The Pitfalls of Progression

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by JesTperfect!, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. JesTperfect!

    JesTperfect! Member

    I play for my Youth Band (Principle Cornet) and for my Senior Band (Second Cornet, Championship Section) and am beginning to think it's time to give up one or the other.

    I'm in my 2nd year of college, studying for 5 a levels, have a part time job, play for my county youth band & the NYBBGB........I'm beginning to struggle with four rehearsals a week, plus a sectional, plus 2 private lessons, PLUS various engagements. It's leaving me precious little time to breathe, let alone study!

    If I'm honest, I'm starting to feel like I've out-grown the youth band (having been there 10years, I sometimes feel about 46 years old sat on the end!), and am considering leaving the youth band and concentrating on championship level banding.

    However, I'm worried that in leaving behind a solo cornet line and only playing 2nd cornet that my ability/higher register will be comprosmised.

    Any thoughts/experiences/advise?
    Would all be greatly appreciated!
  2. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Inevitably, there will come a time when you will outgrow the youth band. I shouldn't worry too much about your upper register - if you are practicing regularly you can work on that privately! You shouldn't notice too much difference I don't think.

    Sounds to me like you're making the right decision. :tup
  3. Gig

    Gig Member


    'only' second cornet is the wrong way of looking at the position. You ask the 2nd cornet players of Dyke, Cory etc. Remember a band is only as good as it's worst player and it is not good practice having all you worse players on the back row, especially with some more enlightend composers/arrangers around at the moment.

    After playing all sorts of positions, when playing solo or front row, I get bored playing the tune all the time. I find playing the inner parts far more interesting. As for the higher register, you won't loose that as long as you keep up the practice.

    Good luck in the future
  4. JesTperfect!

    JesTperfect! Member

    I'm sorry-please don't think that I think I'm above playing 2nd cornet-I'm perfectly happy playing second. I just don't want to find myself a worse player than I am now because I've stopped playing on the front row-whether it be in a youth band or what!
  5. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    I agree with DaveR here, there will come a time when you feel a need to stop playing with the youth band.
    I'd also agree Gig keep up the practice, and you'll be fine.

    But what i would add, (and its something i'm doing with my youth band), would it be more beneficently to the youth band for you to sit in on a lower part, and help out.

    My youth band PC has just been promoted to rep in the senior band, and is finding it tough going to play for an hour before senior band with the youth band. So what she is going to do is stay with the youth band, but sit in with the lower cornets to help out, and boost their confidence a bit.

    As a youth leader, we are always looking for that little bit of extra help!!;)
  6. Masterblaster jnr

    Masterblaster jnr Active Member

    village/town youth bands are a good way to start, then move on to Area/National youth bands and then you move to senior bands so it's the stage between the Area/National youth bands and the senior bands at the minute
  7. JesTperfect!

    JesTperfect! Member


    That helped!
  8. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - playing 2nd cornet parts for top section contests usually provides more than a restricted range and it is, at the moment, just one of your many roles. Keep your objectives on track to become a better all round player and treat the position as it is ... one role of many you are capable of. There are quite a few students who get band experience serving on the back row of championship bands, so you are not alone.
  9. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Seems to me that you've got the approach about right - I had to give up the top chair at my youth band once I got to my second year of "A" Levels, although I helped them out on 4MD when they were desperate. As almost everyone else ^^^ (with the exception of the ever-helpful Masterblaster Jr:rolleyes: ) has said, as long as you keep working your upper register in regular private practice/lessons, you won't lose it.

    Just to drift off the topic for a mo, even though you want to cut down a bit on playing commitments, if you get the opportunity try and do a few other things - nothing rounds out your general musicianship like getting out of the banding bubble and doing a bit of orchestral or big band work, and these sort of ensembles usually ask for less of your time.
  10. towse1972

    towse1972 Active Member

    What in the lords name does that mean?
  11. Lawrencediana

    Lawrencediana Member

    This is a good point, you could also put yourself up for the occassional depping job with local lower section bands that will give you front row experience.
  12. Masterblaster jnr

    Masterblaster jnr Active Member

    What i (or i think i was) saying is that you just have to move on to a better band if that offers there.

    For example, Solo position in a 2nd section band, or 2nd position in the championship. which do you choose, i'm in that stage at the mo too so i'm making my mind up too.

    It Made sense to me! but not to anyone else.
    Badly worded
  13. towse1972

    towse1972 Active Member

    "Put brain in gear before engaging mouth!" or fingers in this case!!!
  14. JesTperfect!

    JesTperfect! Member

    I think so!!

    It's not a question of which do I choose, it's a question of will it be detrimental to my playing to give up the youth band!!
  15. jim

    jim Member

    Having been through all this myself I found that I 'just new' when the time was right to leave the youth band in my case it was the Gwent youth band when I joined it I worked how many years I could do but it never happened like that same as National youth brass band of wales I could have stayed on after getting in for 2006/2007 but just new that having a full time job and playing commotments with my own band I new which one's I wanted to do and what I didn't.

    I found it harder when I starterd working I spent all day with adults and in my own and then it would come to the nybb etc and it would be suddenley like being back in school (im not complaining about this) but I found it hard to intergrate aspecially as most players my age were in uni etc.

    Playing wisend from exsperiancses booking deps with PolySteel is that you can never find a cornet player when you want one!! all bands need deps and its more about being up for the challanges being posative and just trying to network and make contacts you will form a reputation etc
  16. JesTperfect!

    JesTperfect! Member

    Ok, thanks everyone,that's been really helpful : )
    Plan of action leave *with a small sigh (possibly of relief!)* and do as much depping as I can get my hands on!!
  17. sugarandspice

    sugarandspice Active Member

    Are you at Truro College?

    I was in a similar position 3/4 years ago (God i feel old now!) Studying 5 A levels and managing the job and 2 or 3 bands. I was forced into making the decision by the college who basically said i had to give up music if i wanted to persue the career i had chosen. Consequently i changed my mind with regard to my A Levels so i could continue with Band.

    Any Ideas what you want to do after College? If it's music related then i would stick with both bands as long as you're happy,
    Dare i say- the college 'bully' people into taking five subjects as it gains them extra funding. although i enjoyed it at the time it didn't really help me in anyway when applying for uni- they wanted to see 3 good grades not 5 average grades.

    I am not for one moment saying A Levels aren't important, as they clearly are, but you need to make the judgement as to what is most important at the moment and what you can realistically speard your time between. I'm sure Alan will be gutted to see you leave the youth band but you obvioulsy have a good future ahead of you in the Senior Band from which you will learn a lot!

    Also, be aware that your priorities my change- as i said before- reading your post reminded me of myself- in which i was determined that banding was extremely important to me- i am now 3 years into my degree and as much as i love banding i am not playing at the moment as i am determined to get the best degree i can, that is afterall what will put me in good stead to get a job/house/mortgage etc, knowing that banding is something i can always come back to (or never escape in my case now i am spending my time in yorskhire!)

    Anyway, your a good player, an asset to your bands and they should support you in your choice, your january exams should give you a good idea of what's to come from which you should be able to decide what you need to drop!
  18. JesTperfect!

    JesTperfect! Member

    Thank you, sugarandspice.
    I am at truro college, how did you guess?! You're right, they are one of the only colleges I know that force you into attempting 5 a levels, when clearly that is only for the intellectually gifted...which I am not, sadly.

    I have been told (by my music lecturer, amazingly) that I'm focusing too much on banding and that if I must spend as much time 'doing' music, then I should broaden my horizons and look more to the future, which is pretty much what you seem to be advising?

    Happily with the subjects I'm doing I don't have January exams : )

    It seems that you know Alan-possibly you will then understand how difficult it would be for me to leave? Especially having been there from the beginning, when the band had nothing. I'm proud to say I'm a part of having built the band into what they are today-I wouldn't like to think that I was letting them down by leaving.

    But maybe happy memories are what I should be focusing on........moving on is probably the best thing right?
  19. sugarandspice

    sugarandspice Active Member

    Is Katrina your music lecturer? Truro College Music department really did us over during our time there so i hope it has got better for you?! Take no notice of the banding comment- they didn't even know what a euphonium was when i first joined and said similair comments, luckily after my recital they were a bit nicer! (it only took two years!)

    At the end of the day the A level music course is so theorectical that you might as well give up banding all together and just study musical theory and probably still find the course hard! - don't!

    I was lucky to have grown up with Carrick Wind band during the time when they won everything! (Royal Albert Hall, Symphonay hall, festival hall etc) so that offered a good playing experience away from Brass Banding and jsut a good experience of a different ensemble so that might be something to think about.

    Yes i do know Alan- i played for you guys at Canary Wharf a few years ago, so i do understand the pressures you would be under by leaving. At the end of the day you need to do whats right for you and if you feel it's time to move on then so be it. Any reasonable grown up should respect your decision and support you in that!

    Hope thats of some help?

    But most of all- don't make your decision based on what anyone on here as said! It's got to be up to you!
  20. brassed_off

    brassed_off Member

    Just do what makes you happy. That is most important in banding and in life.


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