Official tMP L & SC Regional 2008 thread

GBH

New Member
Having more than one ranking contest is an interesting idea in theory, but there's no way it will happen. Some bands only do one or two contests each year, and many of those that don't are happy with the contests they already regularly take part in. You'd have a system where bands were primarily rewarded for contest attendance.

Of course, you could try to remove the effect of rogue results by discounting each band's best and worst result of four or five, but I doubt that would be practicable.

Then they would wither and die as a contesting band and become a concert band or simply cease to exist. There are already too few players for too many bands so a thinning of the numbers would be a very good idea and in the process likely increase the quality.

Ultimately, bands would be rewarded for performing to a consistant standard throughout the year. It would reward consitantcy and not peanalise a band based on a piece they have no choice over, by an adjudicator that they have no idea what he's looking for. Giving the band a choice gives them the opportunity to fit the piece to their strengths.

I believe the Welsh contest used to do exactly that, and take your best 3 results but my memory is not what it used to be. If you could only enter 3, you'd still get graded. You don't even have have "new" contests you could make all the contests in the area graded, or 5 of them and just take the best 3 results.

For me is seems silly to severly restrict and skew the whole system against those bands who actually want to compete regularly at a high standard for the benefit of those who really aren't that bothered or would be better just calling it a day.

G
 

Owen S

Member
You answered my point about some bands not playing that many contests by demeaning them. You answered my point about your suggested system rewarding contest attendance before performance by ignoring it. Incidentally, it's exactly this that created some very strange local gradings in Wales (not national gradings, as the area qualifiers are run separately to the Welsh local contests).

Such a system would not reward "competing regularly at a high standard", it would reward "competing regularly". These are not the same thing at all.

Of course, there are several other problems, such as the local contest areas (e.g. SCABA) not being coincident with the London and Southern Counties Region for the areas, but these are less important.
 

010102

Member
Hi all

thought I would just post something with regard to Sunday...Well organised as ever and actually I have to say I enjoyed playing in the theatre, the acoustics are good for picking out detail and not too dry.

Please read from beginning to end before commenting, because this is not sour grapes but my thoughts on how possibly to instill some consistency from this point on.

reading some of the previous posts and many threads that have been on here in the past I thought I would add my twopence worth about players gripes over adjudication....I played as principal cornet with East London Brass in the Second Section, and we went on and put on an ok performance for us, but not our best. We didn't expect top 4 (even after listening to most of the other bands), but thought top 6 was about right. we ended up 9th, which was mostly based on the interpretation (reading our comments). Which is not something to complain about because music is subjective by it's nature.

Compare this to...

My wife played with Redbridge on solo trom on Sunday and from what I understand (I didn't hear either band as I had tonsilitus (and still have) and had to rush home to bed :( ), redbridge and aveley had different interpretations of festival music but a still came 1st and 2nd, which means one of two things...the adjudicator in this section was willing to say "it's not what I would have done, but overall I like it..." or is it that this is the general adjudication style at this section level?

I don't really see why there should be such differences in how adjudication is approached? but without defined scoring systems it will always be like this, so it's unfair to attack adjudicators to be honest, because nothing is in place formally to address the issue.

As for ELB, this doesn't just relate to the areas and I have no problem with either adjudicator mentioned above, but there is a problem when you work on something for months (balancing life, hobby and work) without knowing the goal posts that the adjudicator is working to. Taking for example 4 contests over the past 12 months that we have competed in and four different adjudications, the "basics" goal posts have differed starkly between each (and that is a "written" fact). This means that you take on board the comments made from the previous contest (without moaning...try and use the comments as they are meant as guides to improve) and implement for the next one....problem is the next adjudicator's "basics" are different....etc etc

Below are purely my thoughts or "things to throw into the ring" about how to give everyone a chance...bands...ABBA..Adjudicators...otherwise we just continue blaming each other ad nauseum....

1) 2 adjudicators does NOT address the issue, personally I think it doubles it as the system currently stands.
2) Open adjudication is not a good thing as being in a box means you use the one sense (your ears).
3) Getting adjudicators to let everyone know what they are looking for in a piece is NON-sensical as the whole point of music is to hear the same piece interpretated differently, letting the MD do their job they're paid to.
4) Having placing and no points would be nuts, as there's even less understanding of why you are where you are.
5) As per Alan Morrison's ideas, there should be set areas that an adjudicator is looking for but these must be weighted and points are taken off as you go through the performance. e.g. (this is very rough)
Tuning/Intonation: out of 30
Tightness: out of 30
Band Sound: out of 30
Soloists: out of 20
Dynamics: out of 30
OVERALL interpretation (this includes tempi): out of 60
When points are deducted these could be highlighted on a copy of the score (assuming this was legally allowed within the confines of the contest)
indicating to the band the justification for point lost. (except overall interpretation)
Then just a summing up area...meaning that the adjudicator can concentrate on listening to the band leaving the paragraphs until the end.
When each sheet is complete the adjudicator must hand the sheet out fo the box so no further amendments can be made.

You may notice that this would potentially mean lots of joint places, but if that is the case then so be it...it's fair..i.e. you have better intonation than band A but they had better soloists, you could end up on the same points.
6) As per any other avenue of life nowadays, (where doyen are present to record a whole area contest :) ) I think adjudicators should be audited...i.e. one area chosen and a panel of senior adjudicators are asked to adjudicate (and paid of course) "blind" the sections again. Comparisons can then be met, and this allows for constructive feedback within the ABBA. This surely must be a good thing for everyone, and means that the ABBA are taking the front foot. This isn't saying anyone is wrong but is surely something that is needed to prove that everyone is good at the job :)
7) Adjudicators should be informed of the number in each band...i.e. if a band went on stage with 16 players and managed to re-score the piece for that...and the next band goes on with 27 they are going to either sound overblown (negative) or fuller (positive) straight away depending on the adjudicators point of view (this is natural) so it should be notified to the person in the box. In this example neither should be penalised if all the music can be played and dynamic contrast applied even if at different volume levels :)

Anyway these are just my thoughts...

Martin Dawe
 

Dirty Xsara

New Member
Martin, i did hear the East London performance and felt it to be a very musical one- and worthy of a top 4 position. A great sounding band, but perhaps a little lacking in dynamic range on the day. Certainly didnt deserve 9th place. I heard 3 of the top 4 bands in 2nd section, and played in the other one! Was a little surprised with the results, enough said!

Chunky, i will pm you later! :)
 

GBH

New Member
Here we go. :/

You answered my point about some bands not playing that many contests by demeaning them.

I don't believe I said anywhere "they don't do many contests therefore they are rubbish" or anything like it. I did certainly say that there are far too many bands that get a near full band out for the areas and "survive" on greatly reduced numbers for the rest of the year. There are too many bands and not enough players and thats a fact which doesn't demean anyone. The fact that this, by definition leads to a poorer sounding band, and a poorer standard is also fact and not demeaning to any band. If by bringing in more contests you reduce the number of contesting bands and strengthen others, this can only be a good thing. If this means that bands who are arguably already on their last legs fold then so be it.

You answered my point about your suggested system rewarding contest attendance before performance by ignoring it. Incidentally, it's exactly this that created some very strange local gradings in Wales (not national gradings, as the area qualifiers are run separately to the Welsh local contests).

No, I don't believe I did you're just missing the point I think.

Yes of course, by definition if you're making it a league based on 3 out of 5 contests rather than 1 single contest then if you don't enter at least 3 you have no chance. Yes of course if you only enter 3 you're not going to have as much of a chance of avoiding the poor single result problem. But if you're a "serious" contesting band (and no, I'm not implying that bands who only do one contest a year aren't serious about their contest) then being judged over a number of contests has to be a good thing. Can you think of any other league based pastime or sport where your league position is based on a single performance once a year? I certainly can't and I'm guessing because most other groups have already realised its not a fair way to do it.

As for the Welsh areas, yes it might have led to differences but doesn't that just highlight the issue? I never said the Welsh way of doing things was right, I just suggest that as a basis for a "new way" it might be a good starting point.


Such a system would not reward "competing regularly at a high standard", it would reward "competing regularly". These are not the same thing at all..

They are both required obviously. You have to compete both regularly AND at a high level to gain the reward as doing one of them alone isn't going to be enough. If you don't compete regularly or if you don't compete at a high standard then you don't succeed. Competing regularly doesn't in any way guarantee the standard but it does help minimise the variancies introduced by either a poor style piece for your band or a different opinion on interpretation (which I believe this was originally proposed to mitigate!)

Of course, there are several other problems, such as the local contest areas (e.g. SCABA) not being coincident with the London and Southern Counties Region for the areas, but these are less important.

Indeed, there are many problems that would come about because of it. Your statement does raise another question though. Why on earth are there 2 different bodies dealing with the SE, with different boundries yet both running competitions. Perhaps another place where things can be streamlined to simplfy things.

G
 

GBH

New Member
2) Open adjudication is not a good thing as being in a box means you use the one sense (your ears).

I agree with a lot of what you said however I will ask another question. When open adjudication is perfectly fine for Cardiff Singer of the World, BBC Young Musician of the Year, Llangollen Eisteddfod Choir of Choirs and in fact every major major competition I can think of, why are brass bands so "special" to think they either need, or benefit from closed adjudication? Why is it that judges of all these other competitions can be classed as impartial yet brass band judges can't.

I also think the sooner we get away from just brass band people judging brass band competitions and accept neutral judges the better. A panel of 3 professional musicians not related to brass banding would certainly put the cat amongst the pidgeons! No more awarding points for that "brass band sound" in a "me too" fasion. Concentrate properly on the interpretation and musicianship and not everyone trying to sound like Dyke et al. Before you jump down my throat no I'm not saying Dyke or anyone else are bad/nasty/poor/have a bad sound. I'm just suggesting there is fixation on getting a "sound" which people in brass banding aspire to which is perpetuated by the judges comments in a nasty little cycle. This means if you don't have that sound, you don't win and to hell with your interpretation or musicianship - some say Zone-1 suffer from it pretty badly in the London area)

:)

G
 

andywooler

Supporting Member
Why on earth are there 2 different bodies dealing with the SE, with different boundries yet both running competitions. Perhaps another place where things can be streamlined to simplfy things.
G
The regional committees exist to fulfil one purpose and one purpose only: to provide bands to the finals.
There are in fact lots of bodies around the country running contests outside of the nationals framework and in the case of Scaba, doing it well.
The SE is no different - if you also looked at the staffing of the regional competition, you would have seen that those local associations are the ones making it happen on the day providing contest controllers, stewards , registration staff etc.
 

010102

Member
I agree with a lot of what you said however I will ask another question. When open adjudication is perfectly fine for Cardiff Singer of the World, BBC Young Musician of the Year, Llangollen Eisteddfod Choir of Choirs and in fact every major major competition I can think of, why are brass bands so "special" to think they either need, or benefit from closed adjudication? Why is it that judges of all these other competitions can be classed as impartial yet brass band judges can't.

I also think the sooner we get away from just brass band people judging brass band competitions and accept neutral judges the better. A panel of 3 professional musicians not related to brass banding would certainly put the cat amongst the pidgeons! No more awarding points for that "brass band sound" in a "me too" fasion. Concentrate properly on the interpretation and musicianship and not everyone trying to sound like Dyke et al. Before you jump down my throat no I'm not saying Dyke or anyone else are bad/nasty/poor/have a bad sound. I'm just suggesting there is fixation on getting a "sound" which people in brass banding aspire to which is perpetuated by the judges comments in a nasty little cycle. This means if you don't have that sound, you don't win and to hell with your interpretation or musicianship - some say Zone-1 suffer from it pretty badly in the London area)

:)

G

Hi...no jumping down throats...don't worry...I agree to be honest...but you can't change Rome in a day. Get these things in first and settled, and then invite musicians outside the brass band world in. You need to get your own ship in order first I guess so that when exposed to the wider classical music community it is something to envy. There's so much about banding that is great and somethign to be proud of, but we do seem to have a second class citizen tag in the wider music world at times. I'm proud to be in a brass band and the movement, but we just need to move forwards into the 21st century.

Cheers

Martin

P.S. I do apologise for my over use of cliches in my posts :(
 

brassbandmaestro

Active Member
They did that once at the finals in the Championship Section, I cant remember the year or who was the celebrated personality, But one thing I do remember from that occaision was that he always complained of the lack of or preponderence of vibrato. Anyone with more accurate info on this?
 

lauren

Member
what was the rumour on this then?
Had no confirmation on any facts but there was one band in the 2nd section that was said to have registrations that were being investigated by the committee. On the day the buzz that was going round that it was Alder Valley (the winning band) but I know nothing more as yet.
 

Owen S

Member
No, I don't believe I did you're just missing the point I think.
Not in the slightest. I think everyone would agrees that bands can be ranked better on the basis of more performances in a league system. However, you describe a situation where bands who wish to be ranked would be forced to do at least three and preferably four specific contests each year. The restrictions on bands caused by implementing such a system would far outweigh the benefits for pretty much everyone.
Your statement does raise another question though. Why on earth are there 2 different bodies dealing with the SE, with different boundries yet both running competitions. Perhaps another place where things can be streamlined to simplfy things.
Let me explain the system:

There are five local associations: Bucks and District, East Anglia, London and Home Counties, Oxford and District and Southern Counties (SCABA). Between them they cover all of the London and Southern Counties Region, they are represented on the Region Committee, and their committee members help run the qualifiers contest. You can see all of that in the contest programme. As it happens, SCABA also has member bands from part of its home area who compete in the southwest region, because Hampshire (and Wiltshire? not sure) were moved from the London region 12 years ago. Andy is sure to know more about all this than me.

Some of these local associations also run their own contests, and the others used to. Some of them choose to have their own rankings rather than the national rankings, partly because their member bands are not distributed evenly through the national sections, and partly because they have several member bands who only compete locally.
 
I know I'll probably get shot down for this having been involved with one of the bands given a placing but who cares, here goes.

I am in possession of an email from a member of the L&SC team, dated 2006, informing that following some very strange decisions and 'nasty comments' from David Horsfield back in the 1st Section in 2006 he would NOT be adjudicating in the L&SC for a long time to come! Sadly that didnt last long!

I noticed David Read in attendance at most sections over the weekend, would be interesting to hear what he thought of the results. Bands should definitily push for "two in the box" from next year.

Does anyone know the outcome over the registration problems with Alder Valley, and the implications this has for the 2nd Section results?

Dear Dirty Xsara

Firstly why not identify yourself, it may add credence to your claim re the email.

Secondly remember that the L & SC committeee at very short notice had to find an adjudicator for the 1st & Champ section when Robert Childs became unavailable. We do not know that either Mr Horsfield was first choice or even the only choice.

Well said Ian :clap:

Dirty Xsara,

If, as you mention, you played in the 2nd Section why does it matter at all to you what David Horsfields involvement was for the weekend - he didn't affect your result.

I'm going to stand up for the L&SC region here, Robert Childs was booked for the event and unfortunately, at about one months notice, had to withdraw. David Hobbs and the rest of the committee had to find a replacement at short notice that fulfilled (in my opinion) the following criteria :-
  • A well-known and recognised adjudicator with top notch experience
  • An adjudicator that was available for both Saturday and Sunday
  • An adjudicator that had no involvement with any of the competing bands, hence no chance of calls of 'fix' or bias.
Check out David Horsfields history and his reputation/experience. He has recently adjudicated at almost all the major contests here and abroad and his playing/conducting career speaks for itself. Given the time the regional committee had we should be thanking them, not giving them grief.

In general I would like to thank the L&SC for a well-run event, I know that there were problems last year that resulted in complaints but these seem to have been ironed out; having played in the Midlands and the South West in recent years this was by far the easiest to take part in, many thanks.
 

Bayerd

Active Member
I agree with a lot of what you said however I will ask another question. When open adjudication is perfectly fine for Cardiff Singer of the World, BBC Young Musician of the Year, Llangollen Eisteddfod Choir of Choirs and in fact every major major competition I can think of, why are brass bands so "special" to think they either need, or benefit from closed adjudication? Why is it that judges of all these other competitions can be classed as impartial yet brass band judges can't.

I also think the sooner we get away from just brass band people judging brass band competitions and accept neutral judges the better. A panel of 3 professional musicians not related to brass banding would certainly put the cat amongst the pidgeons! No more awarding points for that "brass band sound" in a "me too" fasion. Concentrate properly on the interpretation and musicianship and not everyone trying to sound like Dyke et al. Before you jump down my throat no I'm not saying Dyke or anyone else are bad/nasty/poor/have a bad sound. I'm just suggesting there is fixation on getting a "sound" which people in brass banding aspire to which is perpetuated by the judges comments in a nasty little cycle. This means if you don't have that sound, you don't win and to hell with your interpretation or musicianship - some say Zone-1 suffer from it pretty badly in the London area)

:)

G

Everyone's trying to sound like Dyke? Where on earth is it going so wrong?!?!
 

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