The worst comment made in an adjudication

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by stopher, Aug 11, 2003.

  1. stopher

    stopher Member

    After re-reading the adjudication from the National Eisteddfod, I was still pretty annoyed by what I thought was a "very useful" comment right at the end.

    "A well chosen, well rehearsed programme that was almost well played" was what was written.

    A very positive, constructive and confidence boosting comment for a very young 4th section band I think!!!!!!!!!

    While a lot of comments that the adjudicator made were very fair and I realizeit is his opinion, what kind of help is that comment to any band.

    Makes you think if he was taking the p@ss a bit! Just wondering if anyone has had any worse than that.



    He is a very experienced adjudicator too. Also, that was for the band that won!!! Wish I could have seen the last bands![/quote][/i]
  2. IckleSop

    IckleSop Active Member


    Some do know what they are waffling on about, but others can show there personality in there comments, Stuck up. Its all comments to take in, and you dont take in what you dont want to.

    For example at the NYBB Champs the guy said that i was out of tune, i found that stupid when i wasnt even playin in that bar!!!!
  3. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    Think that's appalling. Constructive criticism is one thing (many people's beef with adjudicator's comments are about blandly positive comments that don't address faults) but sarcastic comments like that don't achieve anything.
  4. IckleSop

    IckleSop Active Member


    Reading it plainly now, maybe he just worded it wrong, as in there was good playin and bad playing involved meaning the "almost" part
  5. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    Reading it plainly now, maybe he just worded it wrong, as in there was good playin and bad playing involved meaning the "almost" part[/quote]

    'Generally' instead of 'almost'? Reinforces my opinion that you would get better comments, more constructive and more carefully worded if the performances were recorded and the comments were written after more consideration. Fair enough to give the verdict on the day, but the comments are inevitably rushed.
  6. michellegarbutt

    michellegarbutt Supporting Member

    At our local association contest there is a prize for the most promising youngster. Each band can enter 2 players and there is a seperate adjudicator to judge this. He does sit in the open.He knows what position the players are playing and they also wear flourescent stickers so they can be identified. A couple of years ago he was judging a timp player but his comments were all about the kit part
  7. Big Fella

    Big Fella Member

    I have always found that it is a generic problem with adjudicators. They seem to be the wise men and women of the banding world, but once they get into their little boxes part of their brain gets removed.
    I once played for a band at a local contest, where the adjudicator kept rambling on, about how good the Bass Trombone was, the really strange thing is, there was not one on the contest stage.
    The last time i played at the finals, we all bought the nicely produced CD of the bands performance, and then started to try to spot the errors that were remarked on. We struggled to agree with most of the remarks..
    I personally think all adjudication should be open and with at least 2 judges. I know it puts the expense of things up, but i think you would get fairer and more positive remarks..
  8. flashbarry

    flashbarry Member

    when I played with Tyldesley years ago, Darrol was conducting us at Pontins on his own piece. When we got the remarks they said

    "this is not what the composer is looking for"

  9. KennyC

    KennyC Member

    A well known adjudicator once wrote at the Whitburn Contest about a 2nd Section band attempting to play the Finale from Checkmate: 'This is bordering on insanity'

    He was correct.

  10. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    this isn't the first time i've heard of this, maybe they are trying to tell us something?!!?!?!
  11. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    LOL! Classic. :lol:
  12. Tom

    Tom Member

    My own favourite was on "The Accursed Huntsman" a famous (infamous) adjudicator commented

    "The finale sounds like a bit of a bunfight"
  13. BeatTheSheep

    BeatTheSheep Member

    I always find that the worst thing an adjudicator can put on is the placing, if you're not in the frame. An ADJ that puts you 1st is brilliant, funnily enough whilst one that puts you last is always rubbish. As for the comments, it must be difficult to write without clicheing remarks across the entire section. I notice this especially in slow melodies, where the younger sections get similar remarks. This is because a lot of performances are a: very short and b: of a similar standard.

    The ideal ADJ report is one that points out what was wrong and how to improve it, while also saying what was right and good. Then you at least know why you didn't win.

    I hate comments about tempo and interpretation. If you want every performance to be the same have 1 band and 22 conductors! This makes all the effort put in by band members completely irrelevant. :evil:
  14. Valvecap

    Valvecap Member

    Comments i have had on Adj papers (mostly for EYB)

    "Soprano should sound like a picolo"
    "Percussion too much at C" - No percussion on stage!!!!!!!

    In end of contest comments "One band thought they could swing" - They couldnt (Mr Broadbent i seem to remember)

    Variations on an Enigma was the top section test piece a few years back, at the end in the remarks, the Adj critisised the bands placed in the last three for trying to play it to the markings and failing - tellin us we should have slowed it down below the marked tempos and get the detail in as the top bands had done. raises issues i think.

    Should bands be penalised for playing stuff below tempo markings, even though they get a technically better performance?
  15. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    At our local areas the adjudicator actually said

    "i'm not looking at speed",

    and this was true because the band that played it at the most irratic tempos one,

    surely the adj. should take the tempo tobe correct also, or other wise why would they put them there!
  16. BeatTheSheep

    BeatTheSheep Member

    This was my point really, we should be marking bands and not conductors. Otherwise the players put in a lot of hard work for nothing, to be put down by the conductors' interpretation. However, how does the conductor know whether or not the ADJs are sticklers for tempo or not? It seems to be a little bit of pot luck, especially in local contests with one ADJ.

    At the recent All England Masters the placings were affected by one of the three ADJs basing his remarks purely on tempo. Why not just have a computer tempo indicator eh? Do your job mate!

    I like the masters' system of results, because at least it shows if some ADJs mark schemes are logically challenged.

    In my opinion bands' should be marked on whether they play in tune, together, and with a good sound/rhythm. After that, musical shape and interpretation should come into play. If tempos that deviate from the norm don't work in the overall picture of the work (no! too much like Dave King! :hammer Stop now while there's still time!) then they should be marked down for that though.
  17. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    The worst comments I've ever come across were delivered at the areas in 1993 to a local 4th section band (who were placed last) - not at that time the most confident group of players.

    The exact phrasing of much of it has slipped from my mind, but such helpful gems as "This is awful" and "The pain begins again!" on the re-entry of a particular player are not easily forgotten... "Why did you bother coming?" may or may not be the result of my imagination, but it eloquently sums up the sheet.

    End result - the band didn't contest again for 10 years.

  18. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    I think we can all accept that sometimes we don't agree with the adjudicators and we'll have a damn good moan about it. We also know that if we were a little unlucky this time then next time the luck may be with us.

    What is difficult to stomach is when the adjudicators are CLEARLY wrong in what they say - this does affect if a band contests and also which contests they take part in. The main problem is that far too often the adjudicators (more often in the lower section) are getting it wrong to a point where it is very difficult to defend them.
  19. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member

    It cant be easy being an adjudicator but they do often put their feet in like a two footed challenge from Steven Gerrard.

    The worst comment I ever heard by an adjudicator was a few years back when he said, "Well, I've gone for excitement today...". On the scale of attribues which point to a good performance, 'excitement' as a one off factor ranks near the bottom for me. Sure, the best performances may be exciting but some exciting performances aren't necessarily that good.


  20. bagpuss

    bagpuss Active Member

    I seem to recall a comment at a contest a year or two ago that was levelled against the trombones. I seem to recall the word "geronimo" was mentioned by the esteemed (or should that be steamed) bloke in the box.

    On the subject of adjudicators, I think there should be 2 or even three adjudicators and an average taken of their marks to come up with a winner, yes it would put up the cost but I think a lot of bands would live with this because at least they would get a 'fair' result. I know everyone moans about adjudicators decisions, and adjudicators themselves are quick enough to point out that it is their decision and if we don't like it....tough (something I disagree with). As far as I'm concerned, in a contest of 25 bands (for sake of arguement), at least two thirds of those bands will have a moan about the adjudicators comments and the result. Whilst I can understand those who say this is only natural because they didn't win, I can also fully understand those who say that not every band in that two thirds can be wrong. By the law of averages, some of those bands MUST have a genuine gripe, they can't all be wrong and just bitter about not winning. I think it is about time the 'powers that be' in the contesting world made some changes in how contests are adjudicated. I don't think there would be too many complaints if there was a change!!!!

    B.Puss esq

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