Getting Into Championship Section Bands?

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Blagger

Member
If I could just qualify my "toot" referance - I guess I got into top section banding by attending Salford College AND by putting a great deal of practice in. I didn't wish to suggest that anybody could just turn up to a Dyke rehearsal and have a blow-but having said that ; the vast majority of Champ section bands aren't in the same league as them are they?
Bands which I have played for (Freckleton, Besses, Swinton(RIP) and Stalybridge) would not in my opinion turn away someone who was reasonably competent provided they weren't rehearsing for a contest.
BTW I have never had to play in front of a band to audition....... usually a few reheasals and a low-key job suffice.
 

amgray

Member
Interesting thought though, if some of the big bands (Dyke, B&R etc) DID have an open house rehearsal where anyone could sit in it would be a real eye opener for people.

BTW - You've nicked me Avatar :shock: :wink:
 

dave_cornet

New Member
So is a band like besses difficult to get into, say if your at salford e.c.t and grade 8 e.t.c. I would like to play with a champion section band of that sort of quality but i dont know how difficult it would be (2nd/3rd cornet).

dave
 

Dave Euph

Member
I imagine to be playing for any top-section band on lowest position (3rd cornet, 2nd baritone/horn/trombone, etc.) you'd be looking for around grade 8 standard in performance (maybe an exception for Bb bass players!). But possibly more important aspects would include your ability to 'play as a bander' ... not necessarily as a soloist ... being able to gel with the band, follow the conductor, sight-read well. Solid players with focused-minds and high-levels of commitment could well fit better into a top-section band than flamboyant soloists.

Just my input really ... I'm not a massive expert on the subject.
 

Blagger

Member
Totally agree with that :)
Standards vary from band to band obviously.
Most important things in my humble opinion are playing in tune and accurately as well as being able to sight-read quite well.
You could argue that this is the same for any section.
Back Row Cornet players in most Top Section Bands are good confident and powerful players- but not super heroes who can play Carnival de Venice backwards :wink:
 

drummerboy

Member
AlanSian said:
Take it that you disagree then that practise is the only way to get into a good band and that time spent writing (drivel) on here could be used for practise? I haven't seen many ACTUAL championship banders replying to this topic either. But apologies if my last post offended you, how funny that often seems to happen on this forum when someone actually says something that is true :shock:

For what it's worth, I'll reply. I post here quite often, but still find time to practice. Maybe not out of the Arban (being a percussionist its not much use), but I do find time to do other similar percussion related studies.

What I will say regarding getting into a championship section band is about practice. Do the right practice, rather than lots of it, otherwise you'll be wasting your time. It is important to not over-practice, so taking breaks to write (apparently drivel) on here is ideal! But having said that, you do need to practice lots.

AlanSian - if you disagree with writing on this forum, how come you took time out of your practice regime to post here in the first place? Just like to know that's all!
 

KWiper

New Member
Majoresteve said:
So how do you go about getting in? do you have to audition?

Do you live anywhere near Stockport?

There's a band there that would apparantly welcome you with open arms, whatever your instrument.
Auditions seemingly unrequired.

:lol: :lol:
 

cornydevil

Member
championship section bands

I felt exactly the same about 5 years ago. I heard that there were vacancies on back row cornet at Wingates. I rang the secretary up and asked for an audition, which i did, and got in. Just go for it.
 
Re: championship section bands

cornydevil said:
Just go for it.

I am, got a few ideas through reading the posts here!

With regards to practise i seem to spend all my time practising, at least one hour a day :shock:
 

BassBlaster

Member
Just got back from practice, whew a little bit vicious this thread, chill out everyone, mind you we have all been pubbin`.
Anyway, to get in a championship band, practice, be nice, help loads of people out, enjoy playing.
I have played in the top section for various bands in the Gloucestershire area, but now I am enjoying playing in the 3rd section for Wotton, far more than I have for years. But I still get to help out 4th to Championship section bands.
You do the hard work, it will always pay off.
:D :D
 

Accidental

Supporting Member
Dave Payn said:
<snip> the LEVEL of banding isn't as important as getting maximum enjoyment musically and socially whatever band you play with.
<snip> I think it's true that playing with better players raises your own standard. I'd like to think that experience with Friary has improved me a little bit (perhaps it would improve more if I practised more and spent less time on here....ahem!) but I'm still dead happy with Fulham and staying with them until I move to Scotland in October!
Couldn't agree more Dave! You could be in the "best" band for miles around, but if the rehearsals are poorly attended or they play the same music for ever or they're a bunch of miserable so and so's.... wouldn't you be happier back in a big happy 4th section band?!

Someone said a few posts ago that its WHO you know - make yourself known at contests and other local events, dep for lots of different bands, and keep your eyes/ears out for vacancies. As far as auditions go, in my experience it varies from band to band and even player to player. I didn't audition to join Friary last year, but I'd depped a lot for them. We've just got a new sop player who did have to audition because he was an unknown quantity and has made the jump up from a 3rd section band. If we can do it, anyone can - you just have to have the guts to go for it.

Oh and Dave, Cute wasn't as bad as you think - at least we heard you! :wink:
 
I have played in and conducted bands in every section but I have to say that the grading of each band has been totally irrelevant to me! The two things which I feel really make playing or conducting a band enjoyable are the level of commitment and the ambition that a band has. If the group has potential and is moving forward with good attendances rehearsals become far more enjoyable and progress happens very quickly, whereas poor attendances and cynicism just create a counter-productive environment. This, in my experience, is true for any level of band all through the sections.

I'd be lying if I said the fee wasn't a factor though....
 

neiltwist

Active Member
there is no quick way of getting into a champ section band.

unless,

a) you know someone,

b) you dep a lot (as has already been said) , although you're more likely to get offered a place than try out for one.

c) you already have a reputation!

for those of us mere mortals, C) is the easiest to achive (IMHO).

be prepared to do freebies at short notice!
 

Thirteen Ball

Active Member
neiltwist said:
be prepared to do freebies at short notice!

That worked for me. Area Championships coming up, sat in a non-competing band getting bored of the infighting and thinking about walking away.

Last-minute opportunity with a 1st section band comes out of the blue and, amazingly, landed on me cos I was unsigned! It's a MASSIVE jump when it happens that way, but it really brings you on.

I might not be the best player in the world (In fact I'm probably the worst in our band! :lol: ) But if you stick at it, practice hard and turn up for every rehearsal you possibly can, at least the MD knows he/she can depend on you to always do your utmost.

And that's worth a top-standard occasional turner-upper anyday.
 

ScrapingtheBottom

Active Member
neiltwist said:
there is no quick way of getting into a champs ection band.

unless,

a) you know someone,

b) you dep a lot (as has already been said) , although you're more likely to get offered a place than try out for one.

c) you already have a reputation!

for those of us mere mortals, C) is the easiest to achive (IMHO).

be prepared to do freebies at short notice!

Totally agree! If you're a good player, people in your area get to know about you pretty quickly!
 

deezastar

Member
I find it really strange that people who aren't playing in top section banding (championship section) offer advice to others about playing and how to get into a top section band.

Practice, socialise and dep. That's the way forward.
 

Roger Thorne

Active Member
deezastar said:
I find it really strange that people who aren't playing in top section banding (championship section) offer advice to others about playing and how to get into a top section band.

Practice, socialise and dep. That's the way forward.
Just because the don't play with a Championship Section band at the moment doesn't mean to say that they haven't already been there and done it.

:wink:
 

Blagger

Member
I Agree with that.
Many people on this forum (myself included) have played at the top level- but are with lower section bands at the moment.
It is not necessary to state your so called playing credentials ever time you post a message.
I know of many players that I have learnt a great deal from who have never been in the Top section.
As long as you are a musician then your thoughts and ideas are valid.
 

NeilW

Member
Be prepared to play what the band need if you can - which may not be your 1st instrument!

I'd not played in a "graded" band for *mumble* years, but I decided that I wanted to raise my game again... I played BB with COSB for some months - because that's what they needed - before the Euph seat I really wanted became vacent (its only taken a couple of months to get my embouchour back :? )

Incidentally, if anyone who plays cornet or trombone wants to play in a Championship band... my .sig says where we are :)

Neil.
 

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