2009 British Open

RamasII

Member
Regardless of what we say, there is NO ONE who sat in the open at Symphony Hall on Saturday and was not influenced,

I have never sat in a box and judged, but I am willing to bet that it is vastly different to sitting out in the open with the chance to remember performance via colour of tunic, remembering a particular soloist etc.


Hi, i can say i sat in the hall...and wasnt influenced by anything. When i had a score my head was buried in that looking at what the bands should have been doing...and having done judging in a box i can say it wasnt any different (although i was writing anything down) im pleased to say that the top 7 i had in the top 7..not all in the same order, in fact only got 7th, 6th and 4th correct...but thats music..we all like things to sound different.
But i would say that certainly with modern works i would prefer guys judging that i knew could conduct the piece and also work out all the rhythms etc...that really gets on my wick when i hear those things wrong and they are not spotted...i remember Prague...not many people got those right....
 
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BottyBurp

Member
[...]unfortunately, lower class elements ie. steven mead, continue to infect our love/hate relationship with brass bands. perhaps this mead character should realise this, afterall, the brass band world made him a so called 'star' even with a sound as thin as posh spice and as hard as charlie bronson! p.s. he could'nt even be bothered to wear a suit on stage at one of the most prestigious events in the brass band calender [says it all really!]
I know I haven't been around for a while, but are ad hominem attacks now allowed here?
 

DMBabe

Supporting Member
One thing I've never quite understood..... maybe someone can enlighten me? Why have more and more contests adopted the idea of having more than one adjudicator, only to stick them in a box together where I can almost guarantee that there will quickly transpire a "pecking order" or "seniority" where one will almost certainly foist his opinion onto the other. I don't see what wrong with separating them and adding their points together at the end?

Or are those "very sturdy and ergonomically designed" boxes too expensive to use more than one?
:roll:
 

Darth_Tuba

Active Member
I don't see what wrong with separating them and adding their points together at the end?

Or are those "very sturdy and ergonomically designed" boxes too expensive to use more than one? :roll:
This was done at the masters for quite a few years, which resulted in just as many complaints. Makes some interesting reading though! :)
 

Super Ph

Member
One thing I've never quite understood..... maybe someone can enlighten me? Why have more and more contests adopted the idea of having more than one adjudicator, only to stick them in a box together where I can almost guarantee that there will quickly transpire a "pecking order" or "seniority" where one will almost certainly foist his opinion onto the other. I don't see what wrong with separating them and adding their points together at the end?

Or are those "very sturdy and ergonomically designed" boxes too expensive to use more than one?
:roll:
the nightmare of every adjudicator - their ability will be compared against their peers. no wonder that experiment didn't last long.
 

Dago

Member
Like many people I thought Steven Mead's outburst at the Open was appalling and demonstrated a lack of respect for the adjudicators, the organisers and his own band, Whitburn.

SM raises the issue of the competence of the adjudicators but bases this observation on primarily age and deafness. His comments may be an infringement of both the government's laws on ageism and the disability discrimination acts.

SM does not offer proof of his claims of incompetence but rather offers the fact that his band were placed very low down despite a good performance? I notice on his band's recent victory at Troon that no complaints were made about the adjudicator there?

He calls for 'younger' adjudicators as though this was the way to achieve the desired result and to remedy the current situation. Does he have anyone in mind - perhaps he has a list of aquaintances who would fit the bill?

Adjudication can never be an exact art as it is always open to the subjective. Adjudicators use their experience as players, conductors and musicians to arrive at a decision - age plays no part in this.

As to the complaint that some adjudicators are used over and over again - please refer this to the contest organisers - they are the ones who book the adjudicators, perhaps they need to look to their own laurels.

Throughout this debate no one has yet suggested a perfect system - perhaps SM will reveal all?

What is disconcerting is the fact that no comments have been forthcoming from a number of national bodies - the BFBB, NABBC, Regional committees, and above all the organisers of the Open who have failed to issue a statement of support for the adjudicators and a condemnation of SM's actions.

I ask the question - "If a 4th section conductor at the lower section finals had reacted in this way, what would have been the outcome"
 

MoominDave

Well-Known Member
SM raises the issue of the competence of the adjudicators but bases this observation on primarily age and deafness. His comments may be an infringement of both the government's laws on ageism and the disability discrimination acts.
Somebody else said something similar earlier in the debate. This is nonsense, I'm afraid... You can't discriminate against somebody by debating their fitness for the job. You could possibly libel or slander them, but SM is not the one in a position of power here, and hence not in a position to discriminate, even if he wished to...
 

westoe_horn

Member
He calls for 'younger' adjudicators as though this was the way to achieve the desired result and to remedy the current situation. Does he have anyone in mind - perhaps he has a list of aquaintances who would fit the bill?

Adjudication can never be an exact art as it is always open to the subjective. Adjudicators use their experience as players, conductors and musicians to arrive at a decision - age plays no part in this.

Yep, it's not age we should worrying about just ability to do the job
 

Dago

Member
Somebody else said something similar earlier in the debate. This is nonsense, I'm afraid... You can't discriminate against somebody by debating their fitness for the job. You could possibly libel or slander them, but SM is not the one in a position of power here, and hence not in a position to discriminate, even if he wished to...
Of course, thats to the letter of the law regarding employment, and it seems that in your eyes, its ok for him to say these things. Morally I think that he has a duty as a player of some repute to act professionally as, indeed, he would ask of the same thing.

Perhaps when he next adjudicates and a conductor of the last placed band takes issue with him what might be his reaction.

One other point that needs to be considered in all this is the culpability of 4BR. They have constantly acted as agent provocateurs in this issue and have created an atmosphere of mistrust of adjudicators by their live comments which intimate that they are experts on each and every performance. This often gives bands and conductors an inflated opinion of how they played - "we got last but 4BR said we were brilliant". This is often magnified when their favourites, who are constantly elevated in their editorials and articles are not given the rewards that they (4BR) feel they deserve - I'm sure we will see subtle news and editorial to this fact in forthcoming days.

Finally, has SM considered the effect on the feelings of the adjudicators. These are fine people who, I am sure, have been hurt by these comments and the fact that there is little support for them by the establishment. Is this the way that we would wish to be treated?
 

MoominDave

Well-Known Member
Of course, thats to the letter of the law regarding employment, and it seems that in your eyes, its ok for him to say these things. Morally I think that he has a duty as a player of some repute to act professionally as, indeed, he would ask of the same thing.
That's not what I said. I said that talking about breaking laws by writing these things is absurd. No more, no less. A quick simple point that contained no information on my judgments of moralities in this issue.
 

Alyn James

Member
Like many people I thought Steven Mead's outburst at the Open was appalling and demonstrated a lack of respect for the adjudicators, the organisers and his own band, Whitburn.
I ask the question - "If a 4th section conductor at the lower section finals had reacted in this way, what would have been the outcome"
Some "lower section" conductors have received bans for far far less....my breath is bated...
 
While I'm here, congratulations to Cory for reaffirming that South Wales is the capital of brass banding in the UK. North Wales bands should be grateful that we invite them to travel for four hours every March to take part in our championships......;)
hey alyn, ive told you before, its too early to start this row! got to wait until feb at least!:rolleyes:
 

flash harry

Member
Dago - I must say, you write very well and put your points across clearly.

With regards to this thread generally, it is very easy to criticise. For me, people should not bring a 'problem' to the table unless they have a proposed solution. The majority of posts in this thread simply seek to criticise and no more. Such posts can only be considered as being negative and by no means progress the debate nor do they assist in improving matters, which arguably is the reason/motivation for Mr. Mead saying what he has said.

I am certainly not saying that I know the answer myself - the difficulty that I have will the whole concept of 'fresh blood' as far as adjudicators are concerned is... where are they going to come from? People have criticised existing adjudicators for having an 'affinity' for the bands with whom they have worked. If we were to work on that basis, we would not have anyone from within the brass band movement to adjudicate. That, in turn, would lead to the criticism of "what do they know about brass bands? What have they ever done?" etc...

I do agree with the point made by DMBabe regarding the 'pecking order' within the box. This is human nature. I can see no reason why adjudicators cannot be separated. The suggestion does not imply 'distrust' of adjudicators, quite the opposite. Instead it rather allows the governing body to say to each adjudicator "I want to know what YOU thought about the bands and where YOU think they should be placed". By having more than one adjudicator at each contest, the governing body is providing the tools for an 'average' and fairer result.
 
One other point that needs to be considered in all this is the culpability of 4BR. They have constantly acted as agent provocateurs in this issue and have created an atmosphere of mistrust of adjudicators by their live comments which intimate that they are experts on each and every performance. This often gives bands and conductors an inflated opinion of how they played - "we got last but 4BR said we were brilliant". This is often magnified when their favourites, who are constantly elevated in their editorials and articles are not given the rewards that they (4BR) feel they deserve - I'm sure we will see subtle news and editorial to this fact in forthcoming days.
Spot on.

There are a bunch of people in banding who know what they are talking about...but many many many many more who don't. I have for a long time, been aggravated by the weight 4BR holds in with a lot of people. You know, the type of people who moan about 4BR when they give them a bad write-up, but then agree with them when they say how well their band has played. Seems that some people see something written on a website assume that it carries some sort of credence, rather than asking themselves who wrote it, what are their crudentials etc etc.

I think the old masters system is very interesting and gave us an insight into how judging works and just how subjective the process of adjudication is. Was it YBS who got a 1st, 1st and 13th in 1998? Nowhere to hide with this system. Then the judges will really have to be accountable.
 
I think that Mr Mead has a pint too. If the adjudicating system doesn't change soon, something drastic will have to be done, or otherwise, it would be nothing short of a disaster for this great movement that we call the Brass Band Movement
perhaps he should stick to playing euph, rumour is hes pretty good at that!;)
 

westoe_horn

Member
Spot on.

There are a bunch of people in banding who know what they are talking about...but many many many many more who don't. I have for a long time, been aggravated by the weight 4BR holds in with a lot of people. You know, the type of people who moan about 4BR when they give them a bad write-up, but then agree with them when they say how well their band has played. Seems that some people see something written on a website assume that it carries some sort of credence, rather than asking themselves who wrote it, what are their crudentials etc etc.
Exactly. 4BR's view of the contest is just a personal opinion. We all get annoyed by the way that certain things are reported, their percieved bias towards a couple of bands etc. and I certainly don't agree with all the say and write BUT we would be worse off without them. Read 4BR if you want but as with all journalism don't believe everything that is written...........
 

BottyBurp

Member
IMHO, I believe most normal banders, if not all, acknowledge that there is a problem with the current system.

In contests where relegation is the outcome, I think it is even more imperative that the adjudicators get the bottom few bands placed accurately as well as the top placed bands. And I'm not just talking about subjective musical taste... I mean those bands that make catastrophic errors like coming in wrong, wildly out of tune etc.

Many is the time I've heard bands who have played badly (as I'm sure we all have heard), yet have managed to be placed higher than those bands with less mistakes? This is one bit of contesting I just do not understand...
 

Di B

Member
I quite liked the idea that one adjudicator listens for the top 6 and another for the bottom 6. As promotion and relegation are very important in brass banding it would make sense to give as much attention to the bottom bands as the top.
 

Di B

Member
That's not what I said. I said that talking about breaking laws by writing these things is absurd. No more, no less. A quick simple point that contained no information on my judgments of moralities in this issue.
Having had to look into the disabilities act myself recently I believe IF one of the adjudicators does wear a hearing aid which allows him to have normal hearing and therefore able to do the job as good as anyone else, then SM would treading on thin ice? However, the law would be much more relevant if the employer/hirer of the adjudicators made the same comments!
Feel free to correct me if anyone knows I am def wrong as law isnt my favourite subject.

As a side issue I have always wondered about brass banding and disability discrimination... new topic maybe? :)
 
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