I would ask these questions at our next band rehearsal but I think it would not be a viable and adequate reason for hampering your visit to The Crown! Congratulations on your views on categorising in adjudication methods and hope that others take these on board.
My questions on contesting are quite simple:-
1) In an age that emphasises difference and variety is there still a place for a mono or single test piece contest ?
After all, spin these days is important and if bands want to appear on TV, for example, like with the Folk and Brecon Jazz festivals, then listening to one piece endlessly is not that entertaining to Joe Public. I understand that this makes the adjudication methods a little harder but some things have to be sacrificed I think.
Having played with the B+R band for nearly ten years and come across many fantastic but different test pieces (for example Prague) I get perplexed at the choice of repertoire for contests.
2) If the contest is the main vehicle for introducing new (longer length) pieces why is there such a curious opposite ends of the spectrum (no pun intended) to those that are actually chosen (for example one year transcription (of a piece originally used many years ago) to Jounrey this year)? And furthermore, should new pieces that were originally commissioned for one specific band be used in an event where that band is competing (specifically if the piece is only recently commissioned)?
3) To be frank, contesting gets predictable, lesser named bands do not win very often which suggests that there is not a level playing field. However, is there not a few ways in which the contest can be jazzed up (especially in the Championshop section). What do you think of these possibilities:- (although it is more likely hell will freeze over than someone will do anything about them!)
a) A contest where the bands need to prepare 2 or 3 test pieces and they do not know which one they are playing until the draw for position on the day?
b) A contest where soloists and tutti players (in teams, for example 2 2nd and 3rd cornets) are individualised and drawn out of a hat so that you have bands made up of a combination of all the bands involved or not as the case may be! The winning band would be the one that has the most players from the same band (for example the winning band may have 8 players from B+R, so B+R wins).
c) A contest where bands are given their test pieces 48 hours beforehand, meaning that the best bands would be those you could prepare the quickest?
There are so many more questions I would like to ask but you are a busy man and there are more people out there with important issues.