Paddy's Spring Festival - 2011

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by Paddy Flower, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Brighouse, Yorkshire
    I can certainly agree with you there dave. Interpretation's a risk in any case, particularly if you don't play it how Mr adjudicator played it on bumper-up at belle vue with Mickelthwaite porridge-works band in 1952 and what a band we 'ad back then....

    Cue my usual rant about the ability to win by doing what the adjudicator LIKES rather than playing the best.... which I'll mercifully not subject anyone to this time. ;)
  2. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Burgess Hill West sussex
    At the risk at being kicked over by the cognescenti of this messageboard, I do feel, though, however that sometimes,is it the adjudicators themsevles that are suck in the mud? Havnt moved with the times? Especially these days of the availiability of 'getting hold of' cds, is much easier?
  3. bassbone

    bassbone Member

    In this, my 37th year of contest banding, I am no closer to coming to terms with (in my opinion) the real issue of any competitive music.

    Any performance, at any standard, has some merit for someone.

    For performers this could simply be the mastering of a tricky passage, hitting a note in tune and holding it, not splitting the top C that you missed last rehearsal, getting the phrasing just as your conductor / trainer wanted it, the list goes on. For listeners it might be watching a son or daughter on stage, hearing something new in an old classic, liking something modern, being blown away by spectacular technique - again the list is endless and this is surely the point.

    I like Jazz, my partner hates it. A guy in my office will travel anywhere in Europe for his fix of Thrash Death Metal which I despise. OK, you would assume that us 'bandsmen' could agree on what's good and 'bad' in brass band music but of course we can't because we all have different tastes - it's a human thing!

    Why then do some not accept that the result of a music competition is anything other than the opinion of a fellow human (in some cases two or three) with as diverse likes and dislikes as the rest of us?

    Adjudicator A has been stuck in traffic for 2 hours getting to the venue. Adjudicator B got a tax rebate in the post that morning - could this affect their emotional state? I think so.

    I love what contesting does for us as a movement. It brings us musical challenges, it promotes new music and allows our talented composers, arrangers and conductors to 'do their thing'. I can't tell you how thrilling it is (for me) to finish the last rehearsal before a contest and think back 6 weeks to the first appalling run through. That over-used phrase 'the journey' is relevant. It is a journey from something rough and unpleasant to a crafted product. I remember the sessions away from the band room dealing with the 'problems' presented. I remember the 6 hour Sunday of sectionals and full band work that showed us that we had something to present. I remember the breakthrough moment when the soprano finally managed to play pp and then the magic began...........

    So to contest day. More positives. The camaraderie front of house, the quietness and anticipation in registration, dealing with those irrational nerves (sometimes!) the thrill of the performance (sometimes!) and finally the applause.

    At this point my contest ends. Sure, I will have emotions based on how things went but for me, that's it. The performance has been given. for the rest of the day - and I do stay to the end - I will listen to totally diverse views of that performance. Everyone I speak to will have an opinion - even some who were not in the hall. If I believe some, we should not even have bothered to get out of bed. others have us 'winning' by a mile. Hm....... so which group will the adjudicator side with? I don't really care.

    There are days when it all goes wrong - missed entries, sections not together, poor tuning. lack of technique. Would we expect to be well thought of? No. On those other occasions when we come off stage buzzing I (we) hope that our efforts will be rewarded with some recognition beyond the applause and the well-wishers in the bar. Who is this recognition going to come from (apart from 4BR!)? The adjudicator(s). Human beings listening to music under artificial conditions and with a pressure of expectation on them to 'get it right'. Get it right for who? The band that has been at the top for decades? The band conducted by 'x'?, the band that has worked with the composer? or simply the band that produced the performance he liked the most. Playing the right notes is good. Playing in tune and together is also good - the fundamental basics of all music. After that, what?. Interpretation, that's what. Decisions on tempo, style, tone colour, dramatic effect - another endless list - and all coming (in the main) from one person (the 'man' in the middle) in order to please another man (men, women - you know what I mean). Again, Hmm....... If he doesn't like it then he doesn't like it. End of.

    Sorry this is so long - there is so much more I want to say about how rehearsing contest music helps me in all my other musical endeavours - but I won't.

    I post this whilst adopting the stance of a submissive puppy knowing full well that this may not sit with many of you but I am genuinely interested in what you really see as the true merits of contesting. Gulp!!!
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
  4. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    And it was good enough for Stan Boddington :biggrin:

    Incidentally, I was having a cuppa with one of our most well-respected of adjudicators and he seemed quite happy with the idea.

    Still, if we try and second-guess the bloke in the box every time we'll just tie ourselves in knots.
  5. Ste69

    Ste69 Member

    East Yorkshire
    Bassbone: I love this message, it sums it all up for me. It isn't just about the result, but also the journey and for me, the weekend of the contest. I LOVE the build up and of course the after celebrations/comiserations.
  6. Phil Green

    Phil Green Supporting Member

    West Midlands
    Mr Loopy, I thought as much when my spider plant was vibrated off the speakers upon listening to the recording. Subtle :)
  7. Phil Green

    Phil Green Supporting Member

    West Midlands
    ...and that was down the octave on false fingerings eh Toby!

    Deano didn't pedal the opening as I remember. He was big, he was brave but he wasn't stupid, not with Bram's complete distaste for pedal notes.

  8. BurgerBoy

    BurgerBoy Member

    North Wales
    Totally agree, as I've said on another topic on tmp.

    Isn't it rather insulting and arrogant to think that "we know better" than the original composer? The first port of call should be the music itself - what did the composer want? How often do condictors stamp their own "interpretation" on any piece, not just an arrangement of an orchestral work?

    I've heard time and time again from adjudicators (at least those who bother to give constructive feedback - not all do) that we should do just "what it says on the tin".
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