Stage presentation and deportment

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by tubafran, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    What's you band like when it comes to stage deportment, especially concerts?

    Do they instinctively know what to do, do you have someone who tells them how it's going to be done or do you have to write it down (with diagrams) ?

    I think that this ought to be the easiest thing for any section of band to do and look professional - we may not all play like Black Dyke but we should be able to emulate the stage presence - how hard is it to walk on in order, sit together, etc.
  2. hicks

    hicks Member

    We're quite good in terms of deportment. Entering/exiting the stage is co-ordinated by the players. Nobody sits down until the conductor arrives on stage, and after playing each piece you're not allowed to touch the music until the conductor addresses the audience.
    I'm in favour of good deportment, it creates a more professional feel to the concert.
  3. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    We try hard to have good deportment as our MD believes that people listen with their eyes as well as their ears.

    Shandy 'I'm in charge' Lee does a superb job for us. Gets to the venue early, ensures the stage is set properly and then gives instructions as to what order we will go on stage! Top bloke that Shandylee
  4. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    I think it's very important, we always strive to present a well disciplined front when performing on the cocert stage.

    I don't think we do bad on the whole.
  5. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    I think its important but apart from youth band have never been in a band thats taken it that seriously. I think its really important for entertainments contests as well and have been quite surprised in the past when its not even been mentioned.

    In youth band contests we ued to spend a good half hour at least the week before just practicing standing up, bringing instruments up together etc and i think it makes the band as a whole feel better and more confident in their performance.
  6. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Getting fussy about presentation is pretty much a waste of time, IMO, unless the presentation is an important focus.

    What are we trying to do, engage with the audience or impress them with our aloofness? Anything that puts up barriers between performer and listener is bad in my book.

    But then, I know my views on the matter of presentation are not exactly mainstream.

    As for it being "professional" to do the brass band shtick of coming on in order, and sitting down in sections - when was the last time you saw a professional orchestra do this?
  7. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    I know what you mean, I'm band sarge for my sins at band, in the past members have said they sometimes think there's too much talking and laughing on stage. Audience feedback from the same gig was that it was good to see band obviously enjoying themselves and the music.
  8. vonny

    vonny Member

    Hey Dave,

    If your band went on the concert stage etc looking untidy (ripped jacket, customised shirts - that would be acceptable?
    I think presentation is an important factor, and an excellent performance on stage is even better!
    I know you're not refering to dress code but I wanted to illustrate in this way because if 'we' look profesional walking on stage then I believe it can contribute to a good performance.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2008
  9. davidaus

    davidaus New Member


    Deportment is important as if the stage looks messy it destracts from the performance how ever good it is.

    Bands like Black Dyke have a very clean stage ... they don't have a plethora of instruments stands with all sorts of multi coloured cloths (trombones are the worse offenders), music on folders on the floor or anything like that.

    There is no real movement behind Nick Childs when he talks and allows the audience to focus on what he is saying.

    All these things make things easier on the eye and allow concentration on the music,
  10. peps

    peps New Member

    I agree about having a slightly less formal attitude to presentation, but where do you draw the line between messy and professional. In entertainment contests our band don't rehearse what we will be doing on stage as regards to presentation and we tend to look a bit shabby. Also, in entertainment contests should every member know what they should be doing, simply to avoid looking silly and undisciplined? For example, at the end of a piece of music if half the cornet section are putting their mutes down and getting the next piece up, and the other half are sitting with their cornets to their mouths waiting for the conductor, chances are it would totally spoil the ending of the music.
  11. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    All things need to be seen in context...

    Personally, this wouldn't bother me if I were in the audience. Maybe some audience members would be bothered by untidiness. I find this pretty daft - after all, they've come to a concert to use their ears, not their eyes... But as I say, I appreciate that a lot of people aren't as liberal as I am on this question, and am happy to go along with being basically tidy on stage.

    On the other hand, the stiff pseudo-military things that bands do - of which I cited coming on in order and sitting down together, and to which one could add wearing bizarre jackets and being emotionally detached from the audience during performance - I think inarguably result in the audience feeling less at ease; because they start to feel regimented.
  12. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Fast-moving thread, this...

    A perfect illustration of the difference in perception between players and audience. People sometimes get caught in tradition, without considering whether it might be a bad thing to sit there po-faced.

    On the other hand, people can take it too far... At a concert a few years ago with Kidlington, a trombonist came in to help out, and made bizarre and lewd remarks throughout that must have audible to the first few rows.
  13. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    At the orchestra I play at in Sheffield I think there's a massive barrier between the audience - we come on play, applause at the end, lots of bowing, standing up and not a word said to the audience. No introduction between pieces, no thank-yous at the end just complete silence.

    Not sure if this is what happens at other orchestras but perhaps this orchestra needs to take some tips from the brass band world.
  14. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I think orchestras also have this problem. The point I made about the use of the word "professional" was a different point to the one I made about barriers.

    Sorry for not being clear...
  15. hicks

    hicks Member

    On the contrary Dave, I don't think we should be aloof at all. But the performance is visual as well as aural. I think good deportment contributes to the overall effect. Yes we are trying to engage the audience and the conductor has a very important role in achieving this. Players can also contribute by looking like they are enjoying themselves, and of course playing well. But presentation is an important aspect.
    I remember seeing a band in concert at a local theatre and thinking to myself what a miserable looking bunch they were.
  16. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    With a formal walk-on sometimes it's just the logistics of getting everyone to the right seat without falling over one another. At KSB we often play in small venues and we don't have the luxury of plenty of space on stage - just makes sense to get people in an order - no fun having some great hulking bass player with instrument pushing through horns and euphoniums to get to the seat because they didn't go on first.

    I'm sure it's possible to walk on in a non-aloof manner, perhaps a little smile or a cheery wave. I really do think it sets the stage for "better" performance, gets the audience thinking "well this lot seem to know what they are doing...I'm looking forward to this" - then we play the first notes and it all goes out the window;) but at least we can also leave the stage just as slick (trying not to use the word professional)
  17. millie6589

    millie6589 Member

    people always tell us that we always look like we're enjoying ourselves, the only problem is we've been waiting for jackets now for as long as i can remember, there always seems to be something more important to do, but we are going out to concerts etc in either white shirts and bow tie (performing monkies) or our marroon sweatshirts (chavvy school kids!). our deportment is not too bad but we have a few young kids who often need reminding and a push in the right direction!
  18. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Some confusion? That's what I thought I said.

    Personally, I think people should be discouraged from 'listening with their eyes'. It leads to them not listening properly with their ears.
  19. hicks

    hicks Member

    I would have thought the audience is already distracted by the gaudy looking jackets that the brass band world seems so fond of. If the attire isn't aimed at presenting a visual spectacle, then I'm not sure of the point.
  20. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I think the original point of those jackets was lost a long time back. Now they just say "We're a BRASS BAND". Which rather straightjackets the expectations of the audience right from the start.

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