West Midlands BBA Annual Contest.

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by toppy the tenor, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. Ladies and gents.

    I just wondered if anyone out there had ever enetered/is entering the West Midlands BBA Annual Contest in Leamington Spa in November? Our band is looking for a different contest to go to around this time and thought it might be worth a pop.

    I'd appreciate any views on venue, size of contest and the type of band's that enter if poss.

    Also, we're a Bristol based band so if anyone knows that means we can't enter I'd appreciate that too!!

    Many thanks

    Portishead Town Band
  2. davidsait

    davidsait Member

    The WMBBA contest is one of our favourites and it's something that we do each year.

    It is indeed open to non WMBBA members (you just miss out on the prize for the highest non-placed WMBBA member band) - I know Welwyn Garden City do it and I believe are planning to do so this year.

    The contest is all on one day, in the one venue (the Spa Centre in Royal Leamington Spa), with the 4th section starting first thing in the morning, and the Championship section last. The 4th section is also 'open' to youth and non-registered bands.

    The hall itself is not too bad, it's not usually packed though, but the changing facilities downstairs are pretty poor (bordering on non existant really - you just get down there and grab yourself a space to dump your stuff). There is of course an upstairs bar, and we like to think that it's 'cos of us back in 1997 that bands are reminded to keep the noise down as it leads directly into the hall. There are however a number of suitable establishments on the very nearby high street, including the Robins Well (sponsors of The University of Warwick Brass Band), a Wetherspoons, McDonalds etc.

    It's an own choice test piece contest - there is a reasonable time limit, so I believe bands can play more than 1 shorter piece if they wish, but bands just normally play one test piece.

    Its on the 28th November this year, and to enter you should contact the WMBBA secretary, Greta Russel, (256 Longfellow Road, Coventry, West Midlands, CV2 5HJ, Tel: 024-764-42701). Entry forms normally come out around September I believe, and it has been known to be fully booked.
  3. Many thanks for your reply - really helpful.

    Can I ask how many bands usually enter? We're third section and would like to get a bit more competition than the 3 we usually compete against at our local contest in November.


  4. davidsait

    davidsait Member

    The numbers do vary year to year. I think you can probably expect to find more than 3 though. At a rough guess, I'd say 8 was probably the max, with an average about 6 I reckon.
  5. davidsait

    davidsait Member

    One thing I forgot to mention.

    My memory is quite poor, but I believe that in the past when they haven't received enough entries for a section, they may have

    a) Reduced the number of prizes so that there is one more band competing than there is available or,
    b) Combined two sections or,
    c) Cancelled a section.

    For goodness sake, don't quote me on any of that though!
  6. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Ooops sorry mate!! :oops:

    You're right for at least one of them though, I think it was last year when they only awarded 1st and 2nd prizes to the Third(?) section. I've never known them to cancel or combine a sections though but I suppose it would happen if there were a serious shortage of bands.

    As for the contest itself, I really like it. The standard is usually quite high, it's well run and the Hall is a good place to play in. As David has already said it's a bit cramped backstage and sometimes most of the audience are in the bar, or at least it would seem that way. But I would say if you're looking to go to a contest that's a bit further afield then go for it.
  7. Thanks guys - I'll definitely look into it. If we do make it, make sure you're not in the bar when we're on stage - you wouldn't want to miss something special!!

    I'll keep an eye and ear out for Wigston and UoW.


  8. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks mate but I'm not sure whether we're going this year. We'll have to see how the next few months go as we need to fill a few horn seats first!!! :oops:
  9. backrowbloke

    backrowbloke Member

    Third section you will be fine, but the first & top section ssuffer at leamington cos the bar can shut early and the trade stands pack up & go....Pubs are still open though :guiness

    We will be there as per normal, although in first section this year if anyone wants to join the bar songs....
  10. Di B

    Di B Member

    Leamington is a pretty nice venue to play it to be honest.

    not sure who is usually in the 3rd section who will be going this year though.....

    I can confirm that when there were only 4 bands in one section they only gave out two prizes rather than 3. I think 4 bands in one section is the lowest I have known there.

    As for drinking songs at the bar.... that will be happening after the 4th section, never mind the 1st! :lol:
  11. Baldbeaver

    Baldbeaver New Member

    I think we might have a look this year.
    It will make a change to have a different name on the trophy!

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