Priorities for M.Ds

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by marksmith, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. marksmith

    marksmith Active Member

    Having seen the results for this year's Midlands Area contest, it triggered a thought that I felt needed addressing some time ago.
    When conductors/M.Ds are taking more than one band, even be it in different sections, on different days, how do they prioritise their time, particularly in the weeks approaching the contest?
    Do bands actually benefit from using an M.D who is spreading themselves thinly to maximise their time?
    Back in the 1990s, I was secretary/ player in a recently promoted top-section band, which gained sponsorship and employed an M.D in those circumstances.
    It wasn't long before our results suffered, we often had to play off no.1, to accommodate his other commitments, and all-in-all, it was a total disaster.
    Bands deserve total focus and commitment, though I do acknowledge that success/reputation makes individual M.Ds popular amongst the community.
    I am not aiming this at any individual/band in particular, but the results do not seem to have benefited any band in that position, this year.
    What are your thoughts on this?
  2. Martin

    Martin Member

    I feel this has got to be down to the individual bands themselves. When it gets to the stage that you have described above, surely it is time to look seriously at that person's future with your band. Whilst a reputation may be admirable, if the popularity that goes with it is causing bands to suffer, is there any value in having said person as an MD.

    Every band I have been involved with where the prospective MD has more than one responsibility, before any appointment is made, they are asked to explain how they would deal with a conflict of interests. If the answer is not suitable, they don't get the job. :)
  3. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    Agreed - particularly with Martin's last paragraph above.

    Also, bear in mind that a number of the big names (N Childs, I Porthouse to name but two) have taken bands in more than one region, effectively competing against themselves in the same section. We should (and in these cases, I believe, can) trust them to behave with the utmost professionalism towards these bands, committing to realistic schedules and working to get the best performance possible from the players around the stand.

    Both the examples I have given were conducting in different regions on different weekends, however I have known some conductors conduct in more than one section at the same contest - such as one local MD who conducts both the training and senior sections of the same [overall] band. Again, surely the same must apply, otherwise it wouldn't work and wouldn't be allowed to happen.

    On the flipside, knowing when you've taken on too much is important - I'm currently not playing in a band owing to my conducting commitments, and find I need to balance these priorities accordingly.