Registration and Adjudication - The two big issues of the movement.

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Andy_Euph, Mar 3, 2011.


Scrap the Registration system? - Change in adjudication method

  1. Yes - Scrap registration

  2. No - Keep the current system

  3. Change to a more technical scoring system of adjudication

  4. Keep the current system of adjudication

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    Above poll:
    Would you support scrapping the registration system?
    Would you support a technical method of adjudication (like Steven Meads) or keep the same method we currently have?

    After reading a couple of threads and looking at the wider picture of the area contests, it strikes me that these two issues are so important to ensuring the future of the movement.

    The first is a point i've made a couple of times, registration is a hinderence not a help. I personally know of at least one band that isn't competing at the regional contest this year due to player numbers, but could have contested if, like any other contest, they could borrow up to 4 players. I also suspect that their are a number of bands across the country who find themselves in the same situation.
    Scrapping registration may not necessarily mean new bands spring up, but I think it would certainly stop bands folding.

    The second point is fairly simple, after the first round of area contests it seems that some adjudication was based quite simply on whether they liked the interpretation over technical proficiency. The point being how do we view contesting, is it about finding the band that plays the "best" technically or the "best" musical performance. Depending on which view you take could lead to varying results of the same contest.
  2. Yozzer

    Yozzer New Member

    The two big issues.....

    Hi Andy,

    "The second point is fairly simple, after the first round of area contests it seems that some adjudication was based quite simply on whether they liked the interpretation over technical proficiency. "

    How have you reached this conclusion?'s quite a statement to make and I would have thought the only way you could really make it would be on the basis that you heard lots of performances in all the sections and then read the remarks for each of those performances too? I only heard David Horsfield's remarks from the stage and your comment certainly doesn't apply to what he said before the results - he was obviously taking a very detailed look at the technical challenges of the music and how well (or not) they were overcome....I'm pretty sure John Berryman would be taking into account technical accomplishment with regard to Paganini - how couldn't you on that piece? Apparently and according to 4BR, Major Norley said the bands were "able to match good basic technique, tuning and dynamic ranges to their MDs well thought out interpretation of the descriptive score."

    Are you sure you're not just struggling with what you believe was an unfair result for your band Andy? I'm not having a go by the way, I just don't agree that your overall assesment of how the sections were judged in Blackpool is at all accurate. I wasn't in Scotland and I don't even know who was judging up there so I couldn't even begin to comment.

    Ian B

    Ian B
  3. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    I take your point about making a sweeping statement (i nearly didn't post it/wishing I hadn't :)), I was just stating what I interpreted from what a number of people have said about the weekend on various threads. I'm just trying to stimulate debate to see what the general feeling is about both points I've raised. Personally I'd like to see the Steven Mead idea tried out a bit more.

    I really don't have an axe to grind with any particular results, I'm honestly just interested in how judging s approached regarding which has more weighting, technical or musicality, do all judges use a similar system, like the one posted on the NW thread, or do they have there own ideas when judging.

    Please don't take my posts as sour grapes!!
  4. euphalogy

    euphalogy Member

    Registration YES always..................... Tick Box Judging............Never!! But i am an old fashioned git who loves making music .

    happy Banding
  5. Yozzer

    Yozzer New Member

    the big two issues

    I'm not accusing you of sour grapes Andy but I do think you might be frustrated with the result you were given on Sunday and that definately doesn't mean you have to automatically be accused of offering sour grapes.........with regard to Adjudicators approach, in general, I do think there is a fair percentage of adjudicators who know how to analyse a performance giving appropriate consideration to the various elements of performance as outlined (I think) very well by Alan Morrison:
    Accuracy of pitch and rhythms
    Appropriate style, including the use of vibrato
    Balance and blend
    Colour and general band sound
    Control through dynamic and pitch range
    Dynamics, expression and shape
    Musical understanding
    Precision and ensemble
    Quality of soloists
    Tempi in relation to interpretation
    Tempi in relation to technique – i.e. too fast or too slow for comfort
    Tuning and intonation

    Adjudicators who can't analyse performances giving adequate regard to the criteria above tend to either not last very long or continually face the wrath of bandsmen in contest bars across the coutntry and on sites such as this and that's fair enough....all bands deserve, intelligent, considered and constructive adjudication in every contest and at every level.

    Ian B
  6. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    I don't think it is black and white on either issue. I think the best solution would be to trial Steven Mead's adjudication system, to try and adapt it/improve it to see how it can fit into the banding world. It may even prove that it doesn't work, or that bands don't like to see it done that way.

    I also think that registration shouldn't be scrapped, but that perhaps borrowing a couple of players for the areas and nationals should be introduced to assist bands that are nearly full taking a full band on stage. I'm sure there are plenty of players who would be willing to help out other local bands for these contests, and I know of plenty of players (myself included) who have transferred to a band for the nationals and then transferred back afterwards before the areas.

    Unfortunately ther are two problems with this thread. The first is there are a lot of influential people in the movement who are not interested in considering change or entering the debate. Secondly there is no united voice for bandsmen/bands and hence we can shout as much as we like on tMP, but I fear it is falling on deaf ears (if it is falling on any ears at all, other than our own).
  7. Pauli Walnuts

    Pauli Walnuts Moderator Staff Member

    I haven't voted on the adjudication question as however it's done, there will always be complaints from those who don't win!
    As for registration, I have said for many years scrap it! I want to be able to take the same band to a contest that I take to the village fete or the formal concert. Let's be really honest now - how many of you use exactly the same band or even 75% of the band that contests on every gig you perform during the course of a year?
    Registration inhibits contesting, it doesn't enhance it. Bands can already play who they like as we all know - this is the banding world's elephant in the corner and we hide behind this charade of a registration system because we think that the bad guys will put in bands full of ringers. Lets get real for a moment - that already happens and happens within the rules!
    You win contests by practising - not by hiding behind a wall of rules to prevent the other guys from winning. If you don't like the fact that a so called Pro came in and won the prize, get your Arban out and do something about it!
  8. katieeuph

    katieeuph Member

    I have not yet seen an argument that has convinced me how scrapping registration could possibly work. Are you suggesting that a band could borrow up to 4 players (for example) from ANY band? Sorry to use a footballing analogy again, but would that not be a bit like Crawley Town asking a couple of Spurs or Arsenal players to turn out for them in their FA cup tie against Man Utd? Sorry if I've misinterpreted what you mean, but I think there has to be some form of 'registration', or at least rules/guidelines in place. That's not to say, however, that I think the current system is perfect, I'm just not sure how it could be changed/developed. I think it's a discussion worth having, though.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  9. Pauli Walnuts

    Pauli Walnuts Moderator Staff Member

    As a conductor, would you accept 5 or 6 people coming in on one or two rehearsals? I wouldn't and I know many other conductors who wouldn't either.
    To follow your football analogy, just look at some of the teams who bought a bunch of so called top players - haven't seen Man City winning the league of late despite the millions spent! (Chelsea didn't do it overnight either - the team had to gel).
  10. Euphgit

    Euphgit Member

    Bands struggle enough as it is when it comes to contests, so I would be all for scrapping the current registration system. However, making it a free for all wouldn't work either so there needs to be some kind of system in place

    As for the adjudication I agree that something needs to be done, but quite frankly I'm astounded that there has to be yet another thread about it. The seminar a few weeks ago was poorly attended and until people actually go beyond talking on the intertubes about it nothing will get done.

    This ''tick-boxing'' attitude irks me as well. Surely the point of contesting is to improve standards and the way towards improving is by knowing your errors and weak areas and working on them. The current system is in my experience, at best vague and at worst barely legible. If people had bothered to read more about critical adjudication they'd realise that although there is a degree of ''ticking boxes'' this is both limited and useful towards players, and is used in many other music competitions.
  11. katieeuph

    katieeuph Member

    I see where you're coming from but if you look more closely at what I said, I was talking about a much lower league team bringing in 'star players' (I think I'm right in saying Man City and Chelsea were both in the top flight anyway!!), which equates, in my analogy, to a 4th section band, for example, bringing in a couple of Championship/higher section players, perhaps to play a couple of the trickly solos (which I have witnessed in a particular annual entertainment contest in England where 'registration' was scrapped, and it has resulted in other bands being put off from entering)
    I'm not saying it's right or ideal at all, but I do know plenty of bands who bring people in for one or two rehearsals before a contest. I think some people have a rather idealistic view of banding and we all know what the real world of contesting is like.
  12. Pauli Walnuts

    Pauli Walnuts Moderator Staff Member

    I'd love to know where all these "star" players with time on their hands are! I think some of the evidence to support keeping registration may be simply anecdotal so really need to see more than " it resulted in other bands being put off from entering" - which contest was it and which bands decided not to go because of this?
    Teams win contests - bands of individuals no matter how good do not.

    My band bring people in for one or two rehearsals for most concerts - we all do. Our public don't care so why should we?
  13. Bob Sherunkle

    Bob Sherunkle Active Member

    I don't see why anyone needs to vote on this or indeed that there is a decision to be made.

    There is surely nothing to stop anyone organising a contest under whatever rules they choose to impose regarding what music is to be performed, how it will be judged and whether any band members needs to be registered. You could have the audience texting in their votes, or a clapometer if you wanted to and insist that every band included 7 dwarves and a Pearly King.

    If the rules where considered to be a success, they might catch on and the organisers of the established contests might decide to incorporate them.

    Butlins Contest, for example, could book Cheryl Cole as judge and decide on the winner by employing Mr Mead to measure the volume of tears she produces during each band's performance. If there was £7k up for grabs I reckon the bands would be up for it.

    It might catch on.

    Bob Sherunkle
    Author of "Floral Dancing into the 21st Century"
  14. damarocto

    damarocto Member

    Spot on:clap: The system we have although not being perfect is the best suggested anywhere. It does create some sort of level playing field. Even with the 4 borrowed players in other contests, it can give advantages to certain bands who have "access" to better players. I would like to see no borrowed players for the areas [status quo] and other contests to be 2 only. I know it would be difficult for some bands to contest but if a band has a full compliment of its own and another one comes to the contest with 4 top borrowed players and wins, Where is the fairness in that? That has happened many times, even recently! this would surely be deflating for the band that has its own compliment of players.
    As for the adjudication, I know you always will get some odd results!!! but I still feel it is the best way!!
  15. katieeuph

    katieeuph Member

    It's not 'simply anecdotal'. The contest I refer to is an Entertainment Contest in the South West of England and the band I refer to is a 1st section band in the same area. I don't feel the need to 'name names' as it's no-one's business but that individual band's! I also don't feel the need to have to expand on my reply- I'm just giving an opinion and that's my last input on the matter!!

    By the way- do you agree with brigning in players or not? because one minute you said that as a conductor you think it's wrong to bring in players just before a contest, then in another post you've said 'we all do- our public don't care so why should we?':confused:
  16. backrow

    backrow New Member

    Registration was introduced in response to a serious problem of bands bringing in ringers for contests. Times havn't changed that much and it would still happen. I have witnessed championship section soloists from a big name band turning out for a third section band (the MD used to play for the championship section band) in a contest where the top prize was only £150. It would happen in a small way at first and then it would become the norm to the detriment of any band that couldn't access this resource.

    As for adjudication there is no system that would suit everyone, the least we can expect is that the the adjudicator should be able to clearly articulate why he has given the prizes out the way he has. You might not agree but at least you will know why. All the adjudicators on Sunday gave a good explanation and I know there is some controversy but there always will be. I have heard a lot of bands protesting loudly about their results who really should be taking a long hard look at their performances.
  17. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    Very true, think the adjudicators said much the same at last year's Yorkshire 4th Section Area where Dinnington (including a number of legitimately registered but none the less very experienced and of fantastic quality) only managed 2nd.

    But the question on registration is what constitutes a "Top Player". I've been registered/played for Champion Section bands, but am now registered in a 4th Section Band who I rarely play for at concerts - am I a "Top Player" brought in for contests? What about the Dinnington lot last year, they had some fantastic players (who had competed with some of the top champ section bands) who chose to play for Dinnington for a variety of reasons, no doubt due to personal commitments etc. Does it make it wrong that they are playing for a 4th section? I think not. Only the player can decide where they play. No-one forces them to play, so if they choose to help a lower section band out, fair play to them.

    I think we need to get over this - "she/he is registered for/plays in Championship Band X, therefore she/he must be brilliant", and conversely "she/he plays in Band Y in the 4th Section, therefore she/he cannot be any good". I know plenty of players capable of playing at higher sections, and some who are being carried at higher sections.

    There needs to be rules, but I think there is scope for easing off on the rules to help bands compete. Everyone plays under the same rules, and provided you are playing without breaking the rules (however much you bend them), there should be no grounds for complaint.
  18. simonbassbone

    simonbassbone Member


    It doesn't matter what the system is, sometimes you'll disagree with the result. You can't acurately judge music as its a matter of taste and the higher the level of performance the more personal opinion comes into it.


    Firstly some question, what do you want the registration system to achieve? Does the current system do that?

    I would suggest the answers to the first question would be along the lines of: stop bands borrowing players for a contest; stop players swapping bands for contests; ensure bands field the same band for contests as they do the rest of the year; prevent players playing with more than one band.

    I would suggest that the current system does none of this and is therefore pointless. We all know bands spend the weeks leading up to a contest trying to fill empty seats, and would the current system prevent someone registering with more than one band under different names?

    Scrap the Registration system and get each band to send a list of names and photos to the contest organiser a week before the contest. Simple. The only people who benefit from the current system are Royal Mail.

    (PS. It is worth saying the the people at the Reistry are some of the most friendly and helpful folk in banding and will do there best to assist bands in getting players on stage. Thank you.)
  19. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    :clap: Good post, and I agree about the people who run the registry doing a fab job...I just don't agree with the set up ;)
  20. Pauli Walnuts

    Pauli Walnuts Moderator Staff Member

    And that is exactly what the current system doesn't do. In fact, it ensures the dead opposite.