Thank you Mr. Conductor...and goodbye!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Mr Smiler, Jul 24, 2003.

  1. Mr Smiler

    Mr Smiler Member

    I've been facinated to read about the departure of Russell Gray from Fodens. I don't want to speculate what has gone on there, but it appears that Russell (one of the most successful conductors of one of the best bands) didn't really know this was coming.

    It set me to wondering how band committees and conductors get on. Is it really as cut-throat at the top level as it appears? My local champ section band has been through 5 conductors in the last 5 years. That's surely not good for morale or consistancy.

    As MD of my band I am an integral part of the committee and we try and communicate as much as possible on things like rehearsals and jobs, repertoire, discipline and deportment, attendances etc. I would hope that if I parted company with the band that it would be by mutual consent and not done in an under-hand way. I'm not suggesting it was done this way at Fodens but it does seem that there has been a break down in communication somewhere.

    What does anyone else think?
  2. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Reading the report in british Bandsman this morning it stated that the chairman declined to comment further as the band had not been informed of the decision. I fail to understand how any contact could be made with Russell or the press without the band being informed first.
  3. Mr Smiler

    Mr Smiler Member

    Which is my point.

    I know that in the SA, the Bandmaster (or MD) heads up the locals (committee) but then he or she has a wider role within the running of an Army corps.

    Its different in contesting bands and its the committee that can ultimately hire and fire the conductor. But I'm interested in the relationship between committees and their conductors and how between them they manage the band right across the sections.
  4. Di B

    Di B Member

    I think irrelivant of section you get different types of conductors in banding.....

    1. The 'joining in' type. The one who is part of the committe, will try and motivate and encourage players, will look at recruiting, will not mind taking the MD stand to a band job, will basically roll up their sleeves and get stuck in and become part of the band. Usually seen singing rude songs when on a session with fellow band members!

    2. The 'professional' MD. They come and do their job of conducting and training and although are very good and very motivational with what they do they do not get involved with any of the running of the band. They concentrate solely on the musicality.

    Both of these have their advantages and disadvantages, and I think it depends on the band as to which suits a band best.

    As for sacking conductors, I personally feel that honesty is the best policy. I think it depends on the circumstances however as to how it is done. An example is of a good band (although fairly broke) going to the Open in two weeks time. They have decided they want rid of their MD as not motivating the band but cannot afford to get a replacement before such a large contest. Therefore the MD is not made aware of the situation until after the contest. This I see as the only acceptable way a band can play it unless they risk pleading with the MD to take them to one last contest.

    Hope that makes sense!!!!
  5. Bones

    Bones Member

    I agree with Di B in that the type of conductor you have determines the attitude toward them.

    We are fortunate that on our committee, our MD sits as an advisory capacity. This way he retains the professional approach as befits the expenses paid to him, and also can have an opinion in the band running, especially if it may potential hinder the music. Lets not lose sight that first and foremost the music is what the conductor is appointed for. Because he has an involvement, that way there is no subterfuge at all.

    It is important though to include everyone in the actions that affect the band, and our band are made aware of everything that goes off. No secrets at all.

    Also, in our band we keep the right side of the MD cos he has a Transit van as well. (God Bless Billy Rushworth)


  6. Mr Smiler

    Mr Smiler Member

    Fair points made there.

    Has banding become a little like football in that people will go where the money is? If this is the case, particularly at the top level, loyalty goes out of the window, from players and conductors alike.

    I'd be interested to know how many conductors on this site don't actually get paid by their bands and if not, why do they do it?

    Also, do they therefore feel a greater sense of loyalty and belonging to their band?
  7. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    The day Russell Gray is informed about his positoin at Fodens, Gary Cutt announced his resignation from Grimethorpe.

    What's the betting Gary Cutt will be conducting Fodens within a fortnight.

  8. picju96

    picju96 Member

    I was thinking exactly the same thing.
  9. floral_dance

    floral_dance Member

    my thoughts were the same as yours Roger :wink: Not that I know much but just reading between the lines.
  10. Mr Smiler

    Mr Smiler Member

    Where do you think Russell will go then? Leyland? Maybe Gary Cutt will end up there?

    Haven't Fodens approached you yet Roger? :wink:
  11. Phil Green

    Phil Green Supporting Member

    Roger, I'll take your money off you if you want right now!

  12. Big Fella

    Big Fella Member

    I must agree with Phil Green, There is no way that Gary Cutt will be going to Foden's, alegedly, even though Garry has resigned, he has still got to see out another 3 months with the band...

    Phil, by the way Gemma T, says hiya..
  13. Euph-Bari

    Euph-Bari Active Member

    yeah but doesn't he have to stay there till november - when his notice expires
  14. markyboy

    markyboy Member

    If Garry Cutt doesn't take Fodens, then who does anyone one think will? There isnt any relly big names doing nothing at the moment, I think there may be a bit of a mini roundabout of Conductors after the Open.

    I also would very interested to see who fills Garry's shoes after November.

    Maybe Russell Gray?
  15. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    Only to let me know who isn't taking over from Russell :lol:

    I've just read that Philip MaCann has been replaced at Whitburn so that's three Championship Section MD's on the loose.

    The plot thickens!

  16. markyboy

    markyboy Member

    I dont expect to see Phillip McCann at either Fodens or Grimey. Dont forget he was at Fodens once before and it didnt work out, and I think he is too commited at Sellers. After all he did start the band up, and even after they sacked him once he was still prepared to go back.

    In either band I honestly cant think who I would put my money on, but I dont think we've heard the last of you Russell if you happen to read this.
  17. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    But he's still taking Sellers, isn't he?
  18. Mr Smiler

    Mr Smiler Member

    Let's face it, whoever does manage to secure Russell's services will have a very talented conductor on their hands.

    What about Travelsphere? After all he did take them at the Nationals. They need some continuity.

    Come on you Leyland people - let's have your opinion. Do you think you should be after Russell or Gary Cutt? :wink:
  19. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

  20. markyboy

    markyboy Member

    I get the impression that some people think Garry is leaving Leland as well as Grimethorpe. I dont think this is the case, thats why I doubt very much he will be going to Fodens because of the Area contest clash.
    Many conductors are involved in more than one band but they usually tend to be in two different areas.

    If anyone hears anything on the grapevine keep us informed. Its all very interesting.

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