What could a national body do for brass banding?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by ChrisHatch, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. ChrisHatch

    ChrisHatch Member

    Let's start with what this post isn't about - it's not about moaning about Kapitol, it's not about talking about the injustice of the BBBR, or work the BFBB might have done or the mandate of BBE, the other 27 threads about those are fine.

    What I'd like to open a discussion on is what actual targets and practical steps a National body could do to promote and grow Brass Banding in England.

    What positive lessons could be learnt and copied from the SBBA and others and what tangible benefits would be felt by bands at the grass roots.

    There's talk in other places about brass banding dying on it's ****... is this a true perception across the UK?


    Personally I believe that the solution is not, and ever has been, a national body. From my perspective I don't believe it's dying. It may not be as strong as it was 30 years ago, but it's far from dead.

    And we all know what the most straightforward solution is, and that is to invest in youth.

    But, I don't think we need a national body for that. What we need is proactive and engaging youth policies from bands. What could a national body do more than try to persuade bands to get youth involved?

    So, I'm interested to find out - do we need a national body, and if so to do what? And more specifically - how?
  2. Sonorous

    Sonorous New Member

    I completely agree with you. What's needed is almost the exact opposite of a national body. We actually need to encourage diverse growth, investment and evolution, rather than having some large unweildy body trying to govern everything from contesting to fund raising to youth support to registration to marketing.. Etc

    Contesting takes care of itself. We already have a massive calendar of contests from small to large, local to national. There's a ton of people happily organising contests for the love of it, or for the money, or for the kudos. This will continue as long as we want them.

    What we do as bands on a day to day basis is down to us. We should perform what we want, where we want. And if we cant get it right for our audiences then there's no one to blame but ourselves. There is a massive gap which other musical genres have, which is that of professional cutting edge. I think without encouraging this we will always be working in ever decreasing circles. But that's for another topic (all be it, for me, the most crucial aspect of our alleged stagnation)

    So this leaves youth development and potentially fund raising support... I'd be delighted to support a body that focuses on this solely. giving advice and support to people and bands wishing to encourage youth development, helping bands work through the red tape of finding grants etc. Discussing brass band heritage and youth support with ministers.. This is the sort of independent body that could really do some good.

    BUT keep it as far away from contests as possible! It mustn't have any conflict with contest organisers or investors. AND they should have absolutely no say in regulating or governing bands. Bands should only ever be regulated by any individual contest they choose to attend. Other than that they should be free as a bird :)
  3. BigBlaster

    BigBlaster New Member

    Sonorous, I agree with some of that, but why just support it? If YOU agree with it so much why not put yourself forward to lead it?
  4. Sonorous

    Sonorous New Member

    I'm already involved in several initiatives ranging over different areas. Both within brass bands and outside. None of them ground breakingly huge but I try to do my part like many of us do. But your point is totally on the money. There is an awful lot of talking and not a lot of doing. Well in some areas anyway
    Although we are very lucky to have some extremely talented and hardworking people within our 'industry'. Unfortunately its almost always around contesting.
  5. Pauli Walnuts

    Pauli Walnuts Moderator Staff Member

    As I have suggested elsewhere, Making Music is the organisation we could consider aligning with - they are already aligned to the major Arts organisations and I am sure they would be delighted to have Brass Bands as a part of this. Does anyone know if such an approach has ever been made?

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