Music Festival for Non- Contesting Bands

Discussion in 'Bandroom News - User Submitted' started by David Francis, May 25, 2007.

  1. David Francis

    David Francis Member

    The band of the West Mercia Constabulary are considering organising a music festival or 'get together' for bands who no longer take part in contests. It is apparent that the number of such non-contesting bands is growing year on year, and it would appear that these bands, whilst performing in public concerts and varied engagements, tend to become more inward looking and seem to operate in an ever greater vacuum. As a community band, West Mercia are conscious of this growing move away from the mainstream of banding and have taken the first step to try to involve these bands in a day of playing together in a social setting where they can compare their concert programmes with other bands in a similar position. The Festival is not being set up to persuade bands to re-enter the contest world, but will be staged for the sole purpose of creating a vehicle for social and musical interaction between the ever-growing numbers of players of these seemingly isolated bands.
    If there is a positive response from the bands then we would look at staging the Festival sometime next year, fully aware that the normal diary constraints will not be as constricting as they normally would be. The event would be staged at Police headquarters, Hindlip Hall, Worcester and each band would play for about half an hour. There would be a recognised adjudicator who would comment on the playing of the programme in a constructive manner and if requested the adjudicator would give his assessment of the band's performance, but would not if it were not so required.
    It would help if anyone who knows the name of a non contesting band in their locale could inform us and, if a name or contact number could be acquired ,we would be grateful.The secretaries of non-competing bands are asked to make contact with us and to give us their feelings about the staging of such an event.
    If there is a big enough response then we will certainly go ahead and organise what we believe will be a very sociable event. There is a bar and the hall is acoustically very good for brass band concerts.
    Please contact Dai. Francis, secretary, Band of West Mercia Constabulary, at
  2. Forest Gump

    Forest Gump Member

    Great idea, good to see somebody thinking about the wellbeing off non-contesting bands, hope to see this get off the ground.
    well done.
  3. mell c

    mell c Member

    I think this is a brilliant idea and BSB as a band would definately be interested in taking part. Thanks for not forgetting us non contesting bands and i hope to look forward to a brilliant day out !
  4. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    I liked the idea until you mentioned an Adjudicator. I can see no reason for that.
  5. AudleyBrass

    AudleyBrass Member

    Our training band, Audley 96, may be interested in this, as they do perform concerts in their own right.
  6. GingerMaestro

    GingerMaestro Active Member

    As Dai said in his original article the event is not a contest and the purpose of the Adjudicator is to give constructive opinions on the bands performance not to judge them against the other bands playing. This has been done before in the forest of dean for non contesting bands and youth bands whereby the adjudicator listens to the 25 min programme and then takes to the stage with the band and gives them a personal opinion of what they have played in this event he or she even conduted the band on the points he or she had raised it worked well and the band seemed to apreciate the advice given.

    On the whole this is a event that give the often forgotten bands who don't contest get together with likeminded bands and hoefully build long term friendships amongst those involved.
  7. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Thanks, but my grasp of the English language is sufficient to understand the first post. What I don't understand is the requirement for an 'Adjudicator'. My Musical Director knows if we play a piece well or not and even selects music suitable for the Bands abilities. While I like the idea of several bands appearing at an event, I wouldn't bother with that side of it. Adjudicators offer just an opinion and theirs is worth no more than anyone else's.

    At the Masters on Sunday I could hear the 3 Adjudicators talking in the box while bands were STILL playing the piece! Hardly conducive to selecting a winning performance.
  8. David Francis

    David Francis Member

    Music Festival

    The idea was that if the band requested comments from the adjudicator then they would receive them, but only if they so requested. It has been suggested that bands should receive gold, Silver and Bronze awards.
    This idea for a Festival for non-contesting bands is in its early stages and all bands interested in participating will certainly have an input into how the event will be organised.
    I would hope to arrange a meeting for all interested parties later in the year if there is enough support, and judging by the initial response I think thatthe event will probably take place
    Dai Francis
  9. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Sorry Dai, it wasn't meant as a dig. :) However as soon as you mention awards etc. it's just a contest again.
  10. David Francis

    David Francis Member

    No problem. I understand where you are coming from, but I can assure you that the aim is to have a great day of music making at an event for brass band players organised by brass band players.
    hope to see you there.:p
  11. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    So, in effect, its a bit like the Ironbridge Gorge Festival we have running over here and has been a huge success over the past few years.

    But yours has an adjudicator and prizes

    AH! so probably more like the Wychaven contest?
    Last edited: May 29, 2007
  12. David Francis

    David Francis Member

    There would appear to be a problem about our staging a music festival for non - contesting bands. I do not understand why this should be the case. My aim is to create a scenario whereby non contesting bands can play and meet and talk with each other and have a good day of music making and social interaction. Why am I receiving such negative comments? Please do not compare what we are trying to do with the Ironbidge Festival. I have played at the Ironbridge music Festival and appreciate what they do, but they do not cater for just non-contesting bands. What is the problem with having an adjudicator that you can use , or not, as the mood takes you. This is not a contest it is a festival of brass playing.
    As far as prizes go where did you get the idea that prizes would be awarded? The only possible award, which has not even been discussed as yet, was suggested by a possible participant who expressed a desire that perhaps gold , silver and bronze certificates might be awarded to the participating bands.
    I get a strong feeling that we should not be suggesting that a music festival for non-contesting bands should take place. I think that that kind of reaction to our suggestion to create a vehicle for non-competing bands to be able to meet and have discourse is deplorable.
    At the end of the day we are all brass band players and we should all be concerned about the welfare of all brass bands, whether they are successful contesting bands or non-contesting bands who continue to fulfil concert engagements in order to survive.
    I must say that I am very dismayed by deprecating comments for this idea
    from players who appear to be quite happy in an environment which allows them to fulfil concert engagements and also contest situations.
    What is your problem with this idea of a music festival for non-contesting bands? Would you prefer that nothing was done to create an event that can be enjoyed by non - competing bands?
    Dai Francis
    Band of the West Mercia Constabulary
  13. Kiz7

    Kiz7 Member


    Its a great idea, but you know the old saying "you can't please all of the people all of the time!"

    it was tried in the Forest of Dean about 3 or 4 years ago and bands were allowed to use players (within "the spirit of banding") from other bands to assist them in being able to take part. It did go down well (despite the fact that the adjudicator FORGOT to turn up and myself and another conductor ending up delivering the adjudications) and the following year a number of the bands who took part at this event actually took part in the Gloucestershire Brass Band Association Entertainments contest unregistered section.

    Good luck with the venture Dai
  14. mell c

    mell c Member

    Well like I have said before i think this is an ideal opportunity for non contesting bands to get out there and meet other bands.
    I know I for one miss contesting, but do not wish to leave the current band I am in and with 2 young children do not have time at present to commit to another band, who do contest.
    I once again Dai say well done !
  15. on_castors

    on_castors Member

    Perhaps I may be missing some genetic material that almost everyone else has, but I do not have ANY desire to be judged by anyone else, in any aspect of my life and fail to see why the vast majority of people do. I generally know if someone is better tor worse at doing something than me, or if not, I usually don't really care. There is enough judgment we are forced into - the education system & work being the most important, if leisure time is made into a competition, it is no longer leisure to me.

    I play with two bands: one contests, one doesn't. I tolerate a low level of contesting with my contesting band, which is more than enough already as it takes several weeks of my year out of the "leisure" category I normally consider music to be. It seems the only way to keep most bands together, possibly for historic reasons - perhaps that expectation of competition is so traditionally ingrained that any interaction between bands MUST include the obligatory grading?

    Without the adjudicator, it sounds a good idea.

    With the judging it is a contest :-(
  16. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    being as you have quoted my reply i take it these points are aimed in my direction, so i will answer if i may.

    Who said there was a problem about staging the event, i certainly didn't!:eek:
    I definitely didn't post anything negative as i understand my post, just pointed out the similarities between your proposed contest (oops sorry) Festival and a number of other events in the locale. As for the Ironbridge festival the idea is to get together bands of all standards so that experience can be gained from "non competing" bands. (And yes we do have a number appearing this year and have had in previous years)

    you in a previous post
    This post alone makes it look as if it is a contest, with the words adjudicator and awards!!!it doesn't say you suggested it, but it has been suggested and brought out into the open on a public forum!!

    Again i have not been suggested once that the idea is bad, in fact my first thought was to bring our youth band but as we intend to enter a "contesting festival" in Chester next year against bands such as Audley 96 i guess that would make us ineligible?

    so why exclude competing bands? surely if it is a festival it would be a good idea for all types of bands to get together?

    do non contesting bands not get out and about then???

    There has been, and will always be events were non contesting bands get out and about.these include a number of "festivals" about the country were non contesting bands and youth bands can get out and about, enjoy meeting up with other bands, but have the added thrill of being adjudicated and prizes awarded but with out all the "pressure" of a registering players etc.
    i have already mentioned one, and can also include festivals in Oswestry, Hereford etc
    My point was that from a few of your posts you seem to be leading in two different directions
    one to hold a festival for non competing bands, and the other to award "awards" and have an adjudicator.

    For the record, i think i Completely non competing festival is a grand idea, i hope you get it off the ground But in my opinion as soon as you mention adjudicator it becomes something a little more.

    Good luck with your endeavour.
    Craig Foskett
    Soprano cornet Wem Jubilee Band (3rd section Midlands champions 2007)
    Conductor Wem Jubilee Youth Band (champions of the future!)

    And just for the record my longest post ever on this fabulous forum ( I thank you:biggrin:)
  17. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    Should this be youth band?
  18. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    Darn it!! there had to be at leats one error or it wouldn't be a post by me!!!:redface:

  19. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    Hehe but it was a good post aside, good enough for me to read it all!
  20. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    i have no idea what you are aluding to:wink::wink:

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