Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by agodwin, Apr 3, 2006.
Just wondered what first section bands have entered the Ebbw Vale contest on 6th May 2006?
The bands that are in the First Section will be different to the ones at Swansea (but not a lot). The bands that are in the section are as follows (some may not turn up though!!)
Cwmaman (didn't turn up last year, don't know about this year)
BTM (relegated from Champ)
RAF St Athan
Whoever has been promoted from the Second Section (I can't remember off hand).
If you want a little more detail go to my band's website (link below) and navigate to the local table (listed on the left hand side of the home page) Will you be going to the contest? In case you didn't know, it is an own choice contest.
Yes my band (Chalford - 1st section W of E) will be going to the contest. We have been to Ebbw Vale once before and have decided to return this year. Last time we took part it was a set test piece format. We do know that it is now own choice.
Doubt we will go again this year.
Its not beacuse we dont want to - its a question of economics...
Players time+effort ?
Top prize £200 at best - (not guarenteed by any means)
if the contest was, say £1K top prize or there was something bigger riding on it....
PS i dont speak for the Band committee !
I have to say that for many years now it seems that although the 4 regional contests in Wales are run excellently, always great fun and turn out to be great events: little or no effort is made to attract any form of sponsorship or promotional revenue for them.
I personally don't understand this, and such a lack of focus does nothing to make bands want to come to the event at all. In fact, it works in the opposite manner by actually driving bands away from the event. The larger percentage of bandspeople want to take their band to contests. They want to attend and play at contests. There is a market for such events.
I appreciate that raising any form of sponsorship is never an easy task, and involves a lot of work, but how about the regional committee getting together and brainstorming ideas as to how sponsorship could be raised? Never mind the politics, control struggles or power weilding - just get together, form a group of like minded people looking to work towards raising sponsorship money for the for Welsh regional contests. At least this way you will be being seen to be doing something to raise money.
Good words john!! I totaly agree with that althought the venue isnt the best and ebbw vale might not be the most glamouros of places it could be along with all the welsh contest really good but maby theres sumet wrong somwere!
the bar is always very good tho suprising evry year the amount of people in the bar rises yet the amount of bands reduses!!
Agree with you that although the venue at Ebbw Vale serves its purpose, it is perhaps not the best venue available. OK, so the other venues within a 30 mile vicinity would cost more, but sheesh - what's wrong with simply putting heads together and coming up with a strategic plan for the benefit of all competing bands. There are many alternate venues that could be used if required - but to be honest, I don't think it is the venue per sé that keeps bands away... it's the risk-relationship between the mandatory cost of attendance v's lack of possible prize money.
There are many factors where sponsorship would help significantly. It costs to enter the contest, it costs to get there, it costs to buy the music, it costs in prep (MD / Player deps etc) too? So why are the regional members not working to attract some form of significant sponsorship for these excellent events? There's a plethora of marketing ideas they could use in an attempt to promote these events with much broader, fresh, exciting and modern appeal.
Yeh your very right I really enjoy ebbw vale contest always have done must be somthing to do with some of the fine performances we put on there John when we were at cwmbran together,
Just out of intrest would Tmp ever consider running a contest? or helping run one ect? but you are very right at the local levals I feel the methods are very much 'we did it this way 10years ago lets carry on'!
Saying all this tho I do comend them for putting in a youth contest into the day which seems to be prospering.
Now you have me stumped...!!!! OK... so I give up... I guess I should know who you are, but I am presently unaware and confuzzled as to who you are?? Sorry... please remind me.
As for tMP putting on an event such as this - it is something we have discussed with the team and to be honest, we haven't discounted doing it. Would mean a lot more work for us in the form of research et al, but sure... if there were enough bands interested in attending, we'd run one.
Do you rember a 15 year old percussionist playing for you back in about 2001!!??
-If I mentioned preston (national finals) 2001, then playing peices such as firestorm, Sinfonietta for brass band, An English suite?!
-I used to come to band with Bonnie and stuart.
-then I mooved to tredegar just before the europeans in 2002?
remberd yet john, Its james andrews!
Hi James... yes, I remembered shortly after I posted that... glad to see you are doing so well with Polysteel... must have been that training you received initially eh!!!
Certanly john, I must have been the pain of your life!!!!
Im not much better know!
ps if you have any tmp stuff you need a perc for you know wear I am.
Cheers James... very kind of ya.
Ebbw Vale Contest
Could someone explain the grading system adopted in South East Wales area.
Last year I recall nationally graded 4th section bands playing in the 3rd section, nationally graded 3rd section bands playing in 2nd section and so on. Yet, I looked at the list posted for possible 1st section at Ebbw Vale for the May 6th contest and see Cwmamman Institute listed. Arethey not nationally graded as a Championship band??
I dont think National and Local gradings are necessarily the same. For example, a band could be Championship grade in Wales but may be First or even Second section in the UK. A band may be playing in Ch Section in Ebbw Vale, but then may be playing in Harrogate at the lower section finals. Similarly, band may be playing in the Grand Shield in Blackpool and then competing in the Ebbw Vale first section the week later/before ! Cwmaman attended Ebbw Vale in 2004 (I think) and played Between the Moon and Mexico in the Championship section. The adjudicator did not like the performance and the band was placed right down the bottom somewhere. As a consequence Cwmaman were relegated to 1st section locally - despite appearing at the Open and RAH the same year! So bands like Cwmaman, Parc and Dare and BTM actually end up in the lower sections for local contests principally because they dont attend local contests. The reasons for that can be seen in my earlier post on this subject.
Dont know if all bands in Wales get relegeated for not entering local competitions though. I reckon we wont see all the Welsh bands at the local contests until a) prize money is vastly increased and b) winning actually counts towards something (i.e. Champion band of Wales and European invitation). My opinion only!
Thanks for your explanation, although I think its a bit harsh on a ist Section band to have to compete with a Nationally graded Championship band in a local association contest,just because the chapionship band did not compete in its own section the previous year. Do I take from this that if Cwmamman do not compete in the 1st section this year at Ebbw Vale then they will be relegated to the third section?? If the SEWBBA are using a big stick to try to get the better bands involved then I would suggest that their actions are being counter productive. CISB are certainly not a 1st section band
I agree with your second point. Enormous prize money won't necessarily guarantee a good turnout. Cash is not the motivator. When a band wins a nice big prize, it isn't divided up, it goes into stuff like new ties and jackets that fit properly.
What bandspeople respond to is the opportunity to go for the bigger honour; National or European representation. This point is regularly illustrated at Swansea and Ebbw Vale every year:
Swansea - Pitiful prizes - good turnout;
Ebbw Vale - Pitiful prizes - pitiful turnout. The difference? Swansea leads somewhere.
The local Welsh contests were killed when the decision was taken for European representation to be sorted at the Regional contest. I don't know the motivation for this decision, but here are the facts:
Under the old qualification system, we had the most vibrant scene, competitive contests and fair system in the UK. A real sense of drama was generated at the final contest in Treorchy. It tied the big bands into sacrificing a couple of days a year, but the contest was of a higher standard as a result.
Now, we have a system that is more convenient, i.e. Euro Qualification can be sorted nice and early and the big bands can arrange nice gigs on the local contest weekends, but our unique banding culture in Wales is rotting away for that sake of the convenience of a few.
The sad fact is that Welsh bands don't have the ability to put together an effective association that can work for the benefit of its bands.
More sense seems to be 'spoken' on these message boards than at any association meeting.
<Do I take from this that if Cwmamman do not compete in the 1st section this year at Ebbw Vale then they will be relegated to the third section?>
Probably demoted to 2nd section first Dai - to be demoted two whole sections just for not attending is a bit harsh! But seriously, we'll probably be 2nd section locally next year if we dont attend any local contests in 2006.
..........and one that gives bands from ALL OVER Wales a fair chance.
As I said in earlier posts in this thread, the Welsh regional contests need a darned good shake up. These contests are simply not working to their fullest potential and as a consequence, they are not achieving whaty they should be achieving for the bands within Wales.
The analogy... "we have done it this way for 35 years and we are not going to change now" - seems to be the modus operandi in effect presently. Too many power struggles, policital shenanagins, and political correctness abounds. No-one seems to be seriously considering how significantly, over recent years, things have actually moved on, and how things have developed and the objectives of bands have altered and changed focus.
Of course, the regional controllers do a grand job that goes without saying, but we need to move with the times folks....!!!
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