Treorchy Contest (SEWBBA) - 17/11/07

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by Dave_the_Flugel, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. So who's going to the end of year contest on Saturday then?

    I've heard that the turn-out is going to be quite poor across all sections at Treorchy which is naturally a shame espeicially as there is still a lot to play for, for many of the bands involved although I believe a lot of the absences cannot be helped.

    Cross Keys will be there in section 3 playing Diamond Heritage by Darroll Barry (don't worry mods it's the set test piece :D ). Really enjoying this piece, it's possibly one of my all time favourites.

    Hopefully we will end another great year on a high come the end of the day.
  2. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hey Dave - good luck to you and all other bands competing at Treorchy on the 17th.

    It is such a shame that attendance at this contest seems to have dropped off in recent years. I remember going there when Lloyd was in a pram, and having to push the pram up the hill from the car park, over the bridge - in 6" of snow!!! eeeeek!

    It's not the best place [Treorchy] to hold a contest in terms of locale, but have to say that the Parc & Dare hall is the one of the best in terms of theatrical performance halls. I have fond memories of a clean sweep there for 3 successive years when conducting Cwmbran... :)

    Go for it, and please say hello to all at X Keys.
  3. MaxPressure

    MaxPressure Member

    I remember making the trek from Northamptonshire when I was playing with Raunds, we stopped going when the contest was changed from entertainments to set test piece. It was always a nice contest to play at, and i'm sure the hotel we stopped at has recovered from the shock of having a bunch of celebrating bandsmen staying there by now.
  4. kirkytpt

    kirkytpt New Member

    I remember that. It was so exciting. It's not like that anymore. It should be compulsory for bands to enter that would increase the competition again. It was so much better when it was entertainment aswell.
  5. Hornblower RN

    Hornblower RN Member

  6. jim

    jim Member

    Its a great shame these contests are going to the dogs, I can rember john when we played The stripper there one year then followed it up with amazing grace!!! then jenny would come on and wow the croud with over the rainbow. Good times

    I can rember as a young 16 year old getting refused a bevrage at the bar once to!!!
  7. JayneSop

    JayneSop Member

    Hi Alan

    I wasn't aware of the increase in funding for prizes. Don't really get time anymore to look at things on Four Bars rest etc. But Congratulations.

    There are a few reasons for the poor show in Treorchy contest this year.

    1. It is now too close to Pontins Contest. I remember when I started playing at Treorchy Contest(OK!! a long time ago now!!!!) The Contest was the last weekend in November.

    2. Its now back to being a set test piece contest after a few years being entertainments. Bands, imho, are too lazy to prepare new music. In own choice test piece contests and entertainments bands tend to repeat music to make life easier. I think this is a massive shame as new players to South Wales banding, some Bands, will only learn one test piece (the area) per year, where as going back some 9 or 10 years band on the whole bands had to learn 4 or 5 different test pieces. The discipline and motivation for this has now gone. I personally think that the set test piece should remain but don't think that this view is shared by many.

    3 The Contest is too close to Remembrance Sunday. Sunday before the contest is a really important time for rehearsal purposes. Some bands have to do a number of parades on Remembrance Day. I agree that some bands are able to combine rehearsal with the parade, mine astonished me with their commitment yesterday, but I’ve witness in other bands a total fall off in commitment on this particular day. This can totally throw off a rehearsal schedule on the build up to a contest. Again, if the contest was moved back one or two weeks.

    4. As local contest now have no real meaning, I think it is time that organisers and associations looked at other ways of getting bands to this event. Masterclasses and workshops could be held simultaneously. It would be an excellent way to attract new youth band's etc. And some of us older players might benefit from some new ideas and skills. A Gala Concert after the contest by Black Dyke or Grimethorpe or Cory! could be a way of keeping people at contests. I know the association have fronted a concert in Aberdare in the past without much support from South Wales Bandsmen but I think if the event was the same day as a contest and organisers could give discounts to players who had competed in the day, it would be more of a success.

    5.Give an incentive for championship bands to support local contest. Go back to giving the Champion band of the league the chance of representing Wales at the European Contest. Or at least give the champion band and maybe runners up, the chance to compete against the best North Wales band in a 'play off' contest. That Contest would be a two test piece contest (as is the European). Held in various locations in Wales and we could call the contest the 'welsh masters' and the winner of that, the champion band of Wales. We could also run it through the five sections. This would even out the banding calendar and take away the importance of the 'area' contest and would stop 'journeymen' players from joining bands that have qualified for national finals.

    It's nice to see BTM back competing in all local contests. I don't think it is a massive shock that this band has improved over the last few years, when they started working harder and entering more contests both locally and nationally. They deserve the success they are getting right now for working harder than other bands.

    This is just my humble opinion. I think it’s perhaps too late to do anything now to save the welsh league. We are now paying for the damage that was done when relegation and promotion was changed from being determined by the league contest to the area contest. I know North Wales bands will say that was the only way forward but it has really damaged the south wales banding community. And sadly I think the decline in these contests will ultimately lead to the total decline in bands in south Wales. Something needs to be done now or we won’t have any contests, local or area, in 10 years time.

    Anyway, let's hope that the contest is limited but great success. I'm certainly looking forward to it.

  8. RobBari

    RobBari Member

    Markham will be there in 1st section
  9. JayneSop

    JayneSop Member

    Duplicate... sorry... stupid pc or stupid pc operator!!
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2007
  10. Mr_Euniverse

    Mr_Euniverse Member

    I have to add here that the Welsh Assoc contacted us asking us if we could change our minds and enter the contest. We said we would on the condition that the testpiece were changed to the reserve. This happened (purely by coincidence) to be Partita, same as Pontins.

    If they would have agreed to that a long time ago then I guess at least Ton, Burry Port and Parc would all consider going.

    However they wouldn't budge, and the piece remains at New Jerusalem. Incidentally which is a cracking piece, but would take too long to knock up to contest standard taking time from our christmas concert/ butlins preparations...... and for whatever 1st prize is...... and for BTM to win the championship anyway. Just doesn't seem finantially viable neither worth the effort. IMO.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2007
  11. Mr_Euniverse

    Mr_Euniverse Member

    We should really limit the places given to the National Finals by one place and give that place to the Champion Band of Wales.
    E.g. BTM win this years' Championship, they're through to next years' Finals. Cory and Ton in first two at Swansea next year, they are through also.
    Or if Cory (for some strange reason don't come in first 4 at London, only one band from Swansea goes to London with the previous Champion Band of Wales.

    Any thoughts?
  12. Timpking

    Timpking Member

    I agree with people that this contest was best when it was an entertainment contest. Not sure why they changed it, does anyone know?

    I Remember the championship section had the likes of Cory,Tredegar, BTM and more trying to win the Champion Band of Wales title. It also attracted non Welsh bands to attend.

    Cant be true surely!!

    Another reason for low attendance at this contest must be that bands can only borrow from the band that plays before them.:confused: A real lottery for player and conductor!
    Why not keep the rules the same as in the Ebbw Vale and West Wales contests?

    If these contests do not happen in the future it's no use blaming the bands, blame the organisers and contest controllers. As mentioned earlier there is very little incentive to attend. It's up to them to find the incentive not us players who sit in band night after night week after week preparing test pieces.

    However good luck to the few bands competing.
  13. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    I tend to agree that the fault for the decline in attendance at this and other local contests across the Principality is due to the policies, strategy and organisation behind them. Not that the contests are managed badly - on the contrary, they are all run very well, things are planned, well executed on the day, and the venue is a great theatre.

    However, one needs to consider the whole banding scene in South Wales and consider an alternate approach.

    Prize money is, well... not worth even considering... it costs bands and individuals far more to attend than the money they may subsequently win.

    Location: Treorchy is a nice enough place for sure, but come on... surely there are cities that are better suited to hosting a band contest yeah? Try some variety, look to Newtown, look to Newport, look to hosting one in North Wales...!

    There's many more reasons that I won't go into here as it's not the right thread, but someone somewhere should take a long, detailed look at the how's of Welsh banding, and should make a decision.

    It is so so obvious that the vast majority of Welsh bands do not want the same-old-same-as... change for gawds sake...!!

    Not changing has made both myself and a better player (my wfe) leave the movement thats for certain.
  14. Timpking

    Timpking Member

    Can't see it happening.

    1. Don't think the North Wales bands would agree to it even if one of the contests was in North Wales.

    2. With the current grading system you could be in a situation that a band could be in the finals in Harrogate and London.

    3.What's the incentive for lower section bands, a chance to qualify for the RAH via the back door as well. These bands struggle to attend the contests just as much as top section bands do. But top section players don't care about them untill they need deps for their concerts!!

    Let's just face it these contests are dying, but as normal the powers that be are doing nothing about it.

    Can't wait untill the Ebbw Vale thread is started and we can start complaining all over again!!!
  15. matthetimp

    matthetimp Member

    Yep as John said glad I am not involved in banding any more. Politics is the main reason why I finished and why I am not going back!
  16. Timpking

    Timpking Member

    That's a shame Matt I thought you were playing with Newbridge.

    All the best
  17. Mr_Euniverse

    Mr_Euniverse Member

    It will therefore mean re-structuring the Championship and reinstating all the bands Nationally in top section.

    I agree there will be flaws in whatever possible resolution. As there are major flaws in mine as you so kindly point out.
    I can't see it happening either but something needs to happen.

    I think these contests are dead already.
  18. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Good points Martyn, but as the old adage goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it... thing is... it is broke and desperately needs fixing... :):)
  19. Hornblower RN

    Hornblower RN Member

    All pretty lame excuses in my book, after all it's only a hobby!! Test pieces too difficult? The band I'm playing for are struggling like hell to come to grips with California Legend in 2nd section.....but we'll be there! We might sound like a bunch of one man bands on stage, but what the hell what! Back in the 70's we went to Blackpool (CISWO) and competed with only 16 players and were in the prizes! Albeit in 3rd or 4th section.
    As for other locations....would they provide sponsorhip as I believe the Parc and Dare Hall least for some of the prize money.
    If we carry on like this, brass band South Wales at least...... will simply be a thing of the past when I'm pushing up the daisies!!
  20. tam-tam2

    tam-tam2 Member

    I know Rogerstone will be there in the First Section. Alan was saying the choice of piece for the Second Section was hard but yet the piece for the First Section is Gothic Dances that was the Second Section test piece at Harrogate last year......the middle movement may be tricky to put together but the rest? I remember playing test pieces such as Forest of Dean and Triumphant Rhapsody at Treorchy.

    I know the Championship section piece is hard (maybe some pieces in the other sections too) but can that be why some bands aren't attending? It has to be very difficult to pick suitable test pieces for the local contests where the participant may be from a section or 2 lower than their local grading?! Ie 2nd Section National - Champ local or 3rd Section national - 1st locally. So perhaps the choice of test pieces may have had an effect on the attendance in some sections. I know bands should enjoy the challenge of the piece but you have to draw a line somehow.

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