The Magic Of the Cup....

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Thirteen Ball, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    In the pub this weekend (What a good start, I hear you cry!) we got talking about the FA cup in football, and how it's so much better than the league because it pits lower-level opposition against top-flight teams - and somethimes, the big guns get turned over. And it struck us as funny how in almost every sport there's usually a league competition and a cup competition, yet in banding, there is only league/ladder style competition.

    So how about a brass band competition in an FA cup stylee? There's precious few giantkilling opportunities with the current set test piece or own choice contest format - but march and hymn tune contests throw up all kinds of results, and they're at the very grass roots of banding.

    The idea we came up with was to have 32 bands drawn randomly from all sections - divided into two divisions of 16 - playing head to head. Two play off at any one time on an own-choice march and hymn tune. Both would be formed up and ready in the same room, flip of a coin decides who plays the march first, then the hymn tunes are played in the same order. The winner is through to the next round, the loser goes home. (Or more likely to the pub!)

    Then that afternoon the eight winners of each division play off head to head against each other - though they can't play the same march and hymn tune they did in the last round. Same format, 8 bands through, 8 bands go out.

    Then at a separate occasion, you'd have the quater finals, semi finals and the final in one afternoon - same format but this time with set marches and hymn tunes.

    You'd need two adjudicators - one for each group of 16 to start with and then working as a panel of two for the remaining decision.

    The idea being to give an absolutely level playing field for bands of all levels and backgrounds. That Cleckheaton Crotchet Crunchers could draw Black Dyke in the first round (if they entered, that is!) just like a non-league team drawing man united in the FA cup. And a top band only needs one duff performance to go out, and a lower level band only needs one blinder to go through.

    Plus if top bands did enter and wound up standing on stage next to a youth band or similar, it would - win or lose - be a great experience for the lower level band who can go home and say they've played against B&R etc, (Might even beat them if they have a ropey performance!) and a good way for the big boys to put something back in at grass roots level, just by turning up and playing.

    And with no promotion or relegation to worry about, it can be do or die stuff all the way!

    Opinions welcome - fire away.
  2. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    You could get more bands involved and make it more practical if the bands were just judged at a regular concert...with perhaps the final four being the first time they are all brought together in the same venue.

    Late July draw
    Aug/Sept round 1 judge goes to band A's concert and Band B's concert rates winner (either on best march, hymn, entertainment type contest, whatever). Bands competing go from 512 to 256.
    Oct/Nov 256 to 128
    Dec (Christmas tune theme) 128 to 64
    Jan/Feb 64 to 32
    Mar/April 32 to 16
    May 16 to 8
    June (Quarter Finals) 8 to 4
    Early July - Held on the same day at one venue, the four finalists are invited and sponsored to perform. (Semi Finals) 4 to 2; (Championship) 2 to 1
  3. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    It's a great idea, but how would you get top bands to enter? After all, bands like B&R and Fodens have got quite a bit to lose if they get spanked in the first round by Bartlethorpe Pickle Works B band. You'd need to have some serious prize money on offer I suspect.
  4. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I guess you could do like the FA cup and have the 32 ranked bands join in during a later round?
  5. andyfake

    andyfake Member

    Andi - if you want to see this sort of thing in action, suggest you come down to Kippax on August 12th when Wakefield (2nd Section Yorkshire Champs) play Dodworth (3rd Section Yorkshire Champs) in the semis of our knockout contest. Should be a very tasty tie!
  6. zak

    zak Member

    I agree it should be a good contest particularly as Wakefield Met my old (very first) senior band but it's not exactly the Manchester United v Halifax equivalent of a FA cup tie for example with regards to top flight bands is it? I say this not wishing to take anything away from the Kippax contest which I have been to in previous years and thoroughly enjoyed watching!!
    I think you would seriously struggle to get the so called 'big bands' to enter this sort of contest regardless of prize money for various reasons. Lets remember that some of these top bands currently don't enter established good contests such the english nationals/masters for differing reasons.

    I agree though that such a knockout contest would be very good to see if all entered!!

    Ps.. I might pay a visit to the knockout round at Kippax, should be good!!:tup
  7. andyfake

    andyfake Member

    "I think you would seriously struggle to get the so called 'big bands' to enter this sort of contest regardless of prize money for various reasons. Lets remember that some of these top bands currently don't enter established good contests such the english nationals/masters for differing reasons."

    ...which is why we went for 2nd section downwards. A "giant-killing" isn't entirely out of the question and the luck of the draw means that there is a fair chance of a lower section band getting into the prize money too. Unfortunately, we have had some bands pull out at the 11th hour this year - a bit of a problem when there's only two/three due to appear on a particular night!, but we'll persevere and see how it goes for this first year.
  8. Sandy Smith

    Sandy Smith Member

    There used to be two competitions in Scotland where all the competing bands from all the sections were were drawn in one job lot.
    The Edinburgh Charities,which was an own choice test piece contest held in December and the Glasgow Charities,an entertainment contest held in May.

    Apart from the overall result prizes were awarded for the highest placed band from each section and it regularly gave bands the chance to upset the apple cart.

    I remember playing with Whitburn Junior Band,who at the time ( mid 1970's) were in the 4th section and beating the Whitburn Senior Band at the Glasgow Charities contest.

    What made it all the more memorable was that the two bands were drawn alongside each other in the order of play !
  9. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    Hey andi!! i got ur email about this the other day and though it was a good idea!! and thought of in the pub by u and jen!! !!! hehe it would be good if u could pull it off...and a very good drinking day (wine!!)

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