National Finals Test Pieces ??

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Blagger, May 20, 2008.

  1. steve butler

    steve butler Active Member

    So there you have it. Its all your local "Wayward Heath grassgrowers Brass Band's" fault!

    Personally I love a little tension, make em wait :biggrin:
  2. Masterblaster jnr

    Masterblaster jnr Active Member

    You would think however that they might announce it later because the contest is later. So they might announce it the amount of days between the nationals, after the 5th of june.

    Anyone who follows what i'm saying, congratulations, you must be einstein. I Can't
  3. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Well, yes. Because the only sanction bands have against Kapitol is to withdraw in protest. I asked before the areas, and I'll ask again now - how many bands are actually going to pull out of the finals in protest against the "crappy service"?


    No, thought not.

    You're absolutely spot on, of course, but there are two problems with the Nationals specifically. The first is that the title itself is owned by a private company, not the bands collectively - Kapitol can decide the National Champions by whatever means they see fit, at whatever venue they see fit, using whatever test-pieces they see fit, announced when they see fit, and the only sanction any band actually has is to withhold their custom - as I said above, no-one actually will.

    The second - and this goes for banding generally - is that so few people actually want to do the organising that the people who end up doing it are often those who are prepared to do it, rather than those best qualified to do it. In most cases, the only qualification you need to to be an administrator at any level of banding is simply that you can be bothered. That's not to denigrate in any way those who give their time freely, and there are numerous exceptions to this; but as far as the Nationals are concerned it means that there is a chronic shortage of alternatives to Kapitol.

    Even if bands across the country got so cheesed off with the current state of affairs that serious consideration could be given to a rival "British Championships", it would take agreement from hundreds of bands nationwide. Does that seem likely? Or is the bacon taking flight as we speak?;)

    Although I can't imagine any band at the RAH actually needs 4 months notice of the piece, I can understand all are keen to know. But does it really matter that much? As a conductor I'd like to see every contest follow the lead of Butlins and the Masters by announcing their pieces a year in advance so I've got loads of time to plan rehearsals (or even decide if we're going to enter) but that's possibly got more to do with my inexperience and dodgy time management than anything else....:D
  4. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    I have to say my post last night was written though a fairly thick pair of Carlsburg-tinited glasses. But I agree fully with what you are saying - I know of bands around here who have treasurers who need to take their shoes and socks off to work out 5+6 (ours is a former bank manager so I can't think of anyone better qualified for the job!). I suppose its understandable at band level - in some cases the pool of "doers" in a band is quite small so perhaps the best people for a job are not the ones actually doing it. But it is a different kettle of fish at National level. Even the non-limited companies organising major contests (no names - I've got into trouble before for this!) seem to use folk who would struggle to entice a bunch of alcoholics to a malthouse and I assume as Kapitol are a limited company someone somewhere is getting paid something for this cock-up. Surely they can find someone in the [perhaps] 50 000 people who are invovled in banding in the UK who can write a press-release and stick to a deadline?

    Actually I've just had a thought - maybe this is a really clever marketing ploy to get us all talking about the finals. If it is, you'd have to say its worked hasn't it? :)
  5. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    The really clever ploy would be to get anonymous posters on an internet forum to start spreading wild rumours about what the piece will be.....

    I've heard from a very good source that it will be a new, specially extended, Baernarts arrangement of Riverdance. :wink:
  6. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Re-arranged in 4/4 of course :wink:
  7. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Oh, that must be 'Variations On The Shining Riverdance' then! :rolleyes:
  8. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Since I don't know much about any of the companies in question, I don't know what their personnel structure is like. But I do know that there really isn't that much money in promoting band contests, especially in high-cost venues like the RAH or Symphony Hall. So I wouldn't be surprised if everything's done on a shoestring - after all, the regionals are all organised by unpaid volunteers. And we all know what you get if you pay peanuts.....;)

    PS I thought Riverdance WAS in 4/4 - that would explain a lot of black looks in my direction :eek:
  9. Masterblaster jnr

    Masterblaster jnr Active Member

    Oh, that's funny. I thought it was in 12/8.

    Anyway, maybe the Kapitol webmaster is ill or not online at the moment. I'm sure there will be some viable excuse. As long as they apologise for the delay then i'd be happy. But then i know what my nationals piece is so i don't know the stress.
  10. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Funny, companies and event organisers often like to think they're the ones who control things, as I'm sure Kapitol think they control the national finals. Conversely I don't think the power in a situation like this necessarily lies with Kapitol as much as they'd probably like to believe.

    Think about it. The FIA would be right up diahorrea creek if all the F1 teams upped sticks and formed a non-affiliated competition, because the money and sponsorship relies on the teams themselves. BUT, I hasten to add, it would only work if ALL of them pulled together.

    When Barry Sheene got all the riders at the Isle of man TT to threaten withdawal over safety concerns, things got done then - despite it costing the organisers a fortune. Because they knew they would lose more money if no-one showed up to a damp squib of a TT with no big name riders.

    The ticket-holders at the albert hall go to see the bands, not to be part of any Kapitol event, and the bands will continue to draw audiences whether Kapitol are involved or not. If Black Byke, Grimethorpe, and the other big names agreed to put out a joint press release out that said if the piece wasn't announced in the next week then they weren't going to turn up, then you see how fast Kapitol would shift.

    Obviously this is only a minor issue which is descending into farce at the moment, but if a major issue surfaces that enough bands agree on - then the Kapitol would do well to remember they are not the ones in charge.
  11. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Kapitol, we sit patiently by our computers, awaiting the appointed time as to when you guys are going to announce the test-pieces!!
  12. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    "Baldrick, have you no idea what irony is?"
    "Yes, it's like goldy and bronzy only it's made out of iron."


    The FIA/TT analogy is a reasonable one, but I simply can't imagine any roomful of band representatives agreeing a joint statement about which way is up, never mind agreeing to co-operate on something as controversial as a contest boycott.

    The only way it might work would be for the BFBB to say something like: "We'll go and negotiate for a better system/contest/service on your behalf as long as you all agree to become members" - that way there is finally a unified voice speaking for British banding.
  13. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    That, Sir, is a very good point - which aptly demonstrates why we generally have to put up with cloaks, daggers an pretty shambolic organisation. It is also precisely the problem I was alluding to. It was only when someone with the profile of Barry Sheene (Then reigning World Champion) refused to compete at the TT that things got done. That sort of unifying influence simply doesn't exist in banding - and the climate is becoming more and more divisive.

    My sentiments exactly. That way there are proper checks and balances in place. Why can't we have something similar to motorsport? Every racing formula I can think of has both a drivers and a teams/constructors federation of which membership is almost compulsory. These bodies negotiate with the FIA with any two being greater than the other one, and the system works pretty well there....

    ...until Max Moseley gets involved, of course.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  14. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Going back to the original question, the only reference to dates I can find anywhere on Kapitol's site is that the finals pieces will be announced by mid-July (they have announced the adjudicators now though). The way I understand it that means that either they're not breaking any promises and a lot of people are making a fuss about nothing, or I'm being very blind and blonde........ :confused:

    And I'd still love to know why "most people" (except me, Chunky and Carl apparently) know that Philip Biggs owns Kapitol..... :rolleyes:
  15. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    I knew that as well Alex!!!
  16. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    Not forgetting Companies House as well Alex :rolleyes:

    I still think the best test is not announce the piece to the public and just hand the score and parts to the bands at registration. Now that would be a real test!
  17. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    We all have to wait until July. Not far off now.
  18. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    know what? :-?
    If you mean you know Philip Biggs owns Kapitol.... then how?
  19. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    I always thought he did own Kapitol, Alex. Having read in brass band press etc.
  20. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    That may yet happen at this rate.....