Ringers and retirement...

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Mesmerist, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    At what point do the lower section bands become like the Championship ones when it comes to hiring and firing? Does an ambitious upwardly mobile team have to cull regular long term members in order to progress? Does a B band need to be formed?

    Obviously I can guess reactions about bringing in the "ringer" who replaces a regular but what if the displaced player(s) can no longer be a hidden passenger with a rewritten part and is more than likely to seriously damage the chances of a good result?

    No one could possibly deliberately wish to upset or hurt anyones feelings and its a horrible dilemma but it is bound to come up within all the bands with ambition so how is it best tackled?

    And of course I have to add that all characters in this scenario are purely fictitious and all likeness to any situation is merely a coincidence...
  2. steve butler

    steve butler Active Member

    If you really are ambitious, then you need to be ruthless. Some players will never make the highest standard and will have to be humanely put to sleep I'm afraid.

    I doubt if any meteorically (?) successfull (rags to riches bands) have risen to the top without substantial personnel changes.
    I do hope any fictitious characters are still able to continue their hobby :wink:
  3. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    I`ve been thinking along the lines of a B band so that everyones needs and abilities are catered for. Camborne B and Woodfalls Concert have done pretty well for themselves in this region.
  4. Beesa

    Beesa Member

    A band is what a band is.

    So, if the band decide to replace someone and suffer - or enjoy - the consequences then so be it.

    Get over it!
  5. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    Get over what?
    I think my question was more how is the best way of dropping a player with the minimum of hurt and upset? Personally I am fairly neutral on the subject and I accept that when a better flugel player comes along then I have to step down. So far I have been lucky as 2 applicants that have asked were not considered to be better by our MD.
  6. Beesa

    Beesa Member


    A lightning fast response there Mesmerist!!

    Are you sure you haven't been hanging over your computer waiting for a reaction...

    As I said . . . get over it


  7. There's no need for a response like that!

    To answer the ORIGINAL question... could you not have certain players who just play in concerts and no contests? Obviously it doesnt matter there what the size of your band is/doubling etc. That would allow them to stay with the band and still feel involved.
    I say it cautiously though because you dont want to end up the ohter way round with players who just do contests.
  8. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    No my love - I was very well brought up and responded to your e mail when it came in. (If you really want to know I am doing something else on the computer!)

    I`ll "get over it" then. And am assuming from your post that you think ringers are fine as long as the results are good. Thats Ok.
  9. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    We already do have that although I am trying to keep the discussion more general than my band! I am curious as to when a Band changes into the more "ruthless" mindset of the Championship Section. There must come a time when attitudes have to harden and the regular player who attends all the less exciting work has to realise that they are not good enough to contest at the level their band aspires to be at. Sorry if I am being vague but I wondered how band members do get treated when their time is up. I had a friend who once played 2nd trombone for CWS in Scotland and he knew that sooner or later he would be dumped and when it came he accepted it with a cheerful smile and said he was amazed he lasted as long as he did. But he went into the band knowing how competitive it was. A lower section band has to make that transition from gentle sociable hobby into a more professional outfit at some stage if it is to continue to progress.

    PS Thank you for being such a gentleman!
    Our Band (to personalise it) has made the decision to allow the MD total responsibility for the player selection so the committee should not intervene. A decision that I do agree with.
  10. Kinrao

    Kinrao Member

    It all really depends on the culture of your band I guess.

    If you look at the colourful history of the banding movement, we grew from being village/community and works ensembles. Unity through our involvement with each other was one of the pillars that we all lived by.

    We live in a society now where we don't have the resources to replace players who leave the movement through becoming disconcerted by being told they just aren't good enough. It's just a sign of the times but a worrying one nonetheless.

    I can understand our top bands doing this and to be honest our elite bands need this to continue to improve but if you're the Frinkleton Fuddlebuster band from Section 4 and you think that culling and replacing will make you Fairey's or Fodens (poor attempt at an alliteration I know) then I'm afraid you're going to struggle.

    Bands need inspirational people within their ranks who encourage and nurture the players who'll improve along with the band in the long term.

    Ask any female - Mr Right is always better than Mr Right Now :)

    I feel this'll be a long long thread!!
  11. Beesa

    Beesa Member

    On reading through the thread - agreed. 'twas a bit harsh of me.

    I do often wonder about all this sort of thing. How do you replace players? How do you drop the hint, if indeed a hint is required.

    Reading that excellent brass band history book Labour & Love, Gordon Higginbottom was, perhaps surreptitiously, asked if he would consider joining Black Dyke.

    "I didn't know there were a vacancy" he said.

    "We'll soon make one" was the reply.
  13. tubbytuba

    tubbytuba Member

    A good example is at Camborne where a Bband was formed as a way of keeping our youngsters within our own organisation,with our youth band going great guns (national champs 5 times) it was a great way to keep some very good players in our set up.We normally only use around 5/6 adults and the rest of the Bband is made up of youngsters.If you have the right set up your Bband can do well,we have progressed from non contesting to a good 2nd section band in apprx 7 years and have made 2 national finals in that time
  14. Beesa

    Beesa Member

    Always remember. There is all that music in the library that has been needing sorting out.
  15. euphoria

    euphoria Member

    It is interesting to read Dick Evans autobiography. When he was asked to take over Leyland, they were in the second or third section. They had as a band made the decision, that they would in a very short time frame make it to the Championship section, and their new sponsorship was given with the demand of them making it into the British Open within 4 or 5 years. Most of the players knew and accepted that they would only be in the band as long as they were able to keep up with the pace.
    One of the trombone players had to send a dep to a gig and when mr Evans heard that the dep was better than the regular player he simply hired him. Like it or not - it certainly paid off.

    I know that Hammonds wasn´t in the lower sections when David King took over (when they became YBS), but of the players that had made the decision to hire David King (assuming the players had a say in the matter) only a very few survived in the band - I have heard that only two or three of the original players stayed, but I dont know how accurate that is.

    I think it is very important for any band, regardless of how good they are, that they make a clear decission on the direction that the band should take. I think if that direction is generally accepted, players that are not quite up to the standard will be more likely to step down themselves.

    Cheers Erik
  16. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    I don't think there is a way. It always hurts, and the player is almost always upset. If your band has made the decision, and that's the direction you want to take, then it has to be done, but it's never easy. I have had to do it myself on a couple of occasions, and I hate doing it. However, if the band trusts me to make the decision as the MD, then I see it as my responsibility to tell the player in person, rather than hide behind a band manager or chairman. But there's no "easy" way of doing it, IMO.
  17. ballyhorn

    ballyhorn Member

    What would you feel like if a flugle player auditioned that was better than you though?...also remember the old saying...If you book a dep yourself,make sure he isnt as good as you!!!!!!!.....common sense :)
  18. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

  19. michellegarbutt

    michellegarbutt Supporting Member

    It does vary from band to band.

    My own band has risen through the ranks very quickly and I found I was really starting to struggle at contests. I didn't want to leave as it's a band I have been involved with for a long time and I have put a lot into over the years. But at the same time I knew I wasn't really good enough to continue occupying the seat I hade.

    The conductor had obviously noticed and had an informal chat with me in private with the result that we agreed to look for another player to fill my seat on baritone. I would help out on percussion when needed for contests but during the year I could sit as an extra baritone player for concerts etc. There was no question of me being asked to leave the band which I'm very glad about.

    Its worked well for us. I'm still a playing member of a band I've been involved with for a long time. I still get to help out with bits and pieces at contests but no longer have all the stress I did when I was struggling to play my part. I still do the fun stuff that I enjoy and the band benefits by having the extra player when it comes to covering seats for concerts etc.

    It just needs tact and diplomacy on both sides.
  20. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    Difficult one isn't it??
    The problem is if it will backfires, (which it probably would do at some stage) the better players leave and the band folds. As one of the lesser players would you come back and pick up the pieces??

Share This Page