Over the last couple of years it seems that some of the test pieces chosen for our Area and National Competitions are proving too difficult for the average standard of bands within those sections to do the music any justice (although you might disagree if you've happened to win one of the forementioned contests!) For instance, last years 3rd Section Area Test Piece - Vizcaya (Vinter) prooved far too difficult for the majority of bands in all eight areas and it looks like this year test (Entertainments) will again trouble the majority of players in the 'average' 3rd section band. Also the 2nd Section choice for Harrogate - Belmont Variations - stretched all the bands that little too far. (applause for Mr. McCann for actually speaking the truth!) I'm all for testing the players/bands at competitions but are the Music Selection Committee actually 'in touch' with the lower sections and their capabilities, or are these pieces being chosen to make the adjudicators job that little bit easier? As our beloved adjudicators are always criticising lower sections bands for not playing in tune, bad intonation, balance, dynamics et al. why don't the Music Selection Panel chose pieces in which we can actually work on these criteria instead of having to teach little 'Jimmy' on third cornet how to flutter tounge and play fast running semiquavers! Just an observation, but would be interested in your comments.