Relationships between bands

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Repman, May 11, 2017.

  1. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Regularly a player will be approached, move, and everyone is fine about it. My second post above lays out a means whereby you can take a situation that might be approached as (4) and push it as far along towards (3) as it will go.

    What I'm mostly saying is that it all requires very careful handling, and that if you're always aiming to minimise ill-feeling and stress... Well, that's a good idea for all concerned. Unless you have very strong reasons as a band to really not care about your reputation on the subject.

    Edit: We've talked about 'poaching' here before. While it's very true that "a happy player doesn't leave", there are more and less legitimate tactics to achieving that. A steady dose of flattery and poison poured into the ear will affect the happiness most any player feels in their current band. I think I supplied you with a detailed example of someone performing regular sharp practice on the subject at the time?
    mikelyons likes this.
  2. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    I'm surprised (not doubting what you're saying).

    I've even more surprised that it's seen as such a big deal though. The only 'real' harm that I can see is that a person could be harassed so much that it it becomes distressing, in which case a warning of, or actual police involvement should be considered.
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
  3. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    This very much matches my view. I've played with a few lower section bands who are proud to nurture players and feed them into the better bands locally.

    Most bands have ambition and there is a romantic notion that "if only we could hold on to the talent we could be like higher section band x".
    The truth is that most of these bands have an inherent inertia meaning that getting a break into the higher sections is unlikely. E.g. long-term players in principle seats not moving aside for better players, a policy of welcoming any player regardless of their standard. I'm not criticising this type of behaviour; it's the right approach for many bands by ensuring that we have a solid core and bums on seats, but with it we also have to expect not to be attracting the better calibre of player, including losing some when they outgrow us.
  4. Repman

    Repman New Member

    Interesting to see the debate generated here. Feel free to hijack/extend the conversation as I am very new to the world of banding and keen to avoid any rookie mistakes which might give unintentional offence. Thanks to everyone.
    nethers likes this.
  5. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    If I may...

    Not condoning it, but most bands with vacancies want to fill them as soon as reasonably possible - this can often push them into the more direct end if Dave's spectrum: they need the seat filled and the quickest way of knowing where you stand (most of the time) would be to be forward about it.
    Not all will, but when you're short you're less likely to be patient?

    On the other hand, I've seen bands who don't have vacancies (existing players either not as strong or unreliable) gently angle for attached players and "sack" the existing player if they get the player wanting to join.
    Mind you, I've known certain bands be quite blatant in this situation too ("what about xyz" "don't worry about that we'll sack him/her for you")

    Might I suggest that the situation the band is in will often have an affect on how they go about approaching potential players?
  6. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    Well reasoned experiences and opinions, thanks all, especially repman, I have been away a few days and I see the thread has been truly hijacked!

    I'm with Andrew mostly (but I remember the compelling personal example you sent to me in a PM some time ago Dave when this last came up), and while I don't believe 'poaching' is a thing generally, albeit in a few extreme circumstances, I can still relate with much of what is being said.

    Dave is being very wise by suggesting that bands work hard to keep noses clean and do as much as possible to prevent ill feelings caused by player moves, regardless of the circumstances. Regardless of our own feelings on the subject, others can easily see 'unfairness' where none was present.

    As a younger player I did not think I was much good (some may agree!) and the band I was in at that particular time certainly did not feed egos. With the benefit of hindsight I now know that I had some raw talent, a better than average attitude and that a lot of stronger bands would have been able to offer me a more fulfilling playing experience. It was a revelation when someone from one of these much better bands told me! I could easily see how I might still be a pretty novice player in a pretty novice band if those who knew better hadn't given me a nudge (and an invite...) to make me push myself up the ladder a bit. Now the trombone has helped me earn some money, travel the world, play alongside incredible musicians and pick up a few prizes on the way.

    In most people's situations I think they play for (or move to) the band they want to play with - and go back if they make a wrong choice, assuming they weren't foolish enough to burn the bridge behind them.
  7. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    As to poaching, I have seen a fair few instances of Dave's worst case through my banding career and in two cases, the losing band was pushed into extinction. In one case, there was a bitter rivalry between two MDs and one of them encouraged his players to do the poison/praise thing to members of the other band which they did quite successfully, until that band was down to a half dozen players and eventually folded altogether.

    In the other case, the MD of one band was re-building a near-death band who had fallen out of the fourth section into non-contesting status. He began recruiting players through his teaching, not realising that he was draining another, successful local band of its talent pool. In effect, he was using his influence as a teacher (and a very good one, it must be said) to persuade his pupils into his band. The other band, not realising what was happening until it was too late, folded within about 5 years because their talent pool simply dried up.

    I must admit, I find 4th Cornet's apparent callousness towards other bands quite concerning.
    2nd tenor likes this.
  8. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    Mike, I'm taken aback by this comment. I'm not aware I've written anything that can be construed as callous. Reading my posts all I can see is what I intended, which is fundamentally a calm point of view suggesting that bitterness shouldn't be the result when someone moves band.

    Can you please point out where you think I've been callous so I can clarify my points.

    Edit: I'm even more confused by the fact that you 'liked' what I'd regard as my potentially most controversial post. I wonder if you've cited me in error?
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  9. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    It's interesting how perspectives and experiences differ through the sections, regions and over the years; thanks Mike for adding yours to the mix - must be the best part of fifty years experience as a player and conductor, etc.

    'Callous' (unkind, cruel and without sympathy or feeling for other people - callous Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary) is perhaps a bit of a hash word to use, but I do see why you might have chosen to use it and note that you have qualified its use by adding the word 'apparent' before it. Sometimes the perceived nuance of what is written is different to that intended by the author and my belief is that that is the case with 4th Cornet. Having seen disasterous consequences of poaching and extreme cases of it you have different experiences that inform your views and your reaction to those of others - a particular perceived nuance can be different for different people.
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  10. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    Thanks 2nd tenor. For the sake of my sanity, would you mind giving me an example where what I've written could have (and apparently has) been perceived differently to my intention.
    I feel singled out when my view on this subject is fundamentally no different to any other contributor.
  11. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Your posts seem completely fine to me, I think this is just one of those internet 'what I intended when I wrote isn't what somebody else read' things. Always disconcerting to experience though!

    In a way, it's quite a neat analogy for a point I was making above about the need for not only making sure your motivations as a band are clean, but also making sure everyone's perceptions of your motivations are clean - good acts can be viewed in a bad light, sometimes without it even coming to your attention. In both cases - recruiting players for your band and making posts on the internet - you have control over what you do, but no control over how anyone else reacts to what you've done; all you can do is labour to make explicit at first how what you're doing makes sense - and then if misunderstanding still occurs, be on hand to promote understanding with further calm explanations.

    This is of course assuming that no trolls are present, people that like to stir the pot. Such people can make even the calmest situation fraught if they have some skill at their chosen antisocial behaviour. Happily, few people troll in real life, and TMP seems to be in a troll-free period at the moment (so much nicer!).
  12. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    It would take me a while to read back again through the thread and I'm loathed to do that just now - other tasks to get on with and already neglected in favour of being on tmp. Thinking back my own reading of your posts left me with some impressions, amongst others, of you being without sympathethy or feeling for the sometimes adverse consequences of poaching - that is, of course, not to say that you are.

    IMHO it's best not to take offence about on-line comments; read them, judge their validity for yourself and move on. Hope that helps, it works for me.
  13. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    Thanks Dave. That's a great comfort :) I'm careful to try not be ambiguous with what I write and it was surprising to be called out in this way.
  14. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    Thanks 2nd tenor. I do understand and have sympathy for bands that are affected by so-called poaching.
    Any apathy detected in my posts is not because I don't care about suffering bands, rather that a controlled and somewhat unemotional response is the most healthy way to manage these situations.

    My experience (not necessarily from a banding context) is that when affected by such activity it's best to graciously accept that it has happened. Of course have a friendly and polite conversation with the person to see if there is any way of keeping them, but when the decision is made, don't react negatively as this will have longer term implications.

    I appreciate your comment about not taking offence, but Mike is clearly a well-respected bandsman with lots of experience and good and reasoned views. This makes his 'pop' at me all the more troubling.
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  15. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Maybe callous was a bit strong, but you don't seem to consider the possible effect of such - often promising - young players leaving a band that might already be struggling. Encouraging players to leave a band through poaching can, as I pointed out above, lead to the extinction of the losing band and that is never good. I apologise if I offended you.
    4th Cornet likes this.
  16. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    Thanks Mike.
    I do understand the significant impacts that can and do result. I guess my posts were focused more on how I would suggest reacting to the consequences. I have seen situations where people have moved bands, not even via poaching, and they have been snubbed by the old band. This is just as likely to cause extinction as the poaching itself.
  17. Repman

    Repman New Member

    For the record I didn't see anything untoward in 4th cornet's views, just seemed to me a different perspective. Might be my inexperience. Seems to me the underlying message from all these posts is that open communication is the key to avoiding bad feeling. Not really a worry for me as I said, I'm very happy where I am.
    Jack E, 4th Cornet and MoominDave like this.

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