? Some Championship Bands not up to scratch !

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by iancwilx, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    An opinion has been expressed on another thread that there are a lot of bands in the Championship Section that are not of the required standard.
    What do you think ?

    - Mr Wilx
  2. yoda

    yoda Member

    Band is in the Champs section, it is therefor a Championship section band. upon relegation it would be a 1st section band.

    All this talk of who is v who isnt good enough is dangerous IMHO. Limiting the top section to those only who people think good enough smacks of elitism to me, and precludes and puts off those who have ambition. Bands such as Newstead who have worked their socks off (especially when they found themselves in the 2nd section a few years back) prove that with hard work you can actually challenge some of the so called "top" bands.

    IMHO preclude or limit the top section and you will stifle the movement

  3. _si

    _si Member

    I think there is a wider range of ability in the champ section than there is in any other section, but that it simply because there is no ceiling and so the very good players have to compete with the true masters.
    What is 'the required standard'? i mean every band has had to earn their place so are there by right.
    Just like in premiership football there can be a gulf in ability sometimes, but unless you want to limit the number of bands in the champ section and reduce it by a lot, this will always be the case.
    3 tiers have always existed in the champ section havnt they? 1) the contenders
    2) the plodders
    3) the hangers on
    think it is exciting for bands that do get the chance to try to go up a tier or even 2!
  4. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    What they said! :clap:
    Maybe a better question would be, why do some people expect every band in the championship section to be the same standard?
    There's a wide range in standard from top to bottom of most sections in most regions, so why should the top one be any different?
    Imho its very simple - bands that are good enough to be in the championship section stay there, the very best ones stay at the top of the grading tables, the ones that aren't quite good enough get relegated and yo-yo between top and first sections.
  5. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Very true, I agree 100%

    - Mr Wilx
  6. marksmith

    marksmith Active Member

    We are only just getting to the point in the Midlands, where we have a half-dozen or so, real contenders.
    It is good to see the established qualifiers having to fight for their London placings!
    Seeing bands like Thoresby and Newstead re-kindling the fire, gives the less established Championship section bands, something to emulate.
    All bands are in the top-section by right, all earning their position in the first instance by consistent performances over three years.
    When you fail to maintain a certain standard, you are relegated. Not much fairer system than that, is there?
  7. jezza23361

    jezza23361 Member

    The biggest problem is getting a commitment - lots of Champ bands function with a lot fewer than 28 regulars and pull in part timers for the bigger events. They may have a band full of decent players on the day but cannot perform as an ensemble due to lack of time together. The alternative route is to fill the empty seats with players of lesser ability. Same result but a different reason.

  8. Frontman

    Frontman Member

    I understand where you are coming from Mr Wilx but is there not another way of looking at this?

    Our movement is based on bands winning promotion and unfortunately being relegated, therefore any band promoted on their merits to a section above must be good enough to earn the title which accompanies their position.

    Would it therefore not be sensible and beneficial to have the top 20 bands in an Elite Section with the then winning band in the Championship Secton being promoted into the Elite Section and the last band in the Elite Section being relegated back to the Championship.

    This way, all of these Championship section bands will be held on the same footing as each other and compete in the Area Contest and winning Bands , as now, but they will take part in the in the National Finals with the Lower Sections. The winning Band then playing in the National Finals the year after at the Albert Hall with the Elite Bands.

    This is only a suggestion but could be a further discussion topic.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
  9. robcav

    robcav Member

    I'm not clear how this would work. Presumably the top 20 British Bands in the Elite section would be decided on the basis of one of the ranking tables. Does this mean that virtually the same bands bar the one to be relegated and the one promoted each year would contest the national Finals year in year out? So no representatives from L&SC or the West of England then? Not exactly in the spirit of the Nationals is it? Surely the joy of the Areas is that it gives all top section bands, especially the 'lesser' ones, the chance to do some giant slaying and have a shot at playing the Albert Hall.
  10. tubalation

    tubalation Member

    I think the Bitish Open and Spring Festival already provide something close to a 20 band elite with promotion and relegation, The only slight problem is that the Spring Festival being in Blackpool on a Saturday does put a certain geographic slant on the competitors with understandable difficulties for bands from the far south west.

    Thanks both for picking out Newstead. It was disappointing that we went into section 2 when the 5 section system was introduced but, despite limited resources, hard work by the band and 22 years (so far) of committed and inspirational leadership from Duncan Beckley has, as you both say, put us in a position to challenge the 'top bands' - we've been back in the top section since 2000 and intend staying there (and getting to London again and Birmingham asap), but we also know we've not done much that other bands can't aspire to emulate and we're only ever a couple of 'average' results from section 1.

    Mike Allcock
    Newstead Brass
  11. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    I don't think that the top section should be limited to those that 'people think are good enough' as such, the opportunity should be open to all.

    There are two different issues here. Some are rightly advocating that if a band has earnt the right to play in a section, then should play in it. I wholeheartedly agree with this. However, just because you've earnt the right to play in any section, doesn't mean your of the required standard to play in it.

    In my opinion the gulf in class between the very best and worst in the top section is as wide as the difference between the worst in the top section and the best of the 4th section.

    It has been mentioned by others before that the reason that the first section gets a hard time now, is because the bands that are of genuine 1st section standard are in the bottom half of the top section in most areas.
  12. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    The standards are amazing though.

    I still think there should be another section made. I know there has been a lot of discussion about this beforehand but FWIW, I think another section should be created to accomoadte these bands.
  13. tkhbss

    tkhbss Member

    Why create another tier? Surely 5 tiers is enough. If we listen to you there will be a different tier for every band in 20 years!
  14. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Isn't that what we call the British Open?!
  15. shawneuph

    shawneuph Supporting Member

    Here at Virtuosi GUS we have a full compliment of players (both brass and percussion) all are full members of the band and all rehearse week in week out. We do NOT have any part time players or any players we buy in just for a contest. We rehearse twice a week and rarely have more than 1 empty seat at a rehearsal, and except for holidays we turn out the same band at concerts that we do at contests.

    2010-2011 Midlands Championship Section Double Winners.
    2010 Top 6 Placed Band at the National Finals Royal Albert Hall.
  16. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Congratulations on achieving this continuity!
  17. jezza23361

    jezza23361 Member

    You are very fortunate but in my experience it is very rare now. Redbridge have a full band and have rehearsals in the early 20's generally but I have conducted a number of other bands where 20 plus is the exception. Tough going.

  18. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member

    There only seems to be 4 full time BBb players between the North West's top 4 bands at the moment. The lack of players goes right to the top.

    Anyone with a full band at rehearsals should count their blessings.
  19. Coverhead

    Coverhead Member

    I do like the idea of carrying out rehearsals in a time when brass banding was still on the up... although I'm at a loss as to how you manage to run a band and unravel the mysteries of time travel simultaneously!! ;)

    [dons serious hat]...

    This just goes to show that the lack of players is affecting bands at both ends of the spectrum :(
    On paper, we only have a couple of vacancies. But due to various reasons (work, family, other commitments, etc.) getting them all in the same place at the same time is another matter.
  20. marksmith

    marksmith Active Member

    And it showed at this year's Area.
    Congratulations to GUS, a Midlands band for us all to be proud of.
    Good luck at the Finals (and to Thoresby, of course!)