Money or love ?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by brushes, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. brushes

    brushes New Member

    Do conductors take bands purely for the money or would they still continue if the pot was empty. I feel that bands have gone away from the traditional "out of pocket " expenses to full blown fees. I'm sure the Inland Revenue and Benifit's Agency would take a very dim view of some of the large CASH payments that some M.D.'s recieve. Obviously the "big boys" need to have Professional M.D.'s to try to maintain there advantage, but i feel the lower sections are having to pay more and more for non-pro conductors. Is this a general thing or is my band the "unlucky" one ?
  2. tex b

    tex b New Member

    In this day and age it is difficult to find anyone who will do anything for nothing. Social pressures ensure that financial recompence is expected.
    Unless you find a wealthy and bored conductor or one that isn't any good, i think that you will have to pay for their services.
  3. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    I've always been surprised how LITTLE conductors seem to get paid by their bands - but maybe thats just a Southern thing.
  4. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    The band is supposed to pay me $30 a rehearsal. However, if I decide we need an extra rehearsal, I refuse to charge the band for it. If I wasn't a student, I doubt I'd claim any payment, or keep donating part payments of it BACK to the band.
  5. ...Got to agree with that. Most Australian band conductors get paid nothing or next to nothing (even in the top grades). It all about die-hard love for brass bands. $30 bucks would be what 11 - 12 pounds??
  6. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    $30 where $1AU is 67cents in Euros.....
    $20.01 Euros........

  7. Tuba Miriam

    Tuba Miriam Member

    Don't worry, it's widely known that Australia has awful beer!! One has to accept what's on offer, I suppose; here in the UK we can only sympathize!
  8. The war is ON!

    gggrrr warm beer gggrrrrr
  9. lilcornetgirl

    lilcornetgirl Member

    Erm were a self supporting band so we get our own money through concerts i am quite sure actually no doubt that our conducter would stay if there was no money in the pot. I have known conducters to do it though (tut tut to them)
  10. Kari Anson

    Kari Anson Member

    I think service is the key word here. Conductors do provide a service and in todays society there aren't many services that you get for free! If you want an overdraft service - you pay the necessary charges. If you want your car serviced - you pay the mechanic. If you want a massage - you pay for their services! :D

    However I am very firmly of the opinion that there are a minority of conductors who do it simply for the money and if there's no passion or love to accpmpany that, then the band is unlikely to succeed and develop - as a result of which they'd probably get the sack anyway.
  11. I think you need to define non-pro here. As my father regularly asks me " are you paid because you're professional or professional because you're paid?". I feel that having studied my craft both at , before and after university (qualifying with conducting as a performance specialism) and done plenty of unpaid work along the way, the time has come for me to say from now on I feel that my skills are worth something financially. If the band who require my services feel that they are in a position to pay me for them, and that my skills are such that they merit payment, then why am I some kind of gold digging ogre to accept. Both band and conductor enter into a contract. The band knows they have to pay the individual and the conductor knows how much the band expect to pay. I also think that this gives the band a bit more control (perhaps not the correct word here) over the MD. I have played with bands where the MD has been as irrecgular an attender as other members due to work committments etc. As a paid employee, I think the band has more of a right to insist that the MD puts the band rehearsal/concert first whenever possible (I think I may have just landed myself in a big steaming pit there!). If someone wishes to work with a band for free then good luck to them but I don't think they should cast aspersions on someone who takes money for services. Incidentally, someone mentioned the fact that they were surprised at how little MDs are paid. As a member of the MU, but not a full time musician, I feel obliged to work for as close to union rates as I can but I emphasise that i would not demand such an exorbitant fee that the band either doesn't pay and I don't work or that they put themselves in some kind of financial straits in order to pay me.

    Rant over. I'm off to count my money!! :wink:
  12. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    As they would with any other cash in hand that key players may get!
    Personally, I do declare all payments made to me by my band - it's a great way to mitigate my other musical income by the time you've taken out the expenses you incur (travel to practices, purchase & regular cleaning of DJ, scores we purchase etc )
  13. brushes

    brushes New Member

    I have no problem with "legit" conductors / players recieving payment for their services, but just felt that £35-£55 CASH per practice was getting out of control. Trying to keep generating enough cash to pay this sort of fee is very difficult , especially when band members who travel long distance recieve no assistance.
  14. Mr nice guy

    Mr nice guy New Member

    money or love

    People say that banding is a hobby, which is true. We do it for the love of playing music and a good old skin full of beer after practice. Musical directors should be no different; we all have to use our cars to get to practice, concerts, and contests.
  15. eckyboy

    eckyboy Member

    To most of us its a hobby but to some conductors its a livelihood,agree though that some bands pay way above their level to get a conductor.I know some lower section bands pay £350 per month which I find a wee bit silly.
  16. A J Foad

    A J Foad Member

    Why do people seem to be so shocked that a musician (including a conductor) should be paid for their skills and expertise? If I want an electrician to put a few extra sockets in my kitchen - I pay one. I happily accept that he is going to charge me whatever the going rate is. As a professional musician, if someone wants to engage me for my services I charge them the going rate. Does that make me some kind of money grabbing mercenary...?

    Why does a band engage a conductor? To join in the fun and jolity of a band night? No - generally, whatever section the band is in, they engage a conductor to assist the band in their preparations for a contest or concert - to place their experience and musicality on the performance and hopefully win some contests for the band! As a band, surely you hire a conductor because you want a job done - in exactly the same way that you would hire a builder to build an extension on your house.
  17. drums4monty

    drums4monty Member

    I know we are talking of MD's here but as a player I regularly play with other bands (including top flight) who ask for my help. I class myself as an ex-professional musician who was paid for being a full time musician. I am qualified in all aspects of banding, including conducting. I have as yet, never taken any payment. This is my personnel choice and if my band hires a 'pro conductor' or other player and they want paying, great, that’s up to them. I personally do it for the love of music.

    I must admit though that any conductor we have hired has improved the band no end.
  18. yorkie19

    yorkie19 Active Member

    Carlton Cold!
  19. Which bands and do they have a vacancy!! Music is more than a hobby to me but not quite a livelihood - not for the want of trying - so I think the rate I charge the band reflects this.
  20. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    That's alll well and done until your expensive conductor leaves, and there are no replacements equally as qualified. Also, Bands don't contest all year around. They have other performances too. Are you going to say that the conducto should get paid as much for taking a rehearsal as the band gets for a professional performance?

    I agree a little compensation to cover expenses is the best and fairest approach. Otherwise I'd be 23, still working on my degree and charing $70 an hour. Including all the time I spend on the phone organising performances, workshops, buying music, selecting music for performances, attending the meetings and so forth. Brass banding is a passion not a job.

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