While there is so much good in the brass band movement today why is it that when we come to the selection of composers for test pieces are we left looking like the poor relatives of banding in the 40's and 50's? As far back as 1928 we had the likes of Holst composing for bands, 1930 Elgar, 1950 Herbert Howells and not forgetting Arthur Bliss, John Ireland, Malcolm Arnold, Robert Farnon, Robert Simpson and laterly Joseph Horowitz. We live in a world that has the likes of Adams (John), Ligeti, Williams (John), Gorecki, Sallinen, Bennett (Richard Rodney), Glass, Nyman, Tavener and Tower yet we manage to have five pieces by Philip Wilby in the space of 15 years at the Nationals. How is it that so many years ago the great composers of their day were being commisioned by bands but today when bands are supposed to be part of the musical mainstream do we use the same old culprits over and over again. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with Wilby or Sparke, it is just a thought that will we not look back in years to come and wonder what some of the great living composers would have treated us to.