Welsh Banders, what do you think?? WELSH OPEN 2005!!!!????

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by JonP, Nov 4, 2003.

  1. JonP

    JonP Member

    Wouldnt it be a good idea for the Trorchy, Ammonford/Burryport and Ebbw Vale contests to be run just for the 1st section down??

    It makes sense for these contests to continue, as they are all that some of the lower section bands in Wales have as the centre of their banding calender. However as we have been discovering over the past 10 years or so it is becomng more and more unviable for the championship section bands to attend, not just because of the ludicrously low prizes but also clashes with other band contests, e.g. european, Pontins, Nationals, Grand shield and senior cup etc etc.

    Also the near future will see even less bands bothering with the contests in the championship section as the association changed the rules, for better or worse, regarding the welsh champions, and it seems that bands wont be demoted for not attending, or at least this was the case for Cory.

    Im saying then that if you don't have to attend to be welsh champions (now decided on the area), risk financial ruin by attending, and probably have higher ranking contests to attend, wouldnt it be better to withdraw the champoinship section from the contests?

    Perhaps the association could concentrate their efforts of creating a more viable contest for the championship section bands in Wales??!! Perhaps at one of the three venues with invited english and international bands. A flagship contest for the Welsh association which all the bands would love to attend and lower section bands could aim for!! . I realise that a sponser is never easy to find, and a project like this needs one or more, but it must be possible. Im sure Mr Biggs or someone like him would give us a helping hand setting it up or at least drwing up some plans. A Welsh Open, Or Welsh Masters Championship?? We could have a Celtic Open with the Scottish and Irish Association. The possibilities are endless. Why Not Consider it??!!

    It must be better than a championship section in Treorchy with £125 prize money and 3 bands!!! :?
  2. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    Celtic Open..

    I like that idea...
  3. Tuba Girl

    Tuba Girl Member

    Bring it on!

    Would make alot of sense to bands in Wales!!!!!
  4. Curious

    Curious Member

    I really do not understand the logic of this. Whilst some of the points hold water it's just elitism at it's worse.

    Of course some of the contests clash with others but The European usually effects one Welsh band (Sometimes 2), you might be surprised to find that the National and pontins contests are run for 5 sections and the Spring contests are not the sole domain for Championship bands!! Anyway, apart from Treorchy the other 2 contests are 'own choice' testpieces which does allow the opportunity of playing the same testpiece. Even if not, surely a Championship band can work on two pieces at the same time!!?

    Why do only Championship bands face 'financial ruin'? Do coach companies charge more for the privellage of ferrying your bands? Or is it something else.............? You might also be surprised that a number of lower section bands do get across the border to compete!

    The contests have been open for a number of years, but of course financially they are not attractive. You mention sponsorship. Why can't we work to get this for the contests as they are now?

    Unless we support these contests, Welsh bands at grass root level will disappear and where will players come from then ?

    I have no problem with this 'Welsh Masters' or whatever but certainly not at the expense of a system that has run for decades!

    Apologies for ranting!!!
  5. Tuba Girl

    Tuba Girl Member

    Unless the competitions are made more attractive bands will not turn up.
    Is the association going to do something about it!
  6. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    I tend to agree with curious on this one... very elitist!

    • Do coach companies charge less for lower section bands to use their services? - no!
      Does petrol cost less for lower section bands? - no!
      Are the entry fees in these competitions less for lower section bands? - no!
      Is the prize money equal for lower section bands? - no!
      Does it cost a Champion Section band more to attend these contests? - no!
    :? :?

    I agree that these contest have certainly gone downhill in terms of attendance etc and that the prize money is low, but this applies to ALL bands. Come on Mr P. - you're a class player, remember where you started... :wink:
  7. Curious

    Curious Member

    Hi John,

    I know its off topic but MRS. B. played well last night!!

  8. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    :D I shall mention this to her - I am glad to hear it - cos 'tis all I have heard these last few days... :wink: hehe
  9. A J Foad

    A J Foad Member

    Whilst I agree that the coach companies, petrol etc are no cheaper for the lower sections I think that for a busy championship section band, forking out in order to attend contests with pitiful prize money and no worthwhile title to speak of is a completely pointless excercise. I would also guess that any busy band regardless of section would not be too upset to see the current set up replaced.

    The issue really becomes a tough one when we consider many Welsh bands (usually - not always - found in the lower sections) only compete in the Area / Nationals, and the three remaining contests. For these bands, the chances are, that their financial situations would be made worse as they would need to raise more cash in order to travel further afield to compete.

    Unfortunately it is a double edged sword, and there does not really seem to be any reasonable answer. The only certainty is that, as more and more championship bands seem to be deciding not to attend - Something must be done.
  10. Tuba Girl

    Tuba Girl Member

    I am in agreement with having a Welsh Open or what ever you want to call it.
    But something has to been done about the contests. Many welsh bands only participate in these competitions. The lack of attendence at Burry Port was not just limited to the championship section.

    Just wonderering how many competitions do lower section bands take part in around Britain?
  11. Suz

    Suz Member

    The upshot of it all is that the locally Welsh run contests are simply not financially viable to any of the Welsh bands, regardless of sections.
  12. Curious

    Curious Member

    Of course they are not financially viable, and nor have they been for a number of years, but let's not pretend that this is the only reason for non attendance. It certainly has not been the case previously, Cory and BTM apart, and also lower section bands who do not want to get promotion or conversly who want to get relegated so therefore choose to stay away.

    If European qualification was on offer every band would get there come hell or high water!!

    The plain fact is that bands for a number of reasons , not only financial, are not supporting these contests and I think that is a shame and can only be bad for the movement in Wales in the long term.

    In response to 'Tuba girl' I have no idea how many bands compete 'around Britain' I know we actively look to enter contests over the Severn but that is easy as we are based in Gwent. I'm sure that is not such an option for the likes of Crwbin or Goodwick etc.
  13. twm_trombone

    twm_trombone Member

    I agree that a "Welsh open" should be set up, it will provide an added impetus for bands of all levels, the top section bands will strive to be called "Welsh open" champions whilst other lower section bands will hope one day to participate in the event.

    What i don't agree with is the annulment of the top section from these so-called local events. Many of these events have been an integral part of the banding calendar for countless years and they provide a platform for local bands to compete against each other, a lets be frank, there's nothing more rewarding than knowing that you where able to get one over on your rival who only lives a stones through away. I am able to say this from experience, as the rivalry in North Wales between neighbouring bands could be described as fierce, but it is these rivalries which drives the bands and makes them perform to exceptional standards, and thus increasing the viewer’s enjoyment.

    So by annulling the championship section you are depriving the listener of hearing the best bands play the best music.

    So at all means a competition should be set up in order to harness the best bands in wales (note that I mention here the bands of wales and not only the bands of South Wales, where the previous Champion band of Wales competitions where held in South Wales and therefore due to financial constraints the Bands from other regions of Wales where excluded), but not at the expense of local competitions.
  14. JonP

    JonP Member

    You are correct on all your points but im afraid that overall it simply does cost more for a championship band to prepare and mount a serious attempt at a contest. Simply the fee of a conductor and 2 or 3 players can out weigh the costs of the coach and entry fees. ( Whether thats seen as right or wrong is irrelevant because it is a fact!!)

    It is an unfortunate perhaps, but the nature of banding is that it is by its very nature an elitist sport/art. Any art form or hobby or sport, that relies on contesting, and teams of people working together, is doomed to be. If your not the best goalie you wont be invited to play for united, and if your not the best cornet player Dyke wont consider you for the end chair. Its a fact.

    We need to look after the lower section bands. They are our life blood and any player that does'nt understand that is in serious trouble, but the formula we have in Wales at the moment is failing. We have to create insentive for championship and 4th section bands to compete. In the end one cant survive without the other (unless it becomes professional), we need the lower section bands to provide the players of the future and foundation of our movement and in turn those players and bands need the top ensembles to aspire to. If there are no championship bands competing at the welsh contests how can people aspire to them. The bands (all sections) need a viable platform. Its not rocket science. Not eveyone will agree with any plan but we need to do something because at the moment we are on a downward spiral!!!

    Thanks very much for the complement about my playing Mr. B but as im playing timps in the next contest for BTM im afraid you may be a little on the generous side! You should see their trombone team. WOW!!!
  15. Jordan

    Jordan Member


    Celtic Masters, brill idea, could there be a rotation system so one year it's in scotland, then ireland, then wales???
  16. stopher

    stopher Member

    Sounds great idea to me.

    Could hold it in Aberystwyth again so it keeps everyone happy - you can realistaclly do it in a day and back pretty much from anywhere in Wales so should keep the cost down a bit.

    Maybe have Chamionship and 1st section bands invited to it - would raise the standard of the bands a bit and give the "bigger boys" something to worry about.

    If there was some decent prize money and a good bar, I'd be there like a shot!
  17. A J Foad

    A J Foad Member

    No No No!! When you start holding 'all Wales' events in Aberystwyth it just means everybody has to travel for hours along the miserable, apalling excuses for roads that prevail in mid Wales! The only sensible way is to alternate between North and South. One year the North Walians have to travel, the folllowing year the South Walians have to. Simple - half happy - half not (as we're very good at in Wales) as oppose to everyone being miserable! (no disrespect to people from the lovely town of Aber - just build some decent roads!!)
  18. twm_trombone

    twm_trombone Member

    Yeah !! Thats a good idea A J Foad !! Exactly what happens every year with the regional championship !!! The Welsh Regionals have for the past 5 years been held at the brangwyn hall, thus enabling South Wales bands to escape the financial hardship which North Wales bands endure.

    I am of an opinion that this is exactly what would happen if the Welsh Open was to be based on an alternating venue concept. So in order to ensure equality, a centrally based venue would have to be chosen.
  19. A J Foad

    A J Foad Member

    Birmingham it is then.................!!
  20. stopher

    stopher Member

    Can see you point about the roads to Aber but the road to Swansea isn't better from N Wales ever year!

    Good idea alternating it every year but that happens with the Eisteddfod and look at the entries it attracts each year - one year bands from the north compete, the year after the bands from the south compete. This year, held in the middle, the biggest number of entries they had in years!

    Put it in Aber - About 130 miles from Cardiff, 90 from Wrexham and about 110 from Anglesey. Nice central location, even if the roads are ****!