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BigHorn
10.12.2002, 08:45
As we all know banding can sometimes be a cut throat business. As bands strive to move up through the sections they often have to demote or say goodbye to players who are not up to scratch. Disagreements and band politics often get in the way of the music. What are your worst experiences? What was the cruelest method of getting rid of someone? Who is the longest serving band member it has happened too. What is the lamest excuse ever? Are you an MD who has had to make the hard decisions?
Come on, vent your spleen, have a grumble and let those committees know what heartless b*#%*^ds they sometimes are.
Also why you are here fill in the poll

sparkling_quavers
10.12.2002, 14:17
Yeah it can be a cut throat business.....the worst things I have seen is players being asked to leave when they are perfectly good enough to cope but a 'better player' is available.

I think it is wrong and it will be breaking the consitutions of most bands!

anyway this is a very negative subject!!!! :? should we really be talking about this? :shock:

twigglet
10.12.2002, 17:57
I think that it is a good point to discuss. I think that every band has its share of band politics, but I do feel that it should be unnecessary. After all we are in a band to play and socialise and not to fall out.

The player problem is also always going to happen, particularly in a band building up from the grass roots. I believe that the players should choose what direction the band takes, whether it is a local, informal town band open to anyone with an interest or on the other hand a band that is seeking to improve in the national rankings and therefore compete. In my experience most bandsmen love contest days but hate the lengthy preparation that comes with them. If you are committed to trying to move up the sections then I'm afraid that I believe you have to have the best players available.

One thing that I strongly disagree with is loaning loads of deps for contests and they are not a true representation of the band you really have. For example I have heard of bands who can barely scratch a rehearsal together yet can go and win contests because they bring in loads of deps.

:?: :?: :?:

amgray
17.12.2002, 13:11
For a band that wishes to improve quickly it is necessary to remove the players who can't grow with the band. Sad but true.
What is worse is when a sacking happens to a perfectly good player still in their prime for political reasons.
I've known this happen to some of the biggest names in banding......

Curiosity_Kills
15.02.2004, 16:37
I have one thing to say.

FOR HEAVEN SAKE IT'S MUSIC

as you can see, i'm not a great believer in making music competitive.

Despot
15.02.2004, 19:22
Yeah it can be a cut throat business.....the worst things I have seen is players being asked to leave when they are perfectly good enough to cope but a 'better player' is available.


We had a conductor who wanted to replace a capable young lad for a contest because a better player was available, but we'd have none of it.

Years later the conductor is gone, nobody remembers the contest, and the "young" lad is still there, except now he's principal trombone! :wink:

But back on topic, where more than one person is involved in something, be it a brass band or a sewing circle, you'll have politics to some extent! It's not something you can choose to have or not! :(

jambo
15.02.2004, 19:31
FOR HEAVEN SAKE IT'S MUSIC



and its music that matters!!!!!

However, its gotta be played so sack em all if they're not good enough!

Just kidding, ideally we should all go to enjoy ourselves, however, as soon as you introduce an element of competition, the needle begins...thats life. :roll:

neiltwist
15.02.2004, 19:41
FOR HEAVEN SAKE IT'S MUSIC



and its music that matters!!!!!

However, its gotta be played so sack em all if they're not good enough!

never a truer word said in jest.

and it's just not the way forward. Some bands I have been to have had a policy where anyone can join and come to rehearsals, but the best band will be picked for the contest. The best band may not always be the best players, but those that can play best together on that particular piece, and those who can attend most rehearsals etc.

IYOUNG
15.02.2004, 19:48
Band politics in my view is caused by two things:-

1. What I describe as old fashioned band personnel who have the ''this is my seat and i'm entitled'' attitude.

2. When committees are made up of people who do not possess the relevant man management skills to deal with difficult situations that undoubtedly arise from time to time.

The sooner bands address these two issues the easier it is to have a politically free band zone

lazybrass
15.02.2004, 23:38
Band politics is a very touchy subject.
Like many bandsmen, I have been in banding for 25 loyal years and think I have seen everything that could happen to a band.
Being ruthless towards players is great for results but you have to look at the long term survival of the band.
You need the core of true bandsmen who believe in the band and are not there for self gain - they are there to make music. Start losing that core and it will impact on the bands future.

Accidental
16.02.2004, 10:14
My dad was "sacked" from a band because they were young and rapidly improving, and he reached a point where he couldn't keep up. They did it suddenly and (imho) cruelly, and he never stopped hurting or feeling ill-treated. I don't think they were wrong to ask him to go, but I do think the way they did it was bad. Its not nice, but if you play in contesting bands you have to accept that this may happen sometimes...... whats important is that the player in question is handled sensitively and not left feeling dumped or at fault.

I have also seen players "asked to leave" because their politics or behaviour were having a negative impact on the band, and although those situations were extremely unpleasant and difficult in the short term, the bands were better off after the event.

PeterBale
16.02.2004, 12:02
I was placed in an awkward situation once with a band (not brass) that my dad and I both played with, when they told him they didn't want him any more, but wanted me to stay :?

Another point regarding politics in bands: don't assume that because they do not take part in contests SA bands are exempt from the same problems. I'm sure that on occasions it gets even more complicated due to other factors within the Corps, and the frustrations can be heightened by the realisation that the politics is hindering the real mission of the band, which can bring various feelings of guilt into the equation.

Gorgie boy
16.02.2004, 12:13
IAnother point regarding politics in bands: don't assume that because they do not take part in contests SA bands are exempt from the same problems.

Couldn't agree more Peter. I think there are issues of politics etc around in the SA just as anywhere else. Part of that is because we are talking about people and when we talk about people egos, ambition, jealousy and other such matters come into play.

Had a situation in our band once where a guy arrived and said he wanted to play Bass trombone. He wasn't up to it, frankly, and when this was put to him and a position on 2nd trombone was offered, he took the huff and never darkened our door again. I've often thought about that occasion and wondered if it could have been handled differently. Probably not, but you get concerned when people are lost either to banding or to the church over the issue of which part they want to play.

Sad isn't it?

Paul Drury
Edinburgh Gorgie SA Band

Despot
16.02.2004, 13:30
I've often thought about that occasion and wondered if it could have been handled differently. Probably not, but you get concerned when people are lost either to banding or to the church over the issue of which part they want to play.


I've been in similar situations and had similar concerns. However over time you realise you can't talk to someone who won't listen.

Personally I think that being concerned and worried is a good sign, and that the day you don't feel some element of regret, it's time to give up!

greatcheese
16.02.2004, 14:00
It'd be great to be in a position to be able to sack players. The band I am currently in has a lot of wasters (perfectly good players but slack at home practice and attendance). Admittedly, morale is low due to a number of vacancies across the band and, therefore, empty seats at rehearsals but that's no excuse for not practicing and makes it more important that 'regulars' attend.

Anyway, what I'm getting round to saying is, we could do with sacking a few players but in the current climate, who do you find to replace them? i know exactly what would happen if we did sack them.......a few weeks down the line we would be grovelling for them to come back just to get bums on seats!!!!!!!

Answers on a postcard please.........??

greatcheese
16.02.2004, 18:23
Sorry :oops: Just seen the thread titled 'Slack Banders' and guess that's where my last post should be really!

Still think it's very difficult to be sacking players when you've already got 5 or 6 regularly empty seats.

lilcornetgirl
16.02.2004, 18:52
I think Band Politics are *bleeped*. Sorry for my french but thats the way i lost all my mates :cry: I miss em all so much but no one cares because its all about the band. All the people who are still there still want to keep in touch but "It makes a bad impression on the band" and if you ask me thats a *bleeped* thing to say. Friends are more important then a brass instrament and if you now me you wouldnt ever here me say this, I WOULD RATHER GIVE THE CORNET UP THEN MISS OUT ON ALL MY MATES. They were well nice to me and i would rather see them or keep intouch with them then Not see or talk to em at all.


Keppler - Please don't try to beat the bleeper, it's there for a reason...

Libby
16.02.2004, 19:11
:( I can't believe some of what I'm reading here! lilcornetgirl!! You should be able to talk to and associate with whoever you please! The day our band tries to dictate that I'll be off faster than you can say horn!! Don't be dictated to like this, if they are your friends then you stay friends with them.

To think that the "fanatics" in your band should dictate who you talk to or not I find very offensive :evil: :evil:

I do find it rather sad that sometimes a player has to be sacked, it's only happened a couple of times in our band but that was because of bad behaviour not because of their playing ability, I personally think that is wrong, maybe they should be offered a different part but not totally sacked.

Band is a hobby which should be enjoyed by all whatever their playing standard! If your band is that worried then they should audition players and give them a time limit on probation before accepting them!

Sorry! I've calmed down now and off to Band Practice!! :D

lilcornetgirl
16.02.2004, 19:41
Its a bit hard to not allow this and walk out you see. As for sacking people if it was down to playing i think id be out of door by now trust me :lol: I think its purely how you behave and if you attend to Concerts and if your commited to the band enoth. Its a shame when people have to be told to leave. EXSPECIALLY IF THERE A GD PLAYER.

Big Fella
17.02.2004, 08:45
I do agree with sackings if they are required, but they have to be for the right reasons. If the player is not up to their seat, and are not trying to improve themselves, and regulary let the band down, then he / she, must go. BUT, these days, when there are hundreds of empty seats around bands, and what not enough players to fill them, can, or does a band sack players ??.
I have previously left a band, due to people being sacked , becuase they did not get on well, with individuals within the band. This I think is wrong..

BIG Paul
17.02.2004, 10:04
As I am wit a fourth section band which has been built in five years from a handful of players to a band which is now nearly full and ready to start contesting. I'm a great believer in building a band without sacking any player. It is those players who have helped the band to get to where it is. They have turned up for rehearsals when there are only six players there. they have done jobs for very little money when they sound pretty grim and now when everything is starting to look rosy some PRATT wants to replace them for a better player. NOT WHILE I'M AROUND. Come on people where is your loyalty. with these attitudes it's no wonder that players will leave one band to go to another "better" band at the drop of a hat. IMHO a player should only be sacked for misconduct or other similar reasons not just because a "better " player has been found. :oops:

lilcornetgirl
17.02.2004, 11:44
I dont think its becasue of better players that have been found. If that was true then i think that i would have been sacked already. :lol:

Band Sackings is all about there commitment to the band and if they are comited enoth. If they arnt that commited and they dont turn up to Jobs or if they do there using a mobile or talking to much then the bands not gonna lke it. If a player is not a very good player (like me :lol: ) and there not tryin to improve (not like me) then the band arnt gonna want them on there seat.

The thing i said to myself when i got moved to Rep was WOW How have i got here after bein a dead quiet and low on confidence my confidence boosted up. If you want a player to attend the band and behave then you try and convince them that there doin it right and try and push them. I am thinkin that if i get moved onto 3rd or 2nd then i need to try harder and i will. I dont know if this is right to most of you but just think for a second if your conducter came up to you and offered you a lower seat then what would you do? Would you try and get back to your origional seat by improving and makeing an effort? or would you not improve? I would probly say that most of he people who have thought about that said They would Improve.

Band sacking is just stupid if i got sacked i wouldnt think that i need to Improve i would just think o they dont like me no more and join another band. If the same kept happening then probly i would go back to the band i enjoyed the most and ask if i can come back i would proly make sure that i improve so they now that i am taking another route around it.

I hope this post makes sense to some of you but i cant realy right big NOTICABLE posts it just dosnt make sense. It does to me there again i wrote it. :lol: :lol:

ScrapingtheBottom
17.02.2004, 13:02
I had to move seat in my band recently (admittedly it was from Bass to Solo Trom!) and I thought the band handled it pretty well. I love playing the bass trom I think its a fantastic instrument, but we had the opportunity to get a player with vast amounts of experience and to be quite frank is much better than me. I think moving players is always a good option, especially if you have a deficiency in one section and a glut in the other. Sacking should really be the last resort for most bands. I mean, which is a better acheivement? - winning the 3rd section with a band you've helped build up from scratch or the 1st section with a load of deps and journeymen who are just in it for their share of the prize money.

I've seen so many bands who exceed their expections in the lower sections with a good, friendly band get 'contest fever' and sack all their players in an attempt to progress. So what if you're stuck the third section? If everyone in your band are good freinds and its a laugh, what is the problem?

Banding for most people is a hobby and you should enjoy it. I mean really even the pros should enjoy it, but its the lower 1st, 2nd and upper 3rd section bands that seem, IMHO, to be the most bitchy.

Raspberry
28.02.2004, 13:04
Well said there - after all banding is only a hobby! and it should be fun and enjoyed by all!

eric
28.02.2004, 18:43
Sometimes removing a player from their position is a necessary evil, but a band con soon get a bad reputation for doing this, if they are seen to to be continually changing bodies for the sake of results.
If the player is a regular attender, this MUST be taken into concideration. They must be good enough to play with the band to sit in the chair in the first place, so think wisely when replacing a TEAM member. Will your new found "star" be there for rehearsals and jobs or will you be having to bring in players to undertake engagements / rehearsals :?: :?: :?:

lilcornetgirl
28.02.2004, 23:16
Hi i am LCGs mate i play cornet and i have been moved but i keep askin myself. What happens if i dont think i can do it, I dont think i can play my seat and i dont want to let the band down our test piece just isnt goin right in my part. What happens if a player dosnt feel right on ther seat. I now LCG feels right but i dont. Can i be moved or what :?: :?: :?: Does nyone now what i can do i dont want to be sacked but i dunno what to do:?::?::?:?::?::?::?::?::?:

ploughboy
29.02.2004, 14:26
I feel really lucky to work with a band that has no politics whatsoever, Anyone in the band would move seat (not instrument) for the good of the band, Since been htere last year, we've moved a young lad off sop onto 2nd cornet, Euph's and bari's round, brought in new top man (who after area's will play rep if we find a better top man, and rep is happy to play second) I'm so lucky to work with such flexible musicians.

Still sacking or Subtley moving on, is sometimes nessecary, if we bring in a bad apple, someone who upsets the band dynamic (in a non musical sense) then it is (as the poll says) a nessecary evil!! I Don't like doing it but if I feel I have the full support of the band then it will happen. I would hate to make it a second hobby tho, and we are lucky in people that haveb joined the band over the last 10 months have all sloted in very well

Here's a thought, i hope the band think i've fitted in well??? :lol:

PeterBale
01.03.2004, 09:13
Hi i am LCGs mate i play cornet and i have been moved but i keep askin myself. What happens if i dont think i can do it, I dont think i can play my seat and i dont want to let the band down our test piece just isnt goin right in my part. What happens if a player dosnt feel right on ther seat. I now LCG feels right but i dont. Can i be moved or what :?: :?: :?: Does nyone now what i can do i dont want to be sacked but i dunno what to do:?::?::?:?::?::?::?::?::?:
Reading your post there I would suggest you try to speak t the MD about how you feel. I'm sure they would appreciate your honesty in letting them know if you do not feel you can cope.

As I see it there are then a few possible outcomes:
1) If you can identify particular passages that are causing problems, extra help and advice might be forthcoming
2) It may be that the MD will simply assure you that they are quite happy with the way you are coping, and are confident that you will do all right - it may be that it is that reassurance that you really need
3) It is possible that the MD may decide to move you again, in the light of your own reservations. If this does happen, I'm sure there would be other opportunities to move up in the future once you've gained more experience etc.

Either way, because you're the one who's raised the matter, it would be better than if you simply messed up without talking to anyone about it.

bigmamabadger
01.03.2004, 21:25
Band politics in my view is caused by two things:-

1. What I describe as old fashioned band personnel who have the ''this is my seat and i'm entitled'' attitude.

2. When committees are made up of people who do not possess the relevant man management skills to deal with difficult situations that undoubtedly arise from time to time.


Plus 2 other basic human problems:
3. Sex
4. Power
I've seen both these have a detrimental effect on abnad and its personnel, leading to "sackings" and "resignations".
BMB

ScrapingtheBottom
02.03.2004, 11:51
Actually physicists recently unified those two into 'Power Sex'. :D

Dave Euph
20.03.2004, 00:35
I can think of a very good situation of a very high-profile bander being sacked, only to be asked to join his band again within weeks. I won't go into details because most people probably know who I'm talking about ... anyway ...

Band politics are evil. A letter not too long ago to BBW was from a writer suggested there was too much "hiring and firing" going on amongst bands in their search for improvement rather than the easier-to-do-without-offending-anyone internal reshuffle.

Of course, the replier was Roger Webster who gave his full support for sacking of players.

Anyway, what I want to say is, why should players play in fear to keep their seat? It takes the fun out of what banding is. A (often serious) hobby, and the decision upon their seat should never be taken lightly. It should be discussed with all involved, including the player and the band - rather than allowing the MD to remove players as he/she sees fit.

katej
20.03.2004, 18:53
In reply to lcg's mate. When I first joined Wellington Iwas put on front row. Having not played for 14 years I asked if I could go on back row as I didn't feel good enough for the front. After Christmas I was moved back to the front, although I'm still not convinced that I'm good enough I keep practising and telling myself that one day i will be better.
Kate

horny
28.11.2004, 18:59
I was sacked from my last band for "political" reasons and it was HORRIBLE. The way it was conducted at the end of a concert, hasten to add my husband promtly left the band too.

One sad result was that we fell out with some of our best friends. But the ending is good, because a year ago we were reunited and we now play in a great band!

My brother was asked to 'LEAVE' an SA band, and that was not nice, he had done nothing wrong, but as he played for a school band that was conducted by an ex SA bandmaster who was disliked the DC at the time and the CO decided it was not suitable!?!?!

Banding?
WE LOVE IT!

peatair
28.11.2004, 21:14
Brass bands and contesting seem to be linked inextricably like "fish and chips." At the highest levels of banding you can either "hack it" or you will be fired since there is always a queue at the door.

Further down the banding ladder there are the more usual locally based bands. These depend on local people and support. I have known people get the push from such bands because someone else was thought to be "better" for the contest. After the contest that player left and, of course, the original local person did not return either. The outcome was a completely empty seat and loss of a great worker for the band - someone who would have done anything for the band.

Also, in my opinion, far too much "power" is usually wielded by the M.D.s who (usually) consult with a very few of their "favourite" players. Band committees should get a grip on this. Unfortunately, most band committee members lack the expertise and sensitivity needed to deal with these difficulties and to be able to avoid upseeting good people.

six pints
28.11.2004, 21:15
Generally i think its much easier to shuffle people about then to sack them. in the last year and a half ive gone from front row to drums (cos we had one extra front row and i was last to join and least experienced) onto third cornet (cos we got real drummers but i was at uni so didnt want to be on the front row) onto second (cos we got a new player who wanted to be on 3rd) and i got moved onto rep a couple of month ago. Obviously other people have moved around as well but i think that everyone is happy with where they are now.
The only sacking ive seen since i joined my band a couple of years ago was one of the front row cornets a month ago, basically they werent coming to rehearsals, and when they did were then struggling with the parts. A new player was brought in who isnt as good, but showed up to the rehearsals more often. I think that after the comp today the old player is rejoining to do skegness, but tbh not entirely sure. I think in this situation it was right to sack the player, as they just werent turning up, however i think its wrong if they are trying to improve and turn up regularly as they are showing commitment and in the long term it is players like this that will keep a band alive.

cornetgirl
29.11.2004, 17:46
This leaves me wondering one thing...

If you were not doing your job to the best of your ability without a good reason (like you'd lost use of your legs or what have you), you would expect to be offered ways to improve, then if you wouldn't or couldn't improve then it would be reasonable to be dismissed or demoted.

That is in your profession though.

How many people are bandsmen by trade? Do we get paid? Very few of us do. Have we been trained to provide a service for people? Not all of us.

So what I'm trying to say is that surely sacking someone from a hobby is not constructive??

Fair enough in the top bands where retainers are sometimes paid, but in most bands it seems rather unfair.

Some bands manage very well with the odd reshuffle or what have you, so how do they manage and others feel the need to sack???

Rach x

Spanky Rear
29.11.2004, 17:57
I didn't vote because the word 'evil' was included.Some sackings are just necessary,and it wouldn't bother me to be the one to do it. In my view Bands should make plain to the members what the policies are in running the Band otherwise decisions can all too often appear arbitrary and capricious.
How many Bands can honestly say that all decisions are openly discussed before being implemented.
The guiding principle should be " Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"..

peatair
29.11.2004, 18:12
I did mean to add to my earlier post that "sacking" a player might well be against the constitution of most bands. Certainly, any "sacking" should be done in accordance with whatever the constitution permits. This kind of drastic action is usually confined to gross misconduct. Any arbitrary action not within the band's constitution might well be unlawful - if someone chose to make an issue of it.

backrowbloke
29.11.2004, 18:20
Why should a committee decide who can / cannot play? How are they qualified to make that decision?

We have a policy where anyone can aplpy to joing the band - as as long as of a reasonable enough standard can play with the band for concerts. Should we be in the position where there are too many players, then it is the MD's role to decide who does and does not play....he doesn't consult with 'favorite players' or the committee - he is paid to make that decision if necessary

The committees role is to effectively manage the non-playing side of the band - prioritise spending, contest / concert administration etc. Even then each committee member has a role and responsabilites and is empowered to make most decisions.

As for sackings - we have had to ask players to leave - mainly because they have not been attending rehearsals and dropping from concerts at the last minute. The MD is empowered to make that decision and is backed by the committee.

DublinBass
29.11.2004, 19:11
Some bands I have been to have had a policy where anyone can join and come to rehearsals, but the best band will be picked for the contest. The best band may not always be the best players, but those that can play best together on that particular piece, and those who can attend most rehearsals etc.

I think this is the way to go. The only trick is everybody has to be on board with the plan and is okay if they are left out of a contest. That being said, some contests allow you to carry extra players so some of them can get in.

Carry an extra trombone, Bariphonium, Bass, Horn and a couple extra cornets. It means less searching for deps. It also allows you to help song younger players mature. My band's youngest member is in the bass section. For a couple contests we could carry an extra player so we went with five basses. Now one of our basses left as she is finishing her last year t uni and under alot of pressurel. Our young bass players is more confident and ready to fill in for areas.

Banding should be fun...don't shut people out!!

Craigsav83
29.11.2004, 20:54
There should be very few reasons for players ever to be sacked from a brass band

People are there for their own personal enjoyment.

I appreciate that when bands progress, they occasionally leave some players behind, but this is no reason for player sacking. Players can still be part of a band and not contest, bands do play in many other events.

Hot Lips
30.11.2004, 18:21
From what I see of bands today there are simply not enough players to warrent sacking of people from positions.

Bands have to settle with what they have as there is no one around who is better. This can be very frustrating as it can be seen as holding the standard of the band back but what choice is there?

On the flip side of this there is the sacking of players for reasons other than playing. Maybe they have behaved badly or are causing undue suffering to more than one person in the band, in this case sacking is justied for the well being of the organisation and the will of the majority should by adhered too.

mikelyons
30.11.2004, 19:14
Since this band was formed (Old Hall) 15 years ago, we haven't sacked anyone. Anyone who has left has done so with the band's blessing and most have gone into retirement. One has joined a championship section band. As the band is the committee, including the 'officers' (secretary, treasurer etc) and no one holds 'private' meetings, we have very little in the way of politics.

We have managed to stay friends as we have moved from 4th to 1st section and we impressed on our recent interviewees for the post of MD (when Neil Parkinson retired) that the band would continue to work that way. We try to keep everything open and above board - I think the PC term for this is transparency. No one suffers if everyone knows what's going on.

Most of us are happy to move if it is for the good of the band. One year 14 people swapped seats. It was obviously to the band's benefit because we won the areas that year. what more can one ask?