Women in Brass Bands

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by LadyBrassBand, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. LadyBrassBand

    LadyBrassBand New Member


    I have been following this forum for a while and feel compelled to ask a few questions.

    There has been a lot of talk about attracting young people to the movement, a bit of a debate about contests vs concerts and yet as far as I can see there is no mention at all of the fact that women are very much considered a minority in the movement.

    As far as I can see, there are no lady conductors at the very top of banding, only a few in the elite bands and for the most part they don't occupy the top chairs. It seems a bit more different lower down the sections where there does seem to be a bit more balance. I dare say, that most the people on this forum are men? I may be wrong?

    Can anyone suggest why this sexism continues to exist and what can be done to solve the problem?
  2. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    1st time post trying to start a contentious argument, username gives no hint at real name, profile has no details of location/identity.

    Sniff, sniff, I think I smell a troll?

    Michael Walls likes this.
  3. LadyBrassBand

    LadyBrassBand New Member

    What a completely patronising, presumptuous response, clearly posted with the sole intention of an angry response from myself.

    If anyone is a troll Steve then it is you.

    I haven't set a profile up yet, so what? Quite frankly if I had all you would have done is demand more proof.

    You are a pathetic troll incapable of contributing anything sensible. Well I am done with this anyway, have already wasted enough of my time. There, the forum is all yours Steve. Enjoy.
  4. Bob Sherunkle

    Bob Sherunkle Active Member

    Thanks for playing LadyBrassBand.

    Take any consolation prize from the front bottom shelf.

    Would you like to come back next week ?
  5. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    If you do come back to look LadyBrassBand, there seems to be quite a lot of dinosaurs in the whole of the brass band movement, the above being an example.
    However, there are quite a lot of female players in all as you say the lower section bands, yet I know of two bands that can't really be called lower section, well one used to be but not now, however plenty of very good lady players in both.
    I do actually hope to see some slightly more intelligent comments after mine on this issue.
  6. Phil3822

    Phil3822 Member

    I would say there is no issue with balance in the non contesting bands in my area. I am also keen not to make an issue out of something that may or may not exist. Never really knew it was an issue in contesting bands either but I am new to the "movement". It is clear that for banding to keep going there needs to be a decent stream of people coming through the door either learning or returning. Does this attract to women? No idea what so ever, I can list lots of activities that do not attract to women. I have actually recently joined a band where the dep MD is female. Never thought much of it really but maybe worth thinking why it does not attract women if this is the case.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  7. Bob Sherunkle

    Bob Sherunkle Active Member

    But Nev...

    She (??) started it.
  8. John_D

    John_D Member

    what about Jayne Murrill at East London Brass (Championship section and doing very well).

    Whilst I would agree that there are not that many women in top seats with the top bands, there are some very good ones (Kirsty Abbotts, Helen Williams, Sheona White).
  9. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    now now love ! Do you have ambitions to play as well as making the band sarnies ?

    I digress. Please sort a profile, a few pics would be nice too for us lads to have a peep at ! anyway all the above was in jest so welcome to the forum baby ! :D
  10. JimboFB

    JimboFB Active Member

    no wonder people can't be @rsed with this forum.

    For what it's worth, there are tons of ladies in banding up and down all the sections.

    In Flowers we currently have Becky on front row cornet, Rosie on solo horn, and Claire on on 2nd horn. We've also been very fortunate to have had some brilliant female players in every section of the band over the past however many years so to say that females aren't well represented in the top bands just isn't true.
  11. owain_s

    owain_s Member

    It's no different to discussions of female orchestral conductors: point out those that exist, and you get a "yeah, but apart from them" response. Individual women involved with top bands will often hate their gender being the focus of attention, as if it wasn't possible to just look at their musical capabilities.
  12. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    There are plenty of great female players and MDs, I've played with and under plenty, this just came over as a blatant windup.

    If the OP is genuine I apologise for any misunderstanding, please post some more opinions, if not I stand by my troll comment.
  13. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

    Zoe Hancock????? Best instrumentalist at the British Open; best instrumentalist at the Nationals. But, apart from her, there are no good female flugelhorn players at Black Dyke :D. And two of the three other horn players at Black Dyke are...ermm...well....ok...APART FROM THEM...and the solo baritone...APART FROM HER...oh, for God's sake...why are there so many women in the best band in the country?

    I don't think that women are a minority overall. And I do think that the original poster is trying to provoke a debate. But, something is only controversial if there is a significant element of truth in it.
  14. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    I very clearly remember when the first woman (girl, really) joined Eagley. There was an element of shock and from some quarters actual dismay. A sort of "What is the world coming to?" attitude prevailed. However, when she had proven herself to be an accomplished player, attitudes began to change amongst the older members of the band. I still think that there are some bands where the members are predominantly male, and that there is still not quite the balance of numbers in general, but there has been a tremendous improvement over the 40-odd years. Now, when women join bands it's nothing to comment on (unless she's a fantastic player and therefore a coup for the band concerned). Thankfully, the day of "Gloria Stitts" has long since met its demise. Now, where was it I'd heard they'd taken on an Orangutan to play kit? ;-)
  15. I'm with you there. It read like a windup to me too.
    IMO OP did themselves no favours by equating fewer women in brass bands with sexism.
    Perhaps it's because fewer women want to be in brass bands. Just a thought.
  16. Mr N N Fixer

    Mr N N Fixer Member

    I do actually hope to see some slightly more intelligent comments after mine on this issue.[/QUOTE]

    Ha Ha, that will not be difficult Nev.
    Great to see lots of ladies, well females in brass bands, and many of them are Ladies. It would be good to see more lady conductors generally. It's the same in the orchestral world.
    Do stop finding every opportunity to take a pop at the brass band movement Nev, dinosaurs indeed! Bet you had to get the dictionary out to spell that one.

    Bye bye for now.
    Mr Fixer.
  17. BandFanatic

    BandFanatic Member

    I can't help but wonder if the words used below might be a reason for the OP mentioning sexism? Harmless I am sure and maybe the stuff of Men Behaving Badly, but still a little bit close to the bone.

    As has been said before, there are plenty of women about at the top level, Black Dyke being just one very good example.
  18. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    IMHO the OP hasn't really offered much in terms of proof of sexism but rather just described the current situation (ie. There tends to be more male players and conductors than female ones). In my experience there's loads of females players and conductors at the base of banding, and some are good and some less so - just like us blokes. As for why more aren't higher up I'm not certain but women tend to 'favour' family and homemaking over rising to the very top of their career paths so that (very worthy) reason might impact.

    I'm all for supporting women. Now LadyBrassBand please come back and offer a bit more proof for us to discuss. To do any less is to really very poor ... or maybe SteveTrom's right.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
  19. BandFanatic

    BandFanatic Member

    I can barely believe what I am reading. If not sexist, that is an extreme stereotype that doesn't stand to reason at all. The fact remains that women not being involved is something of a myth but this sort of language is something that has to be challenged.
  20. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    Why challenge what is patently true.

    viva la difference, men and women are not the same, we are built and think differently.
    neither should be discriminated against, or for, but both should be encouraged and enabled to do whatever they want to.

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