2013 Area Test pieces rumours.

MoominDave

Well-Known Member
So that's what it is. I find contest results that seem a bit random a bad thing (and hence to be avoided - by for example not setting pieces of inappropriate standard), whereas others find them a good thing. Thanks Alan, that's cleared that confusion up.

Funny old world if we were all the same, eh.
 
It depends what you want to get out of contesting - I try and focus on the performance over the result these days, as it is so rare that a relative good result and good performance correspond. Interestingly, when people are focusing on their performance (which they can control) rather than worrying about the result (which you can't) then the results also tend to improve interestingly...

I have been frustrated in the past with bad results I've really not understood, in the same way there have also been performances I've felt are very ropey but have won contests! These have happened regardless of the technical difficulty of pieces, so personally I don't really buy that an easier piece makes it more likely there will be a 'strange' result - I know I've had some bizarre results on varying difficulties of piece!

While I get really frustrated at results that don't seem to tally up, at the same time it's impossible to have an exact system of judging, as everyone has different opinions on what constitutes a good performance.

Piece selection is also not easy - I was really frustrated to have to rehearse "Mountain Views" this year (which was soul-destroying) when I'd also done rehearsals on "Cross Patonce" which was certainly much more demanding! However, I did meet other people who felt the pieces were appropriate tests for their section and you could argue that they did still sort the bands out, albeit from different perspectives!
 
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MoominDave

Well-Known Member
It occurs to me that contesting is a bit of a Zen activity - the point of it is not what you think it is when you are doing it... It is to give you experience to learn from.
 

yoda

Member
You forgot the [Yoda][/Yoda] tags...
you called :) for what its worth, if anyone want the result order to be close to if not identical to the ranking order then surely its time for us all to give up. There does seem (my perception) a desire in some quarters for the above.

God forbid a band lower down in the rankings that beats a top super star band to win a contest....... I know a few times this has happened, and there has been a mixture of congratulations and uproar that the big bands were not going to the finals and that will devalue the finals, the man's/woman's a clown etc etc etc

NOW, can we please get back on topic :)

especially now ive took it further off topic :D
 

MoominDave

Well-Known Member
There does seem (my perception) a desire in some quarters for the above.
Nah, that's not what I was trying to convey. I don't want to be able to predict the result of a contest in advance, I want to walk away from a contest feeling that the result was as unarguable as you could hope to get (something that I perceive less likely to happen with a set piece of appropriate grade). Two very different things. All power to bands that work hard to create a great peak performance which gets a better result than other bands that are on paper stronger teams - those are the results that make contesting an absorbing pastime, not the rogue how-did-that-happen-the-adjudicator-must-have-been-dying-for-a-pee type results.
 

Anno Draconis

Well-Known Member
Festival Music is a perfect example of a piece that makes results controversial NOT because bad bands win, or bad performances win, but because the interpretation that tallies closest with the adjudicator's view of it tends to win.

In other words, given 4 or 5 performances that are all tight, in tune, free of splits and errors, the conductor's interpretation becomes the defining factor. It ends up, in effect, an interpretation contest - which is very unfair on those bands who put down note perfect performances that don't meet with interpretational aproval. A piece like Festival Music, with all its allusions to Handel and Mozart, can (and maybe should) be interpreted in a very "un-brass band" way, and I heard a few of these at the areas when it was set. Almost without exception, these performances did not meet with success.
 

MoominDave

Well-Known Member
In other words, given 4 or 5 performances that are all tight, in tune, free of splits and errors, the conductor's interpretation becomes the defining factor. It ends up, in effect, an interpretation contest
I would go slightly further than that - I have yet to hear a performance of any piece by any ensemble that couldn't be criticised to some degree on one of those four counts, and expect never to hear such a pitch of technical perfection. In the situation you describe, it becomes an interpretation contest despite every performance having detectable technical issues. Certainly each performance of "Festival Music" at the areas 5 years ago that I heard was technically imperfect in some way. A complex combination of factors leads to an individual adjudicator leaning that way on a particular day, and, as I've been banging on about, a careless choice of piece can create a strong predisposition for this to happen.

Your point about bands that thought outside the box on FM getting penalised on the contest stage rings true with me too. Sometimes contesting can make us a very musically blinkered bunch of people.
 

subtlevib

Member
I heard from a source that "The Plantagenets" could be lined up for the 2nd section.
Whether this is a reliable source will depend whether "The Plantagenets" ends up as the test piece......I'll reserve judgment.
 

stevetrom

Well-Known Member
I heard from a source that "The Plantagenets" could be lined up for the 2nd section.
Whether this is a reliable source will depend whether "The Plantagenets" ends up as the test piece......I'll reserve judgment.
For what it's worth I have heard the same rumour.

Still no noises about the 1st section test piece
 

mjwarman

Member
If plantagenets is the 2nd section piece (I've also heard this rumour!) then the 1st section piece will be something that the 2nd section played a few years ago!!! Wasn't Plantagenets the 1st Section finals piece a few years ago?
 

bassmittens

Member
If plantagenets is the 2nd section piece (I've also heard this rumour!) then the 1st section piece will be something that the 2nd section played a few years ago!!! Wasn't Plantagenets the 1st Section finals piece a few years ago?
Not sure about finals, but it was the 1st section piece at Butlins in 2008
 

euph77

Member
If plantagenets is the 2nd section piece (I've also heard this rumour!) then the 1st section piece will be something that the 2nd section played a few years ago!!! Wasn't Plantagenets the 1st Section finals piece a few years ago?
It was the Area testpiece for the Championship section in 1973
 

mjwarman

Member
I meant Butlins, not finals. They haven't seemed to be able to capture the imagination of the 1st Section for a while have they? Hopefully you'll get something good. Only time will tell..........
 

johnflugel

Active Member
I think anyone suggesting a piece 'cannot be a 1st section test as it was 2nd Section a few years ago' is missing the point. Of course, it depends on the piece but these people seriously suggesting that Resurgam, for example, would not be a suitable test for the top section as it was a 2nd Section area piece a year ago or Pageantry would not be suitable for top section because it was the 1st Section finals piece a few years ago. I hope not!!
 

MoominDave

Well-Known Member
Indeed anyone suggesting such a thing would be out of their tree. Fortunately, I don't think anyone has suggested such a thing here, unless my reading skills are a bit awry today.
 

johnflugel

Active Member
It's the general feeling impression I get of people pigeon-holing certain pieces with certain sections. eg Criticising the use of Mountain Views, which wasn't too easy, and Cross Patonce, which wasn't too hard.
 
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