not unusual for bands to 're-group' following the Area contests, it seems a natural time for planning the next 12 months, particularly if your section status changes as a result.
    I am a firm believer that taking two bands to the same section, at the same contest, is a mistake, as one or the other seems to suffer as a consequence.
    This has been shown with Enderby, as it was (in reverse) for Gresley last year. It is almost impossible to distribute time/effort equally, to justify both results.
    This is not meant as a personal comment towards their M.D, purely an observation from the last few Midlands Areas and my own personal experiences.
    I am sure that all bands concerned will benefit from these early changes, though I doubt that we have seen the last of changes in the Midlands area.
    Just out of interest, from my own observations of the Midlands second section, female M.Ds are the way forward.
  5. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    As opposed to taking two bands from different sections to different contests?
  6. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    The original post was not an unreasonable statement, to make a distinction from taking two bands in the same section but in different areas.
  7. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Peter if that statement is not unreasonable, then offer a reason for why a band would suffer from a conductor taking two bands?
  8. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I think sometimes the logistics of fitting in rehearsals during the run up to a constest, not to mention on the day itself, can cause problems, not to mention the possibility that a conductor may be felt to be favouring one band over the other.
  9. Pauli Walnuts

    Pauli Walnuts Moderator Staff Member

    I'm going to have to disagree with you there Peter - I don't know of any conductor who would take on 2 bands and then show any favouritism - as a conductor myself, I would do the best job possible with both bands. And have on many occasions been MD with one band and played with another without any influence on my performance for either.
    Any professional musician will do the best job they can whenever they are engaged to do a job.
  10. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    I agree with Pauli, although it is fairly uncommon for a conductor to take a 2 bands in the same section, I think it unlikely that favouritism be shown, at least by someone who values themselves. It is worth mentioning that in some contests, players play for 2 bands. Do they show favouritism? Unlikely or they wouldn't be asked in this first place.
    The logistics must be be tricky, as with rehearsals, but I would still maintain that in that respect, it would be easier to take two bands in the same section playing the same music than different sections and different music.
    Furthermore and really at the "elite" section only, a conductor will take the band so far and then drop out for the 'pro' md to finish up. They will then concentrate on another band often with great success.
    I think it is rare, for a conductor to take two bands in the same section, it would be interesting if any of our resident authorities on these matters could provide some stats. Has there ever for example been a 1,2 result with the same conductor?
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  11. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Here's the most extreme example that sprang to mind quickly: 1906 Nationals, William Rimmer conducted each of the top 4, as well as 6th place and also 3 others. Different era, different ways of doing things though. Note that in 1909, Rimmer conducted the top two at both Nationals and Open; not sure if that's ever been done again since?

    Several times in the early 2000s, Nigel Taken took both Aveley & Newham and City of Oxford to simultaneous top three placings at Stevenage, but never a one-two. It must have been done on a number of occasions, I would have thought...
  12. marksmith

    marksmith Active Member

    I think that the post responses sum-up the problem clearly'
    In no way was I intimating at favouritism, purely the fact that it may/could lead to suggestions of mixed loyalties.
    Any band wishing to share an M.D, with a same section band, in the same area, is free to do so but acknowledgement that it creates risks is essential.
    Logistically, it is a mare to commit to two bands, whether as a player/conductor or as a conductor to two bands.
    There is a limit to the number of evenings available to share, travelling to consider, and energy to be expended, all taking their own toll.
    Keeping a band motivated and focused is a challenge in itself with contest preparation; how on earth do you convince band A and band B that you are committed to them both winning the contest, when they are already having to adapt their rehearsal days and times to accommodate a competitor?
    Statistics can be found to justify any argument or statement, but they can never replace the 'what if?' element of human nature.
    What if their conductor was taking only one band, would the result have been different? What if we had our pre-contest run through earlier/later? What if we could have turned out better attendances on alternative nights? etc
    It is not a question of favouritism or any other personal factor, it is simply down to the fact that you will never dispel the doubts that commitment to more than one band in one contest section, on any one day, may have been an influencing factor to the detriment of one, or both of their final placings.
  13. ben16

    ben16 Member

    His achievements are simply unbelievable. I wonder how many times he was able to rehearse these bands given 1909 transport.
  14. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Not that many, I bet!
  15. owain_s

    owain_s Member

    I should think he could do two rehearsals in an evening - there were far more rail routes around that part of the country then!
  16. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    It is an absolutely extraordinary record, a total of 586 contest performances conducted with 85% in the top 6. Makes him the Don Bradman of brass band conductors in my mind. And to think he retired abruptly through ill health before he was 50 and went on to write pieces of music that are still in every bands library now. Quite remarkable. I don't suppose anyone on Tmp can remember him now, but it must have been quite a time to be involved in banding.
  17. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Maybe even more impressive than that - often when he conducted a band that didn't win, it lost out to another band also conducted by... William Rimmer.

    Some other 'Golden Age' MDs whose records bear comparison:
    Alex Owen
    John Gladney
    Edwin Swift

    NB There's no guarantee we aren't missing quite a few results for these conductors (the same also applies for more recent waggers) - newspaper reports of contests often omit full placings and conductor listings.
  18. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Just comparing with some modern masters of the contesting form... Some have similar percentages, but nowhere near the sheer numbers of bands conducted that their much earlier predecessors did:
    Bob Childs
    Nick Childs
    David King
  19. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    To my mind the relationship that Rimmer had with the multiple bands that he conducted at any one contest must have been very different from that between a conductor and band now. I suggest that others did all the hard work and preparation in getting the band 95% ready and as good as they could be for the contest and that Rimmer added the other 5% on the day and maybe at a rehearsal or two in the week or two before the contest. A lot would be down to how well the band responded on the day to the (specially brought in) 'super 'conductor'. Just a guess but I can't see how it would work any other way.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  20. tsawyer

    tsawyer Member

    How many of the bands were works bands that could rehearse during the working day?

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