Sections for youth bands?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Rebecca Owen, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. Rebecca Owen

    Rebecca Owen Member

    After an interesting weekend at Butlins, I thought I would air the question about whether or not youth bands should be put into sections. And wondered what the thoughts of others were.....

    This thought has arisen as although some youth bands are either school bands, county groups or training/junior bands for more established senior town/village bands, I have noticed that there are other youth bands that contain players that are registered with championship section bands, that take members from much wider afield (rather than just the local town or county). And this seems to give them an unfair advantage when competing against other bands, which do not have the luxury of obtaining championship level players from such a wide catchment area.

    Now before anyone jumps down my throat and accuses me of sour grapes because my band did not win, I do not play in a youth band, nor do I have any direct connection with one either. It was just a thought that I had when listening to some of the parents of the bands in the youth section at Butlins. Maybe if the contest was fairer, then more bands would enter????
  2. Rambo Chick

    Rambo Chick Member

    Auckland, New Zealand
    I have often thought that. 'Youth Band' covers such a broad range of players. At 18 you can still compete in a youth band which isn't comparable to a beginner 9 year old. At 18 I was off to study music at Uni and had I been in a youth band it would have been unfair on aforementioned 9 year old!

    It's difficult because there aren't necessarily enough youth bands competing to make it worth having separate sections. In an ideal world we could do it.

    If there are children who play in championship section, say 14 years and under and happen to be stunning players, good on them for reaching such a standard. In all fairness in this respect they have a right to compete in the youth section.

    It's a tricky balancing act. Hmmm :rolleyes:
  3. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    near Dublin
    I prefer there be one youth section for young bands, and one for the top youth bands. Youth bands can always compete at the areas if players aren't double dipping.

    Then we can always slag on bands that sandbag it on places like tMP ;-)
  4. Supermouse

    Supermouse New Member

    I think the beauty of youth bands is that the young people that play in them don't have to choose whether they should play with their (senior)band or their youth band. My child plays in a youth band but not a "sectioned" band. He gains an enormous amount by hearing and sitting near older children who play in top section bands. Where would he be able to do that if he wasn't in a YB?
    I know that a good standard County Youth band not a million miles from where I live that takes children from outside the county. So keep the Youth sect as it is! The B B movement cannot afford to lose 18/19 year olds as they leave full time education.
    The more opportunities, the better!

  5. Hovrebo

    Hovrebo New Member

    Tysvær, Norway
    Youth Bands should be sectioned. I play in a 2nd/3rd section school band where the youngest person is 9 and the oldest is 19. Just to see the kids how happy they are if we win is fantastic ! It doesn't matter to them if it's in 3rd or 2nd section. Also in some 4th section bands they're soo happy if they win, and there is competitions. If all where in one big section/open group some bands would never win, then the youngest one would stop playing. I like it the way it is :p
  6. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    The National Championships already does this, but they have enough bands to justify it, just about. Even then they have to fiddle with it on a regular basis to make sure that they don't end up with sections with 2 bands in them. The only real differentiation you can make is between county(ish) bands like West Lothian or Gwent, school bands or "community" bands. Beyond that, it's really hard. Even then, the school bands at Smithills and Wardle are regularly in a class of their own, but you couldn't really justify having a separate section for them.

    As far as Butlins is concerned, it's perhaps a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation - if they got 15 bands entering it might be more worth them running 2 sections. Because of when it happens, I suspect it's awkward for a lot of youth bands to get there though. In a single section contest one solution might be to give prizes for the best school band, best community band, band with the lowest average age, etc. though.
  7. IckleSop

    IckleSop Active Member

    With the youth bands having such a high turn over of players the loss of players each year can effect the band completely, you might just be lucky for maybe two years that you dont have any players that are over the 18 and you end up sweeping up the prizes all over. Ive seen bands drop sections in the nationals because in one year all their players have left.

    But in the long run the Nationals have been graded in such a way that this is catered for.
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