UniBrass 2012

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by leojamesflugel, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. leojamesflugel

    leojamesflugel New Member

    Hey guys, just wondered what people made of the results of UniBrass 2012?
    Brass United were amazing to listen to and won every prize possible.....although as to wether they deserved the Entertainments Prize is another story. They just sat and played a not so entertaining program, playing a test piece too? I just don't see how that's entertainment factor compared to some of the efforts other bands went to.
    They did play flawless though, and in my opinion deserved the best march and best soloist/feature prizes. Especially the feature, they were phenomenal.
    Anyway, I was going off topic there a bit. I'm not being a sore loser, many people seem to think the same about the entertainments prize on twitter.
    I played flugel with York and we came 4th! Very good result for us as we came last last year!!!

    Anyway, well done to everyone who took part in the contest - and the ridiculous amount of drinking afterwards!
  2. katieeuph

    katieeuph Member

    Firstly, well done to you and your band. I very much enjoyed watching the live streaming of the contest- it seems a really good contest and looked like a great day. I agree that Brass United's playing was excellent, though Huddersfield were impressive too (particularly their bottom end). I tend to agree with you on the 'entertainment' front. Although Brass United's playing was the best, I thought other programmes were more entertaining, particularly Cardiff Uni. Well done to everyone, though- and great to watch a contest 'live' without being there!
  3. leojamesflugel

    leojamesflugel New Member

    Yep! There's no arguing who played the best, not at all. They're a conservatoire band, 25 top quality,auditioned musicians. Against university bands like ours, where there are more chemistry/politics/philosophy students than all 2 of our music students (one of which a flautist playing percusion)...we had no chance, so to finish 4th we are all very pleased. But yes. Brass United are extremely good.
    I'm glad you enjoyed the contest! It had more online viewers than James May's graduation at Lancaster University had , haha. On the whole it was a great success and I cant wait for next year!
  4. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I wasn't at this contest, but this general comment still holds:

    "Entertainment" doesn't just equal visual gimmicks. Or even carefully used stagecraft worked to enhance the musical presentation [I must admit I see more of the former than the latter at band entertainment contests]. It's the whole package - how entertaining was it to listen to and watch the band in question? Given the choice between a very good band playing an interesting programme without adding visual elements or an okay band playing another interesting programme, but with added slick visuals, I would always be more entertained by the former.

    I suppose the question it comes down to is: Do we want to encourage bands to win by playing well or to win by dressing up in costumes and getting in touch with their inner 'comedian'?
  5. blue juice

    blue juice Member

    Congratulations to RNCM on their win, really excellent playing. We were happy enough coming 2nd and with the Bavarian in the evening we had an all round great weekend. Credit to the organisers for putting together such a fantastic event. On the issue of entertainment what has been evident the last 2 years is that the adjudicators are looking for a well played, well balanced concert program for the entertainment prize, featuring good music as the entertainment rather than choreography, gimmicks, dancing etc.
  6. Stracathro

    Stracathro Member

    Interesting question. What do we mean by entertainment?

    The fact that in these contests it gets its own separate half of the contest implies that it should be in some way distinct from the set work half. To that extent, I agree with leo that a test piece and little variety in performance doesn't really fit the bill, however expertly played. On the other hand, we're all brass supporters and so I expect we find most brass music to be entertaining to some degree.

    I do think some distinct style or novelty value is important in this section but perhaps we need to be clearler what we expect of 'entertainment'. This would perhaps vary depending on context, e.g. you might expect a little more outlandishness at a uni contest.
  7. Andy Moore

    Andy Moore Member

    We aren't just a conservatoire band! ... And we aren't auditioned (apart from those who are at the RNCM who've obviously auditioned to be there).

    Like everyone else, we were there at the weekend to hopefully put on a good show but above all to enjoy ourselves. We are lucky that the vast majority of our players play with top bands and therefore we try to choose ambitious music to play (Paganini last year and Shoulders this). Granted there was no choreography involved for us but as Dave says entertainment doesn't just equal stage gimmicks. We had just three rehearsals to prepare for the contest and in playing such ambitious pieces, and having to prepare Marcus Venables' piece in that time too we had to prioritise playing the music well. That said, we wouldn't have been surprised to see someone like Lancaster win the entertainment prize, having obviously made a big effort to do something different. Thankfully for us, though, the 'sit down and play it well' approach was enough!

    Thanks to everyone for their kind words and we look forward to attempting a hat-trick next year.

    Andy Moore,
    Solo Horn, Brass United, and 3rd Year Chemistry student at University of Manchester
  8. trianglegirl

    trianglegirl New Member

    Congratulations to all competing bands at UniBrass 2012. There was a noticeable increase in the standard of performances this year which was fantastic to see.

    It is still early days for UniBrass and we are keen to try new things in 2013. We would be really interested to hear peoples thoughts on the contest generally, constructive criticism is welcomed!
    We will be active within this thread but can also be contacted privately via PM to myself or email (unibrass AT hotmail.co.uk).

    Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did, see you in 2013!
  9. leojamesflugel

    leojamesflugel New Member

    Just to clarify, I'm not slating Brass United at all or being bitter. I'm extremely glad with 4th place! I loved their performance from start to end. It's just an interesting topic is 'entertainment'. Subjectivity and such. I just thought I'd raise the point to see what people's general opinions were.
  10. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I only managed to see a few bits of this year's competition due to other commitments, but from what I did see the event seemed to be very successful, with the bands obviously enjoying their music-making and having a great time together.

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