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Do you live playing Christmas carols in the cold?


  • Total voters
    20
  • Poll closed .

Queeg2000

Active Member
It depends... you do still see it, if you follow the facebook pages of some of your local(ish) top section bands you may see them posting about being out carolling, but as you say it's often dependent on the band in question, how able they are to fundraise in other (potentially more lucrative) ways and how able they are to put a group together to go out and play (with 1hr+ travel times far from unheard of, myself included, it can be difficult).
I suspect this has more to do with reputation than section. You have your well known bands that attract sponsorship relatively easily and can easily sell out the average concert hall a few times a year. Thinking Cory, Dyke etc but you have many other championship bands that don't have their names to fall back on.
 

Tom-King

Well-Known Member
I suspect this has more to do with reputation than section. You have your well known bands that attract sponsorship relatively easily and can easily sell out the average concert hall a few times a year. Thinking Cory, Dyke etc but you have many other championship bands that don't have their names to fall back on.
Championship is a VERY wide umbrella though, the difference between the average relegation-threatened band and the bands regularly challenging to win the major competitions (nationals, open, euros) is vast...

Broad generalisations really don't tend to work (not that they really do in banding generally).
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
We digress, sorry.

I suspect that a Band’s ranking is but a proxy guide to its ability to make money from Concerts and Sponsorship. Those in densely populated areas have a bigger potential audience, those with a local Brass tradition have a likely more interested local population, and then there are those who just know how to organise fund raising better - more profitable Concerts, getting sponsorship, and getting grants, etc.

Carolling does raise some money but, with additional thought and care, it can also raise a Band’s profile too. The better the profile the better the chances of sponsorship and filling Concerts (IMHO). Being ‘tight’ I don’t pay good money to hear other folk play, but if I were ‘Joe Public’ and I heard a Band playing carols really well then I’d certainly be more interested in going to one of their Concerts. So look smart, play well and entertain.
 

Tom-King

Well-Known Member
Agree to a point 2T, with a few minor comments...

I don't think Joe public (for the most parts) notices a huge difference between carols played well and played really well - they might tell the difference if you played them back to back, but in isolation many won't necessarily be perturbed by slightly off intonation, tightness or slightly flattened dynamics...
So, to me, it's not so much about proving a point by playing them well so much as people being aware that you exist and possibly taking an interest.

I can't honestly say I've noticed any substantial difference in donations, comments or interest in learning more about the band's when playing carols with championship bands than I have with 3rd/4th section bands.

It's worth remembering, also, that bands at different levels don't necessarily have the same requirements - conductor's at top section level will often cost more, as will deps expenses (as with members, you're often looking at larger geographical areas to find deps, rather than just whoever's local and Dan kinda play), percussion expenses (you wouldn't believe how many bands are short of atleast one or two - and hiring good percussionists can be expensive!), Etc etc...

Some bands do get sponsorships, it's true, but they're probably in the minority (and often not for huge amounts) - you may be surprised to know that a fair few retain the names of former sponsors despite no longer receiving anything from them?
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
Agree to a point 2T, with a few minor comments...

I don't think Joe public (for the most parts) notices a huge difference between carols played well and played really well - they might tell the difference if you played them back to back, but in isolation many won't necessarily be perturbed by slightly off intonation, tightness or slightly flattened dynamics...
So, to me, it's not so much about proving a point by playing them well so much as people being aware that you exist and possibly taking an interest.

I can't honestly say I've noticed any substantial difference in donations, comments or interest in learning more about the band's when playing carols with championship bands than I have with 3rd/4th section bands.

It's worth remembering, also, that bands at different levels don't necessarily have the same requirements - conductor's at top section level will often cost more, as will deps expenses (as with members, you're often looking at larger geographical areas to find deps, rather than just whoever's local and Dan kinda play), percussion expenses (you wouldn't believe how many bands are short of atleast one or two - and hiring good percussionists can be expensive!), Etc etc...

Some bands do get sponsorships, it's true, but they're probably in the minority (and often not for huge amounts) - you may be surprised to know that a fair few retain the names of former sponsors despite no longer receiving anything from them?
Completely agree and none of what you have said surprises me.

I think that with playing well to Joe Public ‘his’ definition (of ‘well’) is different to ours. So long as it sounds right to ‘him’ then any additional excellence is irrelevant. However I still believe that to get his respect you have to look smart, play well (enough) and (above all) entertain. Carolling is a great opportunity to entertain and if the punters are happy then they’ll come back for more.

Now on percussion and being paid, is percussion hard to pick-up and what extortionate fee can I charge? :) . Could I charge nearly as much playing low Brass? :) . I get better each day at that, though from a low base up was the only direction possible.
 
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Slider1

Active Member
Completely agree and none of what you have said surprises me.

I think that with playing well to Joe Public ‘his’ definition (of ‘well’) is different to ours. So long as it sounds right to ‘him’ then any additional excellence is irrelevant. However I still believe that to get his respect you have to look smart, play well (enough) and (above all) entertain. Carolling is a great opportunity to entertain and if the punters are happy then they’ll come back for more.

Now on percussion and being paid, is percussion hard to pick-up and what extortionate fee can I charge? :) . Could I charge nearly as much playing low Brass? :) . I get better each day at that, though from a low base up was the only direction possible.[/QUOTE)
Percussion is easy to pick up, and put down again. It's the bit in the middle that's the problem;)
 
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