Blimey, he's not happy, is he? Might have had more credibility had his moan come on the back of a GOOD result - but of course winners never complain about the standard of adjudication, do they?
That said, he's got a point, although for me he doesn't go far enough in pursuit of change; the whole way band contests are undertaken is a Victorian farce. All this pathetic nonsense with closed adjudication just makes it look like the dying movement it is.
As far as I know there is an Adjudicators' Diploma validated by Salford, which "new" adjudicators are encouraged to take. Trouble is, possession of the paper doesn't lead to gigs - contest organisers like the same old familiar faces - so not many people bother doing it. I'm not aware that yesterday's adjudicators have had any "training" as such. That said, I don't think that's the issue. Of the three eminent blokes in the box yesterday, only one could be said to be currently "actively involved in music making" and that is Michael Ball - David Read, fine musician though he is, hasn't been involved in top flight banding for many years and has retired from teaching I believe, and William Relton hasn't been actively involved in music making apart from the box for a number of years AFAIK.
The reason that "new blood" doesn't go into adjudication is that at the top level there's more money and kudos in conducting. This acts as a de facto bar to today's big names going into the box; that and the small mindedness of many bands. Witness the fuss over Mead himself at last year's ENC whcih led to him stepping down. David King's stints in the box are likely to be at and end now he has a regular MDs job, and I can't imagine either of the Childs brothers, Withington or Cutt offering to give up their current posts to spend more time in a velvet-curtained box with a pot to pee in, so today's most successful conductors won't be coming to a box near you anytime soon. That leaves us with "outsiders", who often alienate bands because they're more interested in musicality than technical perfection, or the men of yesteryear.
My solution: (for the big contests, like the Open and the National) A panel of 5, sitting in the open. Two died in the wool, currently "active" brass banders whose job is to judge technical accuracy - these need not be Brits, of course, guys like Geo-Pierre Moren, Frans Violet or Michael Garasi would be great and utterly impartial. Two other musicians, who might be composers, orchestral brass players or even record/BBC producers (fancy it, Mr Hindmarsh?) whose job is to judge musical merit. Finally someone ideally who spans both worlds to act as a "chair" and give a casting vote if the panel becomes deadlocked; someone like Bramwell Tovey, Elgar Howarth, Edward Gregson, or maybe Maurice Murphy?
To Kapitol, and Martyn Mortimer: I'll waive the royalties, you can have that one for free.