What makes a person a member of a brass band?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by katej, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. katej

    katej Member

    Bizarre title I know but just wondering what exactly other bands see as being a member. Is a member someone who pays subs but may not attend regularly or contest? Are all registered players automatically members of the band irrespective of whether they have filled in a membership form to pay subs?

    Would be interested to see how others view what makes an individual a member of a brass band?

    Thanks :)
  2. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Would've thought it's defined in a band's consitution (assuming it has one ... ) - quite possible different for each band.
  3. katej

    katej Member

    Yes it is but its very woolly - it doesn't mention paying subs or contesting for example so what do you perceive a member being?
  4. Chris Hicks

    Chris Hicks Member

    We don't pay subs in our band, so by that definition we have no members of our band...
  5. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    Someone who regualary turns up and participates in band jobs
  6. euphojim

    euphojim Member

    As Gareth says, a Band's constitution should spell out clearly what it means to be a member, what obligations are imposed on members and what privileges they have as members. I have rewritten constitutions for a couple of bands and am happy to share the section on membership from the last one I did if that would be helpful. It may not be perfect but suited that particular band. Some of the basics were that:

    1) A new player could attend a limited number of rehearsals as a guest and would then be required to apply for membership.

    2) A member would be expected to attend regularly at rehearsals and engagements, pay subs promptly and were subject to a code of conduct. Any concerns about lack of commitment or inappropriate behaviour would be raised with the player with warnings leading ultimately to the withdrawal of membership if things did not improve.

    3) Only Members and invited guest players were allowed to play at public performances. Guest player/Deputy invitations were at the discretion of the MD and were on a job by job basis.

    I have been in a few bands where there have been players who it was never clear (to me at least) whether or not they were actually members. Some paid their subs but were poor attenders, others were there most of the time and were registered for contests, but did not pay subs (I assumed they did not want to pay subs and therefore claimed not to be members). Neither of these situations is satisfactory in my opinion, and can be bad for the morale of members who do show full commitment. But the powers that be sometimes allow these situations to continue, either because they are happy to collect subs from non-attenders or they do not want to risk losing players by pressing the issue of membership and subs.

    Most constitutions will require there to be an Annual General Meeting of the Band at which only Members can vote. If there is something you are not happy about then that is your opportunity to raise concerns and if necessary, propose changes to the Band's constitution - or, if the band has a Committee it could be raised with a committee member in the meantime. The Constitution should spell out how the AGM is conducted and how the constitution itself can be amended.
  7. katej

    katej Member

    Thanks for that reply - I do feel that the constitution needs to be looked at - its not been updated since 2003 and doesn't seem fit for purpose anymore :(
  8. marksmith

    marksmith Active Member

    Any player with a registration card, in that band's name.
    For non-players; officers and committee members.
    Helpers and supporters are just that, just like a sports team. Essential and welcome - but surely not members?
  9. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    ... and for non-contesting bands ... ?
  10. marksmith

    marksmith Active Member

    Doesn't really matter, does it?
    As with any other club/society, they can decide what's best to keep the interest going.
    Just adjust 'registered player' to read 'player'.
  11. Surely it depends on the type of band, whether there is a surplus of players or not enough and presumably how seriously the band takes banding. If you have more than enough players you can take a tougher stance however if you need to attract much needed players then you may need to take a more relaxed attitude.

    I have played in bands that take membership very seriously & if you didn't pay up then you were asked to leave, come the AGM things used to get quite exciting especially when some members put far more time & effort into keeping the band running, organizing & raising money than others.

    I am currently a member of one band but also help out quite considerably with the band that my wife plays at but I am not a member even though I am treated as such by the other members
  12. Graham6573

    Graham6573 Member

    Kate check out what it says on a registration card.

    Peep's - anyone with a yellow card to hand, does it state that person X is a member of the Plebley Spanner Works band??? If it does then at least in the eyes of the BBBR that person is a member.
  13. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    I don't think registrations are neccessarily a reliable indication of membership. Just about every band I've ever been involved with has registered deps for contests who are not and never will be actual members of the band. On the flip side, some of them have also had non-contesting or even non-playing members who still pay subs, turn up week in week out and give up their time and effort to help the band - they are as much part of the team as everyone else.

    Just because a yellow card says a person is a "registered member" of band x, if they're not turning out regularly to rehearsals and gigs and contributing the same as everyone else (subs, helping with gear, work behind the scenes etc etc), then they're not a member of the band.
  14. euphymike

    euphymike Member

    For years if you were a paid up and exam passed member of the Royal institiution of Chartered Surveyors then you were deemed to be an associated (ARICS).
    A few years back they decided that if you were a fully paid up member you could now be a 'member'. (MRICS) so there you go. So if your on the list, paid up subs you must be a member. If its good enough for a Chartered Professional body then its good enough for a brass band?
  15. katej

    katej Member

    Some interesting theories here. Keep them coming and if anyone would like to share what their bands constitution says I'd be interested in that as well.....
  16. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    I can't swear to this, but as far as I remember our constitution requires that new members are proposed and seconded by existing members - nothing to do with registration. Don't know how common this is elsewhere ...
  17. katej

    katej Member

    Blimey! that seems extreme.....My personal feeling is if players are registered and will be there regularly at rehearsals/jobs as time allows then they are members. If they turn up once in a blue moon but pay subs they are a member.....
  18. trombone-john

    trombone-john Member

    All a bit Greek to me, but if it helps you Kate........

    PART 2
    7 Membership.
    (1) Membership is open to individuals over eighteen or organisations who are approved by the Trustees.
    (2) (a) The Trustees may only refuse an application for membership if, acting reasonably and properly, they consider it to be in the best interests of the Charity to refuse the application.
    (b) The Trustees must inform the applicant in writing of the reasons for the refusal within twenty-one days of the decision.
    (c) The Trustees must consider any written representations the applicant may make about the decision. The Trustees' decision following any written representations must be notified to the applicant in writing but shall be final.
    (3) Membership is not transferable to anyone else.
    (4) The Trustees must keep a register of names and addresses of the members which must be made available to any member upon request.
    (5) In matters pertaining to playing membership, musical ability shall be a question for the Musical Director alone to determine, or the Musical Director in consultation with the professional conductor (if appointed).
    8 Termination of Membership.
    Membership is terminated if:
    (1) The member dies or, if it is an organisation, ceases to exist;
    (2) The member resigns by written notice to the Charity unless, after the resignation, there would be less than two members;
    (3) Any sum due from the member to the Charity is not paid in full within six months of it falling due;
    (4) The member is removed from membership by a resolution of the Trustees that it is in the best interests of the Charity that his or her membership is terminated. A resolution to remove a member from membership may only be passed if:
    (a) The member has been given at least twenty-one days' notice in writing of the meeting of the Trustees at which the resolution will be proposed and the reasons why it is to be proposed;
    (b) The member or, at the option of the member, the member's representative (who need not be a member of the Charity) has been allowed to make representations to the meeting.
    (c) In matters pertaining to playing membership, musical ability shall be a question for the Musical Director alone to determine, or the Musical Director in consultation with the professional conductor (if appointed).
  19. katej

    katej Member

    Thanks for that - gives me something to work from and with :)
  20. kronk

    kronk New Member

    Someone who deserves to be a member, as judged by their actions, behaviour and general willingness to create a good, positive atmosphere between themselves and their fellow players, committee and patrons. Does that rule you in or out???

Share This Page