University Brass Bands

Discussion in 'Recruitment Corner' started by 2nd tenor, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Like many other bands up and down the country ours will lose another player this September as they go off to University. We will very much miss 'Jack' (not their real name) and hope that Jack returns to play with us in the times between terms. Our band also hopes that Jack will continue to play in term time and with that in mind, for Jack and the many others from other bands, I start this thread so that opportunities might be identified.

    Please will forum members tell the rest of us about keeping playing at University and the band's that they did it with (University ones or just ones in the same City, etc.). With Banding being an inclusive activity, to be promoted virtually regardless of skill level, encouragement and opportunities for all abilities is good (IMHO).
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016
  2. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    Well if you tell us which university 'Jack' (why all the secrecy?) is going to maybe we could help put him touch with University or local bands
  3. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Sorry for the confusion. What I'm trying to do is get members to publicise Bands that accept or are run by Students:
    "Please will forum members tell the rest of us about keeping playing at University and the Bands that thy did it with".
  4. Hi there, Bilsdale Silver Band in North Yorkshire/Cleveland accept University students (of any instrument or ability) and so far have players who went to Teesside University and the various Universities in York! Hopefully we can spread the word to students so they can carry on playing while at University or even just decide to learn while they are there.

    Bilsdale Silver Band
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  5. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

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  6. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Thanks for adding that link. I had a quick look around the site and found nineteen bands listed so that's a good start, a handy reference for anyone going to those places - assuming that they're a good enough player, etc.

    Some notable absenses from the list though, by way of example Liverpool, Exeter and Reading aren't listed and London only has Queens.

    I guess it might be disruptive to some bands to have University Students in them. They are only with you for half the year and, at best, you get them for just three years. In contrast to that view a band I played in had a final year student turn up for a blow, he slotted straight into the band and helped us do a few performances. We were sorry to loose him at the end of his course but glad of the help he gave us whilst he was with us. If I'd been on the Bands's committee I'd have been prompting it to somehow reach out to similar students and get a few more playing with us.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  7. tsawyer

    tsawyer Member

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  8. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    Half a year is a bit of an exaggeration surely?
    Still, you do risk them being absent at busy times of year (summer and xmas, in particular) when most bands have more jobs and need those seats filled.

    We have a few students at band, they're good fun to have around and good players - losing them when they graduate will be a shame.
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  9. Blades4Ever

    Blades4Ever Member

    York Railway Institute Band (Championship Section) will always consider students attending York or Leeds Universities, for any vacancy within the band.

    We already have 3 University students with the band and we love having them with us.

    The band currently have vacancies for:- Tutti Cornet, Flugel and BBb Bass
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  10. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Not at Oxford or Cambridge. 8 week terms - 24 weeks per year.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
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  11. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Don't think any of the Bullingdon Club really give a hoot about brass bands
  12. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    For sure there are many outstanding students and lecturers at those places so the shorter terms work for them ..... study can continue between terms and less time teaching leaves more time for research (whether in the lab or down the 'Rose and Crown').

    What was it like playing in Warwick's Brass Band and how did you manage to get personal practice done in student digs without (the obviously melodious tones) upsetting other people?
  13. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Hah, I would not base good student playing policy on what I did as an undergraduate... I shamefully and arrogantly neglected my studies, playing in up to 10 rehearsals a week at one point, for all sorts of musical groups - and performances too - one 10-week term in my 2nd year included 30 concerts... In such circumstances, personal practice was essentially superfluous - and wouldn't have been easily fitted in anyhow. But if I did, I used one of the practice rooms in the music centre on campus.

    The brass band were a great bunch of people, with some talented individuals around the stand, and I had terrific fun with them. I'm sure they're still a lot of fun, 5-6 complete cycles of student life after I left, even though contest results don't seem as strong as they did in those days when it was all a new enterprise. The existence of the band and my loyalty to it deprived me of the ability to take up an offered signed position with a local championship band, for whom I attended all rehearsals during terms in those years and various gigs as a dep - that would have been a fun thing to have done, for a band that got into the Open in that period, but I have no regrets on that score.

    I've always found it interesting that Oxford and Cambridge have shorter terms than everyone else... They select only from the most able candidates, and then drive them at breakneck pace. Their pastoral support networks, based around the many individual colleges that make up the universities, usually do a notably good job of catching those that psychologically struggle - but it is a given that some will struggle badly - and of course all arrive as the cream of the crop, potentially making difficulties all the harder to face up to. I think I would have struggled badly with the intensity of it all if I had attended one of them as an undergraduate, but more resilient characters find it their making.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
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  14. ben16

    ben16 Member

    Same list of reasons that pro orchestras rehearse less than your band.
  15. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Thanks DT.

    It would be interesting to hear more from past and current student players, and maybe even an MD ....... from another thread I know that atleast one Uni Band MD is a forum member.
  16. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I don't think this stacks up. Pro orchestras rehearse little because they know how to do all the stuff already - the players can be trusted to sight-read the material at performance standard. Oxbridge undergraduates are learning at a frantic pace - by the end of each term, many are so frazzled by the relentless drive of it all that they would struggle to keep going for longer. It also allows teaching staff more time for research in the year. I'd guess that the length was settled on by slow evolution, and that a very long time ago - but I don't actually know - anyone know the history of Oxford or Cambridge term dates?
  17. ben16

    ben16 Member

    They are skilled enough to do what's asked after a short look at the material. This learning is intense - but that comes naturally, it's not an effort. Those that can do it, do it easily, either because they're naturally the best, or so dedicated to their craft that they learnt it all outside rehearsal, or both. Those that struggle aren't burnt out by the rehearsal schedule, they just aren't good enough, or don't think they're good enough, or don't like being only 'good enough', or most likely of all they spend too much time on extra-curricular activities (it's the intensity of these that is truly extraordinary). Luckily, struggling rarely equals failure because it's much harder to get in than to stay in.

    Oxbridge terms have always been like that, but you're looking at it from the wrong angle. It's the idea of undergraduates learning very much that is brand new (last 30 years?). Brideshead Revisited and Porterhouse Blue were based on real life, but there was no competition back then.
  18. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I wasn't talking about Lord Farquhar Cholmondeley-Warner's son dossing around in 1930 being granted a degree in response to a familial donation...