The Contest Platform!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by James McFadyen, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    Fife, Scotland
    I just thought I'd raise the question about how to act or go about playing on the contest stage.

    Do conductors tell the band to go on stage to win or to go on stage and enjoy themselves and do thier jobs as performers and not as a competing band?

    I think one of the problems about contesting is much of the 'audience' are other bandsman out to check the band out or critic how the band played. I would love to see contesting changed, personally. I think it should be a concert-type contest. Concerts usually bring in a good number of ordinary listeners who care nothing but to hear good live music. This is what I believe live performing is about. These 'concerts' could be adjudicated and we could still have our 'league' system, but perhaps the focus should be brought to have a good days live performing.

    Which way do you sway, or do you think we should do something even more radical??? Please comment and don't be afraid to speak your mind, if you really feel contesting should be changed to a more concert-orientated platform, tells us, or indeed if you like the way things are, tell us!
  2. midwalesman

    midwalesman Member

    Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
    Concerts contests.

    Have to say that I think you are partially right in what you say. On the issue of the construction of the audience you are bang on, the way to get them into the contest. BUT, in theory you are right, however the practical aspect of it ever getting introduced is approaching the zero mark!

    On the contest stage itself, I tend to be nervous for the first bits but once I settle down I might as well enjoy it all and have a laugh and a giggle with the other players. If you're relaxed and enjoy it, I think the audience takes note. If it seems like hardwork and eyes are down then it shows that the performance individually or collectively is not going well or up to expectation.
  3. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Before we go on a contaest stage our conductor usually says something like "there's nothing more we can do now, you can play the piece so go on and enjoy it". I always play better if I'm enjoying being on stage so thats always what I aim to do.

    Good point about contest audiences, but what about entertainment contests? I don't remember too many of those being attended by Joe Public, despite the best efforts of the organisers.

    Personally I think it's a shame that "Joe Public" doesn't hear brass bands playing competitively as this is very often the best time to hear them. Ther're at the top of their form and usually playing to a better standard than at most of their own concerts.
  4. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    West Yorkshire
    Whatever the contest senario I believe you are gonna play to the adjudicator, because it's a contest there's winners and thme that come second!! I believe you go to a contest to win (why else?) whatever the adience/crowd you're still gonna want to impress one/two bloke's in a box!!
  5. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    West Sussex
    Erm... like an entertainments contest then? :wink:
    If our local ents contest is anything to go by, 90% of the audience is still made up of other competing bands anyway. IMHO the only real difference is that some bands go over board on the novelty items (sorry guys, they're just NOT funny!!!) and as a result the general standard of music and performance suffers. I'm not a great fan - can you tell?!

    Contesting isn't about audiences, its about the band's development, performance relative to your peers, and the result. If it wasn't, why bother putting ourselves through all the hassle and stress of it?
  6. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Hadleigh, Essex
    Ont thing that does annoy me about contests is constant reminders about there being no applause as the bands take the stage. To my mind it would make for a much better atmosphere if there were to be a reasonable amount of applause as each band comes on to play, which could help settle nerves and ease the tension somewhat.
  7. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    St Austell
    Only trouble is Peter that certain 'big name' bands would receive a large amountof applause, therefore either swaying the adjudicators view or at least giving him an idea of who is on stage.
  8. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Hadleigh, Essex
    I think the argument there is flawed as, certainly at the Open, there is always some applause when the "name" bands come on, usually followed by a reminder not to clap, that serves to make it even more obvious :shock:
  9. Jo Elson

    Jo Elson Member

    The most important thing is to enjoy it knowing you put your all into it. If things go wrong then thats unlucky. I dont think you should go on with the thought of winning in your mind as you will only be dissapointed because only one band can win. You should just say you will do your best, and like roger, make you feel good and confident about yourselves with no real pressure if things do go wrong.
  10. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Southport, Lancashire
    We use the "go on and enjoy it" method as well, and I think we get less nervousness on stage as a result. Of course you should be a bit nervous, it's that adrenalin that (hopefully) makes you play your best.
    If you really aren't enjoying it even just a little bit, perhaps to the point where you make yourself ill with worry, then (given it's a hobby, not a job) I'd be wondering if I should be doing it at all!
    I don't think the result should be the be all and end all, just because one man (or woman) says you weren't the best doesn't mean that everyone agrees! You'll know whether you played well or not when you walk off stage, not when the results are given out. Personally I'd take the opinions of friends in other bands over most adjudicators any day, they would certainly "tell me straight"!
  11. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    South London
    My old band got a great bit of advice from the conductor just before one of our most successful competition performances... Go out and there and destroy all the other bands, blow them out of the water, and smile... :D
  12. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    Bergen, Norway
    im not gonna repeat what kingy said last rehearsal :D
  13. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    All depends on the bands attitude before going on stage I guess. If you know you CAN win then tell them they can do it and to not to get worked up. If you know you SHOULD win it and all the players realise that then give em a kick up the arse and tell them 2nd is not an option.
  14. Crazysop

    Crazysop Member

    We have had several conductors over the past few years all with differing attitudes to pre contest direction and advice. The best advice I found for me was that 'we only had ourselves to beat.' Which although slightly cryptic really helped me to not worry about other bands, just focus on my own performance. I think the worst pre contest advice was something along the llines of 'well don't expect any prizes you're (the band) an embarassment' which funnily enough served to p**s us all off
  15. skweeky

    skweeky Member

    Blackpool, Lancashire
    i agree totaly!! Theres nothing worse than a tight audience staring at you to wait in pray that u miss that top C! If it was a public audience they wouldnt notice and therefore you would ease the pressure off yourself and improve your performance for Mr/Miss Ajudibobbly cant spell it :oops:

    our conductor is very much one of those guys that you want infront of your band. He somehow always gets us to play our best. He lays the "i would be so pleased if we won and i would like nothing more" speech and that really makes you dig your heels in to satisfy the man in the middle.

    But overall i would prefer it all to be much more laid back. After all, for me, this is a hobby! :wink:
  16. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    I find that most of the time the people tutting at split notes and waiting for mistakes in the audience are not other bandsmen but just old gaffers who've been rustling sweets in the quiet passages all day, go for a cup of tea when the bands they haven't heard of come on and when the "famous" bands come on, wait for them to mess up. In my experience very few of the bands people will be found in the hall after they have played, especially at the contests without bandsmen's tickets. I don't see the point in making them "concert-type" contests... bands do concerts all year round and have no need to do one at their own expense rather than getting paid. Look at Spennymoor... of the top bands who have attended over the years, there arent many left!
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