Should adjudicators be able to 'bite back'?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Marlon Bando, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. Marlon Bando

    Marlon Bando New Member

    Ooop north!
    I heard today of an interesting situation regarding an experienced adjudicator- so thought id share it on here.

    It seems this adjudicator was reading through some old threads on this particular website when he came across something about himself that he didnt like.... nothing horrible.... but someone just suggested he was 'asleep', or something, during their performance at a regional contest (months ago......)

    Anyway, seems he read this and got the hump... so rather than taking it as one persons opinion he read it as a 'band' statement- and rang up the secretary repeatedly, and then sent recorded delivery post to the secretary to complain about this post..... email communication was entered into- where the adjudicator ended his personal attacks on the individuals and the band with the phrase 'get a life!'

    Well, this got me thinking- should adjudicators be allowed to answer back to their criticism in this way? Or should they, like football referees, accept that they're not going to please everyone so remain 'seen and not heard'....
    By saying comments like that- is he putting himself in an awkward situation regarding impartiality....?? hes upset a band now, the band has upset him....etc.... Can this band expect a rough ride from his fellow adjudicators in the future?
    If the band was now to be relegated in the coming years- do they have grounds for appeal based on the 'un-professionalism' shown by this adjudicator...

    I await your thoughts!

    Marlon Bando,
    Devils Advocate!
  2. Carina

    Carina Member

    Palmerston North, New Zealand
    It's a tricky one. I expect that if I was an adjudicator I might get upset if I saw unplesant things written about me. But, I would have thought a reply to the post within the forum might have been better solution. Also, it shouldn't be taken as a band view. As far as I know, most of us here are giving personal opinions, not those of the band(s) we belong to. I think that it should be ok for an adjudicator to answer back if they want to, but they shouldn't hold a grudge against a band if one member decides they didn't like the results.
  3. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    I think the best way forward for the adjudicators is to give a synopsis at the end of the contest as to why the results panned out the way they did, and leave it at that. As stated above individual opinions are stated here, not those of the band.

    Of course the adjudicators also have the option of the PM to tell them what they really think;)
  4. DanB

    DanB Member

    I posted on TMP after Wychaven, saying I felt Brian Buckley was the wrong man for adjudicating an entertainment contest... his 'comments' for us and, I understand most other bands, were 100 percent about minute detail such as semi quaver lengths etc, but not a single solitary mention of programme, visuals, compering ('entertainment'!)etc... I would have been delighted if he'd seen the post and responded, saying why he thought musical detail is the only thing he feels he should comment on at an entertainment contest.. I'd genuinely like to know! Therefore, I think sites like this are a fantastic way for bands and adjudicators to communicate without having to get silly as seems to be the case outlined previously. I'm fully in favour of adjudicators fighting their corner, preferably through a website if that's where the criticism originates - that might give us all more of an idea what they're after, and how to win in future!!
  5. Surely the adjudicator does have 2 legitimate methods of 'biting back' without resorting to individual correspondence with the person / band involved (which does indeed sound unprofessional the way it is portrayed above) - he/she can join in the discussion on the forum concerned or can make a complaint to the owner/moderator of the website concerned if the comment is sufficiently offensive that it should be removed completely.

    I'm not sure we really need to involve Tony Blair in this ??
  6. MarkGillatt

    MarkGillatt Member

    South Elmsall
    I'm sure that most, if not all of us have been in a confused state after a contest (and not because of the alcohol!) as to how an adjudicator has reached the decision of winners and placings. We can debate on excellent forums such as these until the cows come home about how best to judge bands performances and MD's interpretations, but so far it hasn't made the blindest bit of difference.
    I for one have been left in awe at the sometimes flippant and hurtful remarks made by some adjudicators after a contest. Some (not all) get on stage after maybe 6 hours in a box listening to different renditions of the same piece and all they have to say is "I never heard a performance of "insert piece name here" today". WELL, actually you heard 12, 15, 20, whatever performances. What you meant to say was you didn't hear one you liked!
    We are an amateur organisation, with enthusiastic amateurs as the driving force within it. If adjudicators can't offer words that encourage and motivate players to push that little bit harder, think a little more and concentrate like they haven't concentrated before then there is something seriously wrong.
    If you are raising children, you don't nurture them by be-littling every thing they do, you help them and encourage them and, yes, point out their mistakes and suggest ways of doing things differently.
    I could suggest having 3 adjudicators, each enclosed within his/her own cardboard box and let's see if they come anywhere near agreeing on what is the winning performance. I bet the placings would be wildly different. If we adopted this policy it may mean bands paying more each year to the ruling bodies, BUT, at least when we go to a contest we will be more secure in the knowledge that the results are a true reflection of all our hard effort!!
    Adjudicators should have the same right to be heard as anyone else if they think they have been slighted, the same as if you get a hammering on "another" brass bands websites pages when they give a "critique" on bands (and individual players! :rolleyes: )
    Let's hear what the person in the box has to say! Please, we want to hear it, no, NEED to hear it. Give us your thoughts on how you reached your conclusions. Let's get into the 21st century, freedom of speech and expression has been around a long time now. It's time that everyone learned how to use it!
  7. starperformer

    starperformer Member

    whinging on this forum after a contest is of value only to the poster, for their own psychological benefit. the suggestion that any adjudicators lower themselves to reading it let alone rising to it is staggering - but then they are entitled to talk what rubbish they like for 364 days a year as far as i'm concerned.

    that this guy actually took it seriously enough to pester the band concerned, if true, is also staggering - but still basically of no consequence. shows that he has the sort of petty mindset (if not the thick skin) required for brass band adjudication.
  8. Dave1

    Dave1 Member

    Perth, Scotland
    I have to agree with Mark on this. sometimes the adjudicator comes out and it is as if he didn't want to be there at all. BUT, recently I have noticed that some of the "newer" chaps ARE giving a good account of what they have heard and how they viewed things and some of them will be at Harrogate this weekend, so hopefully we are going in the right direction.
  9. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    Why not, look at the way he talks in public, he'd be perfect! ;)
  10. Bungle

    Bungle Member

    East Sussex
    Lets face it, there is only going to be one happy band per section at each contest, that's alot of remanining bands to respond to. I agree that its good to get a referee response on footballs Match of the Day, but there is a greater risk now of them getting themselves into hot water.
  11. sooooper sop

    sooooper sop Member

    Shepshed Leicestershire
    I think that the adjudicator in question is the one that should 'get a life' after all he's the one harrassing members of the band's organization in an attempt to have his bruised, over inflated ego massaged ! Adjudicators have their say (right or wrong) in their remarks and results, they are not above critisism by players who possibly feel aggreived with their decision after weeks of hard rehearsal. Ok forums like this are just a way of letting off steam, but why not? Untill the method of adjudication changes it's all we have.
    I think a reveiw of the adjudication process is long overdue, there should be aleast two judges in seperate boxes, with each performance recorded for referal at the end of the contest. Adjudicators don't like this idea because there is a possibility of getting differing opinions, and if they can't confer to get their stories straight, one or more of them might look like an idiot! (or prove that they are indeed an idiot)
  12. Redhorn

    Redhorn New Member

    Danbury, Essex.

    And for once, Starperformer, i agree with you! ;)
  13. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Did anyone else laugh out loud when they read this?
  14. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Brighouse, Yorkshire
    This I feel is absolutely crucial. When did it ever say at a contest that the band who plays the piece most accurately has to win? Far more often, the adjudicator picks the performance they like best, and where they can't decide, counts up the split notes.

    I remember listening to YBS from backstage playing Rienzi at the areas a year and a half ago, and half the rits, ralls, tempo changes, etc that Mr King put in had certainly weren't on the score. By all rights, he's not playing the piece as it's written, almost making it a different arrangement! Yet YBS got a top-few placing.

    Are we there to play the piece best, or are we there to have a guess at what the adjudicator might like, and whoever guesses best wins?

    PS - Will, I thought that was hilarious as well!
  15. 4thmandown

    4thmandown Member

    King's Heath
    Spot on mate! I remember all too well a well-known adjudicator standing on stage after a contest and describing Eric Ball's Sunset Rhapsody as "reminding him of a sunset that he saw on holiday in Key West". Not having been to Key West, I couldn't possibly comment. However, I wonder if that adjudicator had read Eric Ball's own script on the piece which referred to it as a retrospective on life, as in the sunset of one's years.

    That was a real case of guessing what the adjudicator wanted - and we guessed wrong. Mistakenly, we played what the composer suggested.
  16. I think there should be some type of feedback form attached to the Adjudicators comments that could be returned to the Adjudicator and organisers within a certain time period with constructive comments e.g. sound was muffled because we thought hall was quite small etc. It worked quite well when I was an examiner in the Armed Forces and helped to clear a lot of problems that we were having with marking guides.
  17. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    :clap: Haha genuinely made me chuckle to myself there ronnie!
    Right as always SP.

    And as for the adjudicator, I can understand the sentiment of seeing things written about yourself without you being present to defend yourself...however, it should be dealt with properly, not through the band!
  18. Eupher6

    Eupher6 Member

    NE Ohio, USA
    I've not done a lot of competing (only two, actually), but assuming the adjudicators are compensated for their work and for their expertise, and knowing that there will always be somebody that questions the decisions they make, adjudicators need to have a thicker-than-normal skin.

    I equate an adjudicator with a referee - impartial, consistent, discriminating insofar as the musical product is concerned.

    Yet adjudicators are human and are going to make mistakes. That's a given. So after we're done bellyaching about the adjudicator's decisions, reviewed the written and verbal taped comments, it's an opportunity to filter out the chaff and focus on the criticism (hopefully constructive) he or she has made. It's an opportunity to improve and to be better for next time (for the bands that don't win), and it's time to relish the victory for the bands that do win.
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