Remembering back to the distant past, we had a group called The British Brass Band Club (or something similar). Though in itself not a political forum, it enabled individuals to register an individual interest in our hobby and share a common thread. Presently, we are witnessing the most unsettled of times within our hobby, with long established institutions displaying instability and leaving some of us frustrated with the lack of strength and purpose, within the organisations elected to represent us. Yes, we can (and do) post our individual concerns on social networking sites such as the Mouthpiece, allowing open discussion, though rarely achieving any measurable effect on the direction that our hobby is headed, at either local or national levels. We have long put our trust in Associations and Federations to voice our concerns, though the wheels turn slowly in terms of change. Is it now time to look at the establishment of a national players forum/council, where the grass roots of banding can be discussed openly and without secondary agenda, by the people who are affected most by change - the players? There must be thousands of individuals who would like to voice an opinion about the day to day experience of banding/contesting etc, who feel that their voice is rarely listened to by the present system. Take the example of a band room discussion about the changes to say, registration rules; It has to go to the band committee for discussion (up to 2 months to get it onto agenda). Then to Association (same time frame, if not longer). They will then have to canvass member bands, then discuss whether it goes forward for Area discussion. Again, another committee will decide if a point can be 'challenged' and then it may be discussed at National level (if deemed valid by the representative groups). The chance of an individual's suggestion/opinion being heard is slim (to say the least) and will rarely be relevant by the time it may reach a National forum. We live in an age of communication, but as we all know, personal opinion is still often frowned upon by organisations, and rarely acted upon if radical. Players do need a voice and a system open to suggestion and change. As the cleche states, there is no 'I' in team, but just as importantly, there is no change without opinion and discussion, and 'I' is the important starting point. Not time to re-form the Brass Band Club, but a players' forum, maybe?