Percussionists at Contests

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by scraig, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. scraig

    scraig Member

    I am sure this subject has been brought up before and will be brought up again but as we get nearer to the regional qualifying contests how many bands are still on the look out for percussionists. I can speak for Scotland where almost 180 percussionists will be required over the Scottish Championships weekend. Many bands will be lucky to have 2 percussionists as signed players but how many (especially outwith the top section) can lay their hands or 3, 4 or even 5 percussionists.

    Surely the powers that be need to sit down and look at the requirements regarding percussion especially with the no guest rule at the qualifying (well it is in Scotland and I'm assuming its the same elsewhere in the land) as bands do struggle to fill these positions at this time of year.

    What are the views of others ? and is it the same problem in other regions trying to get percussion players at this time of year, or is this just an issue North of the Border.

  2. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    quite a lot of bands 'buy in' percussion for contests, it seems quite difficult to find percussion players who are happy to be full time members of a band (outside of the top section), so the only choice is to pay players to do an agreed number of rehearsals and the contest.
  3. scraig

    scraig Member

    Which is fine and I don't have a problem with that if there is enough to go around, I'm sure many bands would be happy to pay but there just doesn't seem to be enough players in the area. We can teach our own brass players (which we do) but training and teaching percussionists is a different ball game
  4. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    I've often wondred if, especially for lower sections, the contest organizers could provide a percussion team (paid for by increase in entrance fee) that could be used, in full or in part, by any band that needed them on the day.
    marksmith and Slider1 like this.
  5. midlandman

    midlandman Member

    Steve great thinking out of the box! Only problem I can see in having percussionist on stage would be tempo for each band. Especially if the percussion is the drive at any point.
  6. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    If enough bands need to take advantage, then the money would be there to hire percussionists good enough to follow the conductor, surely?
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  7. midlandman

    midlandman Member

    Sorry Tom even top pro percussionists rehears the music to understand the requirements of the conductor.
    As for the money you are spot on it would be there.
    I like the idea of limiting the number say:
    One for 4th
    One plus one optional for 3rd
    2 for second
    Max of 3 for First
    Max of 28!!!! For Champ (seriously max of 4 parts)
  8. Slider1

    Slider1 Member

    Who's going to play the Lions Roar, Sword in the stone and the Bow on the Cymbal etc.?
  9. otbongos

    otbongos New Member

    Interesting post.

    I haven't played with a brassband in 20 years and the Scottish will be my 1st contest in that time - funny to see that percussion is so thin on the ground.
    I think for the likes of any test piece selected where there is more than a requirement for 2 players then you should be allowed to guest from a different section to avoid any potential conflict of interest.

    The powers that be must understand that bands don't want to be withdrawing if there was an option there to keep the bands active.
    Slider1, scraig and midlandman like this.
  10. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    For 1st Section even 3 is ambitious, in my experience ...

    Would have been a great idea if it could have been implemented before anyone started writing test-pieces 100+ years ago. Unfortunately there's so much legacy material out there that doesn't conform, so it's a bit of a non-starter, really.

    Having said that, there's not really any reason why people writing new test pieces couldn't be told to ensure that their percussion parts be limited along those lines ...
    midlandman likes this.
  11. midlandman

    midlandman Member

    Totally agree
    Very old test-pieces had no percc (or didn't have at contests) so they would be OK. Some could say 'Percc 1 only ' (example) others could have percc rewrite. This may be a dragg but, imho, it could work. New works could be limited to Xplayers per section.
    otbongos likes this.
  12. bassmittens

    bassmittens Member

    Just a query, but what is the deal with a brass player putting in smaller percussion parts in their bars rest?
  13. scraig

    scraig Member

    Seriously not allowed, disqualification looms for any band attempting that, it is allowed at entertainment contests if part of the "show" but not at Test Piece Contests
  14. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    The rules state "A brass player may only play ONE brass instrument, unless required by the score" - doesn't say a Brass player can't also hit a percussion part. Or are the rules different in Scotland?
  15. bassmittens

    bassmittens Member

    is this a case of poor punctuation alteiung the intended meaning?
  16. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Sure about that?
    The rules don't say you can't - and I'm sure I've seen it done at the areas.
  17. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Technically not correct, as the ruling is for just one brass instrument, and I know of several occasinos where odd bars of glock etc have been put in by brass players with no repercussions.
    mikelyons likes this.
  18. Euphman2

    Euphman2 Member

    Having played at lower contests, Mr Bale quotes the rule exactly as written
  19. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Active Member

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  20. scraig

    scraig Member

    I have just checked the rules and you both may be correct it does not state that a brass player cannot play a brass instrument and play percussion, my appoligies, now would someone from SBBA want to clarify this point.

    Bands in Scotland do have to conform to the National Rules for the Scottish Championships (3.2.2) but where there is a conflict or the provision is not covered in The National Rules then SBBA rules will have precedence.

    tubafan you have now turned this into a very interesting debate topic, what do we all think now ? can we expect to see players leaving their seats playing some percussion parts and then returning to their seat, not sure my band wants to be the litmus test for this.............LOL

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