Band Politics

Band Sackings..

  • Total voters

BIG Paul

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:
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:


Active Member
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.


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 :?: :?: :?:
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:?::?::?:?::?::?::?::?::?:


Active Member
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:


Staff member
lilcornetgirl said:
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.


Active Member
IYOUNG said:
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".

Dave Euph

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.


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.


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!?!?!



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

Active Member
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.


Active Member
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

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"..


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.
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.


Supporting Member
neiltwist said:
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!!