NW Areas Result - What happened? #Regs2016

Adam Taylor

New Member
The bother comment wasn't in response to your opinions on contesting. But thanks for clarifying you are not a member of Wingates Band. Enjoy the rest of your thread!

Adam
 

Seffblatter

New Member
Think you may be confusing me with someone else (mostly because I was NOT at NW area contest at any point - was at band practice in Brum when the results came up).
No mate I didn't mean that we spoke yesterday. I was just talking in general. And was joking around about the fact that we go way back, I get giddy on Mondays - apologies. But I did agree with the majority of your points - kudos :)
 

Seffblatter

New Member
The bother comment wasn't in response to your opinions on contesting. But thanks for clarifying you are not a member of Wingates Band. Enjoy the rest of your thread!

Adam

Thanks for popping in my friend and sorry for any bother that I've caused to your fragile constitution.
 

Seffblatter

New Member
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by corruption. Are you suggesting someone took a brown envelope stuffed with cash to ensure Fodens won?
Well no that's possibly the most simplistic interpretation of my post that you could have chosen to go with. Things are a lot more subtle. And I suspect that you probably have to intelligence to recognise that but wanted to make my post look as ridiculous as possible so you posted a ridiculous reply. Everyone seems to be very well connected and decisions have been made in the past (not just contesting I'm talking about in the wider banding infrastructure) by people with a personal interest in the situation or who are bosom buddies with those who the decisions affect and surprise surprise they have been made in a corrupt way.
 

stevetrom

Well-Known Member
If this post may influence the opinion of one person, then it's a success. I know that old habits die hard which is why the majority of you are too closed minded to see that as the hobby is made up of us... banders then if we want something to change then it has to or the hobby won't successfully continue. Let's make this hobby more open instead of a hush hush cloak and dagger affair with people making decisions in 'darkened rooms' ;)

So what do you suggest is done?
 

Bbmad

Active Member
I laughed out loud at this. You're a 'that's banding' champion. Love it. Would you say this to people who revolt against autocratic governments and stuff.

Why have a crappy version of banding when we can have an awesome improved version?
You're a 'that's banding' champion. Love it. Would you say this to people who revolt against autocratic governments and stuff?
Probably
 

ben16

Member
Wow. The top few bands were in the 'wrong' order, so... corruption?
How would you react if a good band came last, or a terrible one won? It does happen.
 

BenPhoenix

Member
It's so subjective it's impossible to have a true 'fair' way of doing these things. However the cream usually rises, there's no conspiracies just differing opinions.

I do think some of the things you get penalised for needs to be looked at, yesterday we were penalised for taking 'too long' inbetween movements. We came 17th and were very upset/annoyed/everything else but having heard a recording of Valley Brass today I can't argue that they were better than us. I don't think we were a million miles off (i'm biased, of course! Our performance is on YouTube too) but having not heard the other 15 bands between us it's hard to argue!

Congratulations to all those who won/qualified for the finals.
 
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Tom-King

Well-Known Member
It's so subjective it's impossible to have a true 'fair' way of doing these things. However the cream usually rises, there's no conspiracies just differing opinions.

I do think some of the things you get penalised for needs to be looked at, yesterday we were penalised for taking 'too long' inbetween movements.

I think you've got it exactly right - the subjective nature of the adjudication means there will always be subjective disagreements. I think results like this may reflect a point I made earlier in the thread... because the pieces this year are towards the easy end of the spectrum for each section (from a technical stance), a lot of bands will come off stage thinking they've played the piece, done nothing particularly wrong and wind up surprised/disappointed at results time.

Part of the problem with adjudications is that it's not clear what the relationship between negative/positive comments and points are - for example, I can understand an adjudicator mentioning the break (6:00 to 6:10) between movements in your recording, it felt way too long to me... but what bearing did that have on points/results? They'll hardly have written "We've docked you 5 points for taking too long a break between movements", and it's difficult to know whether they're penalising much (if at all?) for that sort of thing when they put a score to it.
 

Euphonium Lite

Active Member
Playing Devil’s advocate for a minute


Foden’s have their “sound” and are probably identifiable to a lot of senior adjudicators. Similar situations exist in Yorkshire – with Dyke Brighouse and Grimethorpe, and in Wales (Cory & Tredegar). A lot of this sound is historic, with band balance etc, but they also do enough of the rounds in contests like the Open, the Europeans, Brass in Concert, Nationals, etc etc that any variation in that sound is identified reasonably quickly


It’s not unreasonable for adjudicators to know many of the band, or indeed the MD, on a personal level – which could, and I only say “could” – influence their judgement. Likewise Fairey and Leyland. I would suspect that Wingates are less well known though as they’ve been off the true elite level for quite a while, and it would take a brave man to potentially put a “non-name” band in front of a recognisable one, especially if they are “corrupt”. Does Nick Child’s name have a bearing on position – possibly, that’s why he’s hired in all likelihood. Does that make them unbeatable? I’d suggest not – otherwise Cory’s #1 slot would be under serious threat.


At the end of it all, we don’t have a perfect system, I think most would agree with that. Whether there is a perfect system is open to anyone’s guess. ANYTHING subjective is potentially open to question – my Missus likes American Crime Dramas like NCIS on tv, however personally I think they’re cr@p. Who is right and who is wrong is purely open to interpretation. Likewise, sports teams, band performances, singing performances, anything else where there isn’t an automated “marking” system is purely open to a person’s opinion. There are no right or wrong answers especially true top level – its easier to judge the “basics” in section 4, but at the top level the basics should be a given – and those that struggle with them inevitably finish down the list


“Seff” hints that he (assuming he is a “he”) seems to think he may have a solution, but won’t say what it is. Until he does put something forward I can’t take him seriously, but even if he did I’m sure others will disagree simply because we are in a subjective world. “Gasps” following Leyland’s 6th place suggests they were perhaps unlucky in most opinions of those there however even that could be because WhiteWitch was sitting in front of their contingent or support. Either way, as stated before opinions of the audience do not matter. Only 2 opinions matter – and they decided Leyland were the 6th best. And before anyone mentions audience voting, that doesn’t work either – because it’s unlikely you will ever get an audience that is completely unbiased. The richest and/or best followed bands would purely load the hall with supporters


Well done to the qualifiers, especially Wingates, nice to see them back near the top of the pile, to Thornton’s on their 1st appearance in the National Finals and Besses, whilst they didn’t qualify, they are a famous old name which nearly folded but have fought back and are likely to get promoted at the end of the year.
 

BenPhoenix

Member
Part of the problem with adjudications is that it's not clear what the relationship between negative/positive comments and points are - for example, I can understand an adjudicator mentioning the break (6:00 to 6:10) between movements in your recording, it felt way too long to me... but what bearing did that have on points/results? They'll hardly have written "We've docked you 5 points for taking too long a break between movements", and it's difficult to know whether they're penalising much (if at all?) for that sort of thing when they put a score to it.

Yeah that's a fair point, i've only really glanced over the remarks and will have a proper read of them at rehearsal tomorrow. It was a long break, i'd be disappointed if that sort of thing is a factor in results though.
I think you're right as well with the fact that the pieces (3rd section at least, I haven't seen the other sections) were on the easy end. I was stunned when I saw my part for example, I thought 'this is 3rd section? I must be better than I thought!). We were under no delusions of grandeur mind you, we would have been happy with a 'mid table' finish. Afterall this only our 2nd year in the 3rd section, and after last year when we came 17th(again!) with no bad remarks other than tempo problems we were hoping to consolidate our place a bit!
So yeah it's frustrating and depressing and upsetting, but that makes times like 2014 when you win all the sweeter!

Turns out we'll probably have to finish in the top 6 next year to avoid relegation... always fun to have a challenge ! :)
 
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Seffblatter

New Member
Go on then, let's have something interesting to chew on.

What's the awesome improved version we're missing out on?
A magical utopia with rainbow and smiles where there's some form of quality control. The whole system wouldn't need restructuring but it would be cool if there was a contingency plan which would kick in when things end up like a farse. Perhaps something resembling a large committee of representatives. Of course that means that decisions would still be subject to people's whims but if the panel were as representative as possible through coming from a broad-ranging spectrum of banders then we could hope to try and reform this archaic defunct system by stopping mistakes happening!
 

Tom-King

Well-Known Member
A magical utopia with rainbow and smiles where there's some form of quality control. The whole system wouldn't need restructuring but it would be cool if there was a contingency plan which would kick in when things end up like a farse. Perhaps something resembling a large committee of representatives. Of course that means that decisions would still be subject to people's whims but if the panel were as representative as possible through coming from a broad-ranging spectrum of banders then we could hope to try and reform this archaic defunct system by stopping mistakes happening!

So in cases like this which some people seem to consider a farce, you want a committee to step in and analyse the result... and what if they decide that nothing's amiss and the adjudicators were simply offering their subjective judgement on the days' play? Declare the committee corrupt and throw them out and build a new committee?

And are you talking about having the results analysed before they're even announced, further increasing the delays?
Or about having the results announced, then there being a deliberation on whether the result should be allowed to stand?

In either case, can you foresee adjudicators with any integrity being prepared to sit in a box all day for a pittance, only for their judgements to be undermined if a group of less competent individuals disputes the result?

And would this really reduce the conspiracy theories and cynicism around contest results?!?
 

grezz

New Member
Well no that's possibly the most simplistic interpretation of my post that you could have chosen to go with. Things are a lot more subtle. And I suspect that you probably have to intelligence to recognise that but wanted to make my post look as ridiculous as possible so you posted a ridiculous reply. Everyone seems to be very well connected and decisions have been made in the past (not just contesting I'm talking about in the wider banding infrastructure) by people with a personal interest in the situation or who are bosom buddies with those who the decisions affect and surprise surprise they have been made in a corrupt way.

Hey I'm a baritone player so less of the inference of intelligence. Yes possibly the most basic concept of corruption and it in no way was meant to ridicule your post , however , the thread was/is regarding the NW area results yesterday , not of the wider infrastructure of banding and to me , maybe mistakenly, it appeared to suggest you were inferring the results were possibly manipulated to suit.
I played yesterday , only band I heard was us (Ashton) and the last page of Faireys performance backstage before I went on so I'm not in a position to agree or disagree with the results. I did before I attended though, expect there to be 2/3 bands out front with a few others running them close and a potential upset if a "named" band didnt perform as expected, and on paper, being a simplistic man that's how it appears to me.
I don't disagree there are unsavoury elements of underhandedness occurring within banding as we've seen over the last few years however to suggest there is corruption on a FIFA scale (as your username suggests) is perhaps slightly over the top, or maybe you should just call in the FBI now?
 

smaca

Active Member
I honestly think on any given day, it just depends who adjudicates and what they are listening for on who wins or dosen't, and good/bad results just need to be accepted. I suspect we all have experienced in our own personal view "odd "decisions affecting either our own bands or in just listening to other bands......., but If I can use the Scottish Open as an example, over the years, this contest is adjudicated by reputable and experienced brass musicians, and if you look at their individual placings it will tell you we all hear things differently. Eg;

2015 in a field of 14 bands, a band were adjudicated by 3 different adjudicators.....they were judged 10th-2nd-3rd, another 4th-11th-12th

2014 in a field of 16 bands, a band were adjudicated by 3 different adjudicators......they were judged 5th-6th-15th

2012 in a filed of 18 bands, a band were adjudicated by 3 different adjudicators......they were judged 1st-10th-3rd, another band 8th-6th-1st.

So in summary, a very different view by 3 people who listened to the same performances at the same time.

Thats Banding :)
 

Bbmad

Active Member
A magical utopia with rainbow and smiles where there's some form of quality control. The whole system wouldn't need restructuring but it would be cool if there was a contingency plan which would kick in when things end up like a farse. Perhaps something resembling a large committee of representatives. Of course that means that decisions would still be subject to people's whims but if the panel were as representative as possible through coming from a broad-ranging spectrum of banders then we could hope to try and reform this archaic defunct system by stopping mistakes happening!
Mistakes are bound to happen
 

MoominDave

Well-Known Member
A magical utopia with rainbow and smiles where there's some form of quality control. The whole system wouldn't need restructuring but it would be cool if there was a contingency plan which would kick in when things end up like a farse. Perhaps something resembling a large committee of representatives. Of course that means that decisions would still be subject to people's whims but if the panel were as representative as possible through coming from a broad-ranging spectrum of banders then we could hope to try and reform this archaic defunct system by stopping mistakes happening!

The system is not void of quality control as it stands. Contest organisers see rogue results, and, if they want to reduce controversy, don't book the adjudicators that produce them. Geoffrey Brand's long and distinguished adjudicatorial career hit an abrupt buffer after the 3-judge discrepancy of the 1998 Masters. Goff Richards didn't take quite such a dent after he placed Dyke 13th at the Yorkshire Area in 2003, but the most high profile stuff thinned out from there on.
These two masters are no longer adjudicating (or, in the latter case, on this astral plane), so citing their two high profile surprises as examples does not feel too harsh. One could pick out currently practising adjudicators that generate audience puzzlement with their results more often than the average, but in the interests of friendliness and tact I'll refrain - it wouldn't add anything to the debate to do so anyhow.

You are arguing for a more rigorous system, one where an explicit review is made of decisions. I think you'd need to at a minimum record each performance of each reviewed contest for later perusal. Certainly one could achieve greater regularity of results by a consistently manned committee appraising them afterwards, and feeding back to judges where and how their judgements were felt to be reasonable. Being a brass band adjudicator is already a stressful, underappreciated, and underpaid job, though - how much critical feedback will judges take before they decide that 'the love of it' is reduced to a point beyond the threshold of enjoyment?

But I think there is quite a fundamental problem with the idea of formalising a busy and potentially expensive review panel - diminishing returns. You might not like "That's banding" as a retort to a result that you find strange, but it is a very to-the-point way of noting that the basic subjectivity of what's being done makes an objective decision in the final analysis not possible.
So you take some already overloaded people and task them with reanalysing a contest's worth of musical data each time someone complains (which, given how band contesting tends to be, would likely be every time a contest section was run). They go through it all again, and declare either basic happiness (in which case the grumbling won't stop) or basic unhappiness (in which case they can feed back to the judge in question, and they can together consider how the judge's methodology might or might not be reasonable). At the end, what have you gained? A very minor increment in overall consistency in the art of band contest adjudication.

But do we even want this? And if we do, are we wise to? What's the ideal? A machine that counts splits and hears bad tuning and ensemble precision? Banding's pursuit of technical perfection is very often undertaken at the expense of musical interestingness, and formalising contesting further only feeds that beast. While I understand totally where you are coming from - if we are going to contest, let us do it as sensibly as we can - I do not think that caring harder about contesting is something that is going to make banding at this point in time more worthwhile.
 

Euphonium Lite

Active Member
A magical utopia with rainbow and smiles where there's some form of quality control. The whole system wouldn't need restructuring but it would be cool if there was a contingency plan which would kick in when things end up like a farse. Perhaps something resembling a large committee of representatives. Of course that means that decisions would still be subject to people's whims but if the panel were as representative as possible through coming from a broad-ranging spectrum of banders then we could hope to try and reform this archaic defunct system by stopping mistakes happening!

In amongst the rest of what locals in my part of the world call "squit" there is one potentially valid point

Any other form of arbiter is subjected to quality control. Football referees, tennis umpires, judges - they are all monitored on an ad-Hoc basis to ensure that they are coming up with the correct decisions. Any repeated errors are dealt with through training or removal from approved lists.

Who, however adjudicates our adjudicators? An easy method would be to have a 3rd person sitting in the tent - so they get the same perspective - who can then ask the judges to justify why they've gone with a result if its potentially contentious.

Adjudicators would still have the ability to do their job, and providing they could justify it then the checker will "go with it". However it may possibly stamp out supposed favouritism.

The downsides are costs - who bears that? And also numbers. For example in a couple of weeks time there are 4 area contests going on simultaneously. Who will judge the judges?
How independent will they truly be?
 

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