Pulling in Professional players from other countries to help win an area contest

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by catto09, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. catto09

    catto09 Member

    This afternoon, in the scottish championships, a certain band brought in a professional player from another country to help win a contest. Inevitably the said player won the best award for the instrument. My question is whether this is morally correct.

    Surely if you're winning an award for an areas contest you are being declared the best player on that instrument in your area. So to say this player is the best player for scotland is false. There were other players which were worthy of this award.

    Below is my email to SBBA;

    "Firstly, i’d like to thank SBBA for a well run contest this weekend.

    I would like to express my concern, however with a foreign professional euphonium winning a title which essentially says “you are the best Euphonium player in Scotland”. Despite this being an award which misrepesents the player – as he is not scottish, it is also unfair to someone who could genuinely be the best scottish euphonium player!

    What does this say about our banding in general? That we have to pull in players to try and lie to the adjudicators and make out that we are a better band than we actually are? It’s unfair, deceitful and morally wrong in my books!!

    The band in question would have succeeded in pulling the best soloist awards that they did (minus the euphonium player), but in my eyes, there was another euphonium player that deserved to win that title – and he is a scottish resident. If it was me that had been cheated out of this, I would not be happy at all. It’s perfectly fair to be beaten by someone who actually plays for that band, and who lives in Scotland – but said player is clearly not Scottish!!

    In summary, I do not feel that it is right for bands to pull in professional players from foreign countries, register them a week before the contest, and then make out that they are actually a better band.
    I suggest that we introduce a rule that says players being pulled from other countries to sit in principal seats should not be allowed. It’s absolutely no different to the rule where Guest players are not allowed to win solo awards!

    I would like to point out that this is not personal, as I do not, and have never competed in the Championship Section.

  2. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    IMHO this is a really important discussion point.

    - Mr Wilx
  3. Kofi

    Kofi Member

    I've always said that the band on stage should represent who your band really is. Guest players should be a last resort to cover an illness or something. Bringing in players from abroad takes it to a whole new level, and doesn't really seem right.

    I agree that the contest again was very well run by SBBA, and they deserve all the credit that they have received recently. They're awesome!


    A few years ago I played with a championship section band which had 12 players all borrowed and they were paid 300 quid each to do the area......They were last ! so sometimes "cheating " does not work !
  5. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    but what if it were to cover a serious illness to a regular player and all other UK based options had been exhausted.
  6. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member

    I think there may be a Big Name Yorkshire band with foreign help next weekend, more than one player too. Not breaking any rules though, so bands will do what they can to get round the restrictive registration rules.
  7. catto09

    catto09 Member

    in my opinion you should have to apply for the okay from SBBA, or to do what everyone else has to do and get a dep or a guest on the day! it's only fair
  8. tromwinst

    tromwinst Member

    Just look at Manchester City Football Club! :biggrin:
  9. Tubazz

    Tubazz Member

    I asked about a similar scenario with conductors in another thread "the area contest here again" and semingly if you don't break any rules and the band can afford it it is okay a quote from reply was
    "nothing wrong or unfair with resourcefulness and pre planning.
    And dont forget, as always in life, you always get what you pay for"
    now i totally agree with catto 09 on this
    As when all the "Pros", players and conductors have gone back to where they come from, you then have the true represntation of the band
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
  10. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    I think you're touching on two slightly different issues here - using people from bands in other countries is one thing, signing new players (usually 'deps') within a few weeks of a contest is another.

    Take away the ability to register new unattached players a short time before a contest, and you make it even harder for some bands to get to the contest at all. I think that would be a backward step.

    Bringing in players from outside the UK is totally different matter imho, and I agree it shouldn't happen. Under the current rules no players can be registered with more than one British registry, and as long as player registrations are used then I think that rule should be extended to other countries.

    The key here is the rules - by entering a contest, ALL the bands are agreeing to the rules that it operates under. If you accept those rules, you can't complain when a band finds a way round them to their advantage (regardless of whether or not you think its morally wrong). If you don't think the current rules are right, then lobby to get them changed!
  11. catto09

    catto09 Member

    The purpose of this thread is not to try and determine whether this is wrong - I think we can all say quite easily that it is wrong. The purpose is to try and get support and ideas for adding another rule to stop this. As my OP says, I have emailed this to SBBA and I am awaiting a response
  12. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    First thing to say is that there is no rule against this - foreign registrations are not recognised, so no rules were broken. That doesn't mean to say its OK though.

    The problem is that if the situation is allowed to continue the 'haves' of the banding world (ie the bands with money to burn) have an advantage over the 'have nots', and that fundamentally is wrong. What is really concerning for me is that this isn't limited to the top section - I know of an instance a few years ago where a 1st section band paid to bring players over from Holland just for the area contest. There is no way in the world that my band at the time, or the one I'm playing with now would be able to afford that.

    Its easy enough to put right though (or it should be, it seems to me that nothing is easy with brass bands and regulatory bodies) a simple clause in our registration rules to recognise foreign registrations would put a stop to it immediately as players from overseas would then not be able to hold a registation with two bands.
  13. Space Cowboy

    Space Cowboy Member

    Which bit don't you like:

    1. their nationality - If it were a professional Scottish player playing with a band they don't normally play with would that be ok?

    2. being paid - If it were a top overseas player helping out a band for free would that be ok?

    3. Membership of band - if the player was registered long term with the band, and ONLY that band, but was actually a [insert nationality here] professional player would that be ok.

    Seems to me that if a band plays within the rules then there's no problem. To describe that band or individual's win, therefore, as morally questionable just seems bitter to me.
  14. catto09

    catto09 Member

    If the player is a scottish resident, you can't argue really. If it just so happens he's a professional scottish resident, great.
    What I don't think is right, is taking players that aren't part of your band and putting them on the stage saying "this is our band, aren't we great"

    I don't see how it can be bitterness!? I wasn't playing in that section. I have nothing to be bitter about...
  15. bariwizard

    bariwizard Member

    Where do you draw the line though - were Dyke cheating when they were reasonably successful in the 80's with a Scottish top man, bumped up by an Australian?
  16. Space Cowboy

    Space Cowboy Member

    You may not have been in that section but you seem bitter it wasn't a "Scottish resident" and I guess as we're talking euphoniums someone you know.

    A NW area band close to me until recently had a Scottish player who played with them but resided in Scotland. Should he have been ineligible to win a solo prize if there was one at the NW areas?
  17. Spot on remarks by Space Cowboy.

    Is there anything in the rules that says players have to be from the area they are performing in? or that bands somehow have a moral responsibility to make sure their Bands are ethnically cleansed in order to play in a contest?

    It might well cheese off other Bands in the section to find they have been beaten by a Band who have money to spend on such luxuries, but of course we all know the only way this kind of behaviour ever becomes acceptable is when your own band does it!
  18. Did that one player do all the work and was solely responsible for the bands high placing............ I think not, it was a very musical performance which was well directed by a band which you could tell were well rehearsed, underdogs so not many heard them as most of the bands people were in the bar, those that did hear them (and I did as well as every other band) will tell you it was a very solid, musical, team performance, hence the award and the other solo awards the band received.

    Did certain bands last year not bring in top chairs from different countries at the Scottish Championships and nothing said about it...................... why not !

    Does this also mean to play (or to win a solo prize) at the Scottish Championships you have to be Scots, oh dear that really is going to cause a lot bands a real headache as they oust all the English Irish and Welsh from their bands.

    Perhaps now is the time for debate on the situation, but as it stands no rule has been broken (and certainly no cheating took place as the player still had to blow the instrument and put the correct valves down) and a band have done what others have been doing for years without a word being said.

    The Critic (constructive only)
  19. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Actually, most of the responses to your OP have said that technically it is NOT wrong. Whether people think its not wrong because its not breaking any rules, or 'not wrong' because they don't have any issue with it, IS worth discussing because clearly everyone is not in agreement. Not much point trying to change the rules if you can't get some consensus on how and what to change first, imho.
  20. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    We might as well go the whole hog and say no one may compete with a band in a different county, or different country, or more than 100 miles from home..... :wink:

    Or we could simply agree that's completely ridiculous and that you cannot dictate where a player chooses to play, or where a band chooses to source its deps.

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