Swiss Nationals 5 New Test Pieces

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by stevetrom, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    I've just read this

    and it raises a couple of questions to me:

    1. if Switzerland can commission 5 new pieces for the finals why can't the UK? Brass Band England?

    2. should the UK music panel make more use of new test pieces from European contests/composers?
  2. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    good questons! BBE doesn't run a contest any more (it commissioned a couple for the ENBBC); Kapitol, the Open and Butlins all run major national multi section contests that could follow the Swiss example though. BBE could potentially help them find the money.

    and yes, if they're any good. Despite my perennial bee in the bonnet about new music, I'm the first to acknowledge that new doesn't necessarily equal good...
  3. Dago

    Dago Member

    It would be quite interesting to know what BBE actually do for Brass Bands?
  4. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    You can answer your own question by beginning here:

    Or, you could read this month's BBW, particularly the article headlined "Brass Bands England Liaison Officer helps bands to raise £300,000". Or you can read any one of dozens of similar articles published in the brass band press over the past year or two. The information you seek is there, if you can be bothered to look for it.

    Whether or not BBE ought to be helping any bands which are not members of its organisation is another matter. Personally, I see no reason why it should. I'm not a member of my local golf club or or BUPA, so I think that if I suggested that I ought to have privileged access to the golf course or to private medical treatment I'd rightly be told to b***er off.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  5. Dago

    Dago Member

    I think before you believe anything about the claim of £300,000 it may be worth everyone in the brass band movement to ask for a detailed breakdown of where this figure actually comes from? BBE have gained a great deal of funding from the Arts Council when, in fact, they represent less than 20% of brass bands in this country, and I see no REAL evidence of any impact they are making on the everyday lives of bands or band people!
  6. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    The Aussie nationals has new commissions for each section in 2015. I have yet to play any of them (and will probably only play one of them!). Feedback from my Aussie friends is that they are a mixed bag... I know the A-grade work has had the percussion parts completely revised.

    It's great to encourage new work, but if an untried work turns out to be a dog a lot of bandspeople are going to have a bad time.

    As for part 2 - YES! All of my favourite works in recent years are by the euro crowd. While many of the pieces are 'properly' hard some have amazing music and ideas within. European composers are not flavoured by the British Brass Band tradition for better and worse.
  7. marc71178

    marc71178 Member

    But how many of those bands have actually approached BBE and asked for assistance? Funnily enough if you don't ask then you don't get but if you have something you want to do and actually approach them with a plan then you'll find them helpful...
  8. hobgoblin

    hobgoblin Member

    Bit of a chicken and egg one this. Is it for BBE to first show what they can do, or bands to first approach them with issues with which they may be able to assist? I'm not sure what the answer is, but even if it is a small clique dedicated to feathering their own nests, then surely the folk involved have given so much to banding over the years that we cannot begrudge them a few 'perks' in their dotage? Good luck to them I say.
  9. Dago

    Dago Member

    You miss my point - I'm questioning the legitimacy of the claim of £300,00 and also BBE's right to claim funding from the Arts Council in respect of their minimal representation of brass bands in this country. If they claim to represent all brass bands then why charge membership? Also, how many bands are members? There are a number of claims made on their website but no real information or evidence to substantiate them? As a member of the brass band community, and a tax payer I would have thought that information about BBE's activities, their short and long term aims and objectives etc... be made transparent and accountable?
  10. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    God forbid anyone should congratulate BBE on their success and "everyone in the brass band movement" aren't members, so technically it's got nothing to do with them anyway.

    I've seen enough of the new management at BBE to think that if help is requested or a project suggested, they'll do their best to get involved and help, but when all's said and done they are a membership organisation. At least they're trying, which is more than can be said of many of those decrying their efforts from the sidelines and they appear to have had more success getting a share of the rapidly shrinking arts funding pie for brass bands than any previous bodies or individuals have, so fair play to them.
  11. Dago

    Dago Member

    As you are obviously privy to the inner workings of the BBE, perhaps you could detail the claim of £300,00 funding for brass bands (as stated) and further identify which awards have directly involved the BBE. I'm in no way "decrying their efforts" but I am trying to ascertain what their efforts atually are?

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