Recognition in Classical arenas..?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by jockinafrock, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    Playing to a reasonably-sized audience in the Albert Hall this weekend, as part of the Proms season, we enjoyed the NYBBGB and NYWOGB at their finest. I was one of many proud parents in the audience and hope that Bram Tovey, Philip Biggs and the staff's efforts to showcase our young talent will confirm to those in classical circles that brass and wind bands can compete with the best of the rest, and produce music of the highest quality, more than worthy of a gig at the Albert Hall :D.
  2. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

  3. Sonorous

    Sonorous New Member

    "A pity, then, that that house was rather less than full – the Arena and Gallery being particularly sparsely occupied. "

    This is an unfortunate sign of the times though. Congratulations to the groups, but it appears that the organisers failed to fulfil the potential. Given the size of the groups on show, it appears that the audience mainly consisted of family and friends and those who are already in the know of these groups. Hopefully Bram and Philip will be looking beyond the norm for next time to try to ensure these excellent musicians are given a higher profile.
  4. wilky

    wilky Member

    A pity, then, that that house was rather less than full – the Arena and Gallery being particularly sparsely occupied

    I believe that 4000 tickets were sold prior to the concert not including those who paid on the day, so not a bad turn out!! The band played great and the pupils enjoyed the experience of playing at the Royal Albert Hall (only 9 out of 80 musicians had played there before). I have read a number of positive reviews about the playing side (not from the banding press) and taking into account the number of people who were not at the concert but listened on line/radio etc they have brought the brass band to new and appreciative audiences as well as raising our profile. All in all not a bad days work!!!
  5. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    I was at the concert and thought both ensembles were superb.

    4000+ there on a hot Sunday afternoon, on the last day of the olympics and in the middle of holiday time with two 'youth' groups is an excellent turnout really. Especially when you consider that NYBBGB own concerts are not supported to even a 10th of that most of the time.

    There can often be a vibe of 'the classical audience not supporting brass bands' to which I would say how many brass banders would go to the proms to watch a symphony orchestra? The answer is in the whole scheme of things, very few. Another question is how many banders actually support NYBBGB's own concerts, the answer very few which is a great shame because they are one of the best things in the 'movement'.

    Well done NYBBGB and NYWO. Great show and some new fans won I am sure.
  6. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I'd like to preface this post by letting Fiona know that my point here isn't in particular aimed at her, as it might come across that way... But the thread here does illustrate a general principle worth commenting on. So, sorry Fiona, I'm not trying to get at you, and I hope this doesn't seem like that.

    Many of us in banding circles have a habit of trying to appeal to "classical" circles, of trying to make our musical efforts "worthy", of subconsciously looking up to orchestras as something 'better'. I think that this tendency is a mistake, and often says more about "us" than about "them" (*) - it shows something of a collective chip on our shoulders, a lack of collective confidence in what we are doing, pretty much a cultural cringe. A surprisingly large number of people in bands suspect that any given fan of orchestral music will look down their nose at what they do. Some do - there are idiots everywhere - but it's a small minority, and tends to be made up of rubbish musicians stuck in bad seats in terrible orchestras who can be safely ignored.

    What there is as a difference between the two groups of music-lovers is the precise point of music-making. Where the focus for someone playing in or listening to an orchestra tends to be the desire to make interesting music, we as a group prefer to focus on the technical nuts and bolts of playing, and we reinforce this strongly with our obsession with competing. I do sense (sorry again!) some of this in Fiona's initial post, though maybe I am overstretching the meaning of the word 'compete' in it. There is a disconnect here - just as the reaction of some banders to an orchestral performance of great musical depth can run along the lines of "Sounded nice, but it wasn't together enough at figure D", also the reaction the other way around to a band performance of great technical virtuosity can be something like "Very impressive, but what was the point? Where was the music?". The two aims point in different directions.

    I feel that too often we seek to ingratiate ourselves with the "classical world", and that too often we go about it the wrong way - we present something we find extremely impressive without thinking about how to impress those who are being addressed. But, as per what I wrote above, I don't think that we serve ourselves well by seeking to ingratiate ourselves in the first place. I'd like to see bands being prouder of what they produce.

    (*) And "us" and "them" is a whole other point that I think a number of us have a tendency to get rather skew-whiff. Many people in bands also play in orchestras; the skillset is a bit different, as is the focus, but it's not hard to cover the two disciplines, so long as one respects both. There is, in my world at least, no dividing line between the sets of the better brass players one finds in both. Yes, there are professional orchestras which do not have an obvious parallel in banding, to which some of the best players bands produce ultimately gravitate (money is quite an incentive!), but I am mostly talking about the amateur movement. I am probably showing a geographical bias here - we are richer in amateur orchestras in the South than is the North, and less rich in brass bands.(*)
  7. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    This is just one of 74 concerts. What more do you think they could have done? Also, what 'potential' was there for a bigger audience in your eyes?
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  8. Sonorous

    Sonorous New Member

    Not really giving any specific answers. Just highlighting the disparity between the statement of "Recognition in Classical Arenas" and the reality. This occasion in itself is excellent, but if we really did want to make the leap it would take much more open thinking than is currently given. And the if itself is still a question in itself.
  9. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member