Is It Time we pushed the Nationals Back????


Active Member
Over the past years the lower section national finals have moved further and further forward (unless it's me)

This must be a constant problem for lower section bands, We have a hard enough tmie doing Gala's in july without worrying about attendance for a decent rehearsal...

This years contest in the third week of september would give most bands three weeks good rehearsing at best.. and so.. Are we lowering our expected standards at the flagship contest for lower sections?

Surley we could push it back into mid oct?? Give everyone a chance to blow the summer holiday cobwebs away before turning out on stage!!

Roger Thorne

Active Member
I think we are in a no-win situation here. I agree we need to push it further back to allow more time to rehearse, but then that will only give you 2 weeks rehearsal time if you are competing at Pontins.

It a good topic and I look forward to hearing the views of other members.



Its a good point!
It definately is difficult to get decent rehearsals in July/August but its something that must affect all Bands so I suppose we're all in the same boat.
Seeing as Bands have known since Feb/March that they have qualified then there is ample time then to work the piece up before the summer hols.
The rehearsals in July and August where there may not be full sections can still be put to good use, virtually as sectionals.
NB: This is just my view, not necessarily what has happened in my Band!!!! :D


We are very lucky in our band as even though we did not always have a full band during the summer we did have good rehersals. As said previously by Heather we have known since March so there has been plenty of time. We just have extra rehersals in the few weeks before the nationals as well to give us extra time and they are all (near enough) full band rehersals! :D :D :D
I look forward to seeing all the tMPers at dundee - good luck :D
While I agree with what has been said about knowing since March, I also feel that bands are busy with concerts, gala days and some competitions before the break for the summer and therfore may not have a lot of time available to rehearse the piece. It must be really difficult for bands to work up the piece whilst carrying out other duties. Is there a win win situation ???????
Good luck to all those going anyway.


My thaughts would be to put the date back by a couple of weeks as well. When a band qualifies for the Nationals they have a long hard summer taking on extra jobs to raise funds to finance the trip. The summer is only just over when the band has to start practicing for the finals, and they can be pretty worn out just at a time when they need to be on top form.
Times have changed in banding over the last few years and lots of bands rely on students in their ranks.
(Not that there is anything wrong with students!) the best players in our band are at various Universities.But if they are away all summer it doesn't give much time to get the piece 'up' for the last week in September after they come back.But thats the way bands are these days and the people who run the contests now need be aware of this.
Of course I do appreciate the case(s) for keeping it where it is, which I'm sure many would like to put forward.


Times have changed over the years and you have to look at banding as a full time hobby. It is hard ,but with loyalty and strentht you can and will make it happen.


Active Member
Two points.
1. Everybody faces the same predicament.

2. The best band has more chance of shining though as the less able bands will not have had time to 'learn' the piece adequately and overcome their shortcomings.

Maybe I'm a bit harsh as every one wants to perform to the best of their ability. However the point is this competition is, in the end, looking for the best band - the 'National Champions'. Not the band who can 'practice up' one particular peice beyond their true ability.
BigHorn said:
2. The best band has more chance of shining though as the less able bands will not have had time to 'learn' the piece adequately and overcome their shortcomings.

Don't agree with this one, sorry. The best band is the one that works the hardest, not the one with the best players, although the one with the best players will probably work the hardest anyway (you also have to realise why they are the best players: i.e. from hard work).


Active Member
From what I remember when all sections were held in London over the one weekend it was always the 1st weekend in October, so it appears the lower section finals have only been pushed forward by 2 weeks.

As rightly stated it does decrease rehearsal time which will have already been reduced by holidays etc.,

However I am sure that given people start going on holiday in say mid june right through till end of August that still gives plenty of time for constructive rehearsals.

Also peole know roughly when they are taking their holidays so with proper planning a constructive rehearsal schedule can be put together.

Perhaps I look at this through rose coloured specs as even through August we still averaged 20+ at rehersals! And we are not even rehearsaing for Dundee!
The few times that we have been to the national finals in the last couple of years have meant rehearsing the test piece throughout the summer. We have simply not rehearsed those 'run of the mill' pieces for fetes, galas etc as much as we otherwise would.


This year I have a difficulty in that my younger son is off to university for the first time on the same weekend I'm in Dundee. I understand a lot of universities don't start till the following weekend, which is why at least one of our front row is still able to play with us...

On balance I think I'd rather the finals were scheduled later, giving more time to rehearse, even though this might cause difficulties in other directions.

Martin Taylor

Product tMP members are discussing