Variations on "Maccabeus" (Kevin Norbury)

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Gorgie boy, May 21, 2010.

  1. Gorgie boy

    Gorgie boy Member

    I am thinking of doing this SA piece with my band at a test piece contest later in the year and wondered whether anyone who knows the piece would have any idea whether or not it would be viewed as a suitable test for a 1st section band.

    I have always liked the piece, think it's very "Spark-esque" in its style and think my band would enjoy rehearsing and playing it, but, much as I hate "grading" a piece of music, would it be viewed as challenging enough? For what it's worth, I think it would, but would welcome any thoughts.
  2. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    Having just judged at the North American BB Champs, part of the judges' guidlines was something to the effect that 'the difficulty of the test piece should not be taken into account in the judging process' - with which I totally agree.

    Most people I speak to in the UK think bands should get more points for playing a harder piece, (or at least, if two bands play to an equal standard, the one playing the harder piece should come above the other) but I can't see how that can work. How many more points, how much harder is the piece???

    Surely it's the quality of the performance that should be judged, not the size of the hurdles?

    (Trips over open can of worms.....)
  3. Gorgie boy

    Gorgie boy Member

    Thanks Philip. Your input is duly noted!
  4. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    Even though it didn't actually help you at all.....:(
  5. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Both! Or else there would be one test for all sections in a competition. That would be interesting though!
  6. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Gorgie, the piece has been used as a first section test piece at L&SC's autumn contest at Folkestone, albeit played by a band graded second section nationally.
  7. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    There is certainly a degree of technical difficulty, as well as the challenge adapting to the various styles, but I reckon its biggest test is that of stamina - we found we could play all the sections pretty well, but putting it together to produce a creditable performance took some doing.
  8. Railybobs

    Railybobs Member

    Take into account this years 1st section area test piece. A Moorside Suite, although on paper doesn't look challenging, a lot of bands failed to make the grade.
    Don't look only at the difficulty. i am sure an adjudicator would love to hear a piece played well. Maccabeus has a few tricky places in it. I think the ISB recorded it on Trumpet Call in the late 90's'ish. the piece from personal experience demands a lot of control both in tempo and dynamics. We can al blow our heads off and push drum heads to their limits. But can we play the quiet parts with the same conviction and control?
    I personally think it is a go-er!

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