play in 1, conduct another

this is 4 all u people who r involved with more than 1 band, how do u cope with the pressure of playing in 1 band and conducting another, 4 example toby bannan plays with ybs and conducts dinnington, do u find it hard 2 keep up with 2 bands, or do u find it hard 2 decide who u r more commited 2 or any other things that become factor when ur involved with more than 1 band, im just asking because i wud eventually like to conduct a band aswell as play with a band aswell.

apologies 2 all english enthusiasts, ive always typed with abbreiviations and thats just the way i type so there ya go, and i know after typing that question that i used the word "aswell" twice in the same sentense, that was an accidental mistake.

Okiedokie of Oz

Active Member
Hence the name "Madandcrazytromboneguy", right??? :wink:

It depends really. My teacher used to conduct us, and play with A grade bands. But because he was jostling for top C grade conductor, he always put us first. These days, now he does more playing than conducting and it''s probably reversed.

I remember having a debate with a lecturer/orchestra conductor at uni over priorities. She believed my priorities should have been with the orchestra. However, as I had already aced the prac component that semester with credit points from the nationals, my priorites were with the brass band. Besides, the brass band kept me on my toes, I played triange more than tuba and trombone in the orchestra!

So really, it has to be a personal thing, I suppose....

satchmo shaz

Active Member
hi I play and conduct! :wink: I play for thoresby and conduct Long Eaton, but I also have my own dance band and play in shows. My conducting comes first and so this year could be the first year since I began playing that I am not playing at the area :cry: as we have a clash, so I decided to step down straightaway. Unfortunately I am a part time player in bands due to my other commitments. I do get 1 or 2 clashes epecially when playing in shows but I can normally get a dep.I have thought about dropping some of the playing as I meet myself coming back sometimes!! Also if a band phonesup and needs a conductor or player and I'm free I cant say no!! so my leisure time is greatly diminished

Mind you I never get bored :wink:


Active Member
I dont think any two player/conductors would be able to agree on which comes first, why it does and how much more committed they are. It all depends on the stage of your playing career/conducting career/success of bands etc. If the player has been there and won everything as a player I would expect their committment to lie in their conducting, as I would someone who is just starting out as a conductor. If it is a player trying to make a name for themselves as a class player then I guess most would choose a move to a chair in a class band rather than a small conducting job. I'm sure every player/conductor has differing levels of committment between the two.


Active Member
It all depends on how busy the individual bands you plan to be involved with are. I have recently ended my conducting commitments in an effort to ensure that I am able to focus on playing in what is a very busy and important year for my band.

I had a stupidly busy year last year because I made myself too busy. You cannot be in two places at once, plus everytime a new date came up for either group, I got headaches trying to priortise and sort out which came first and plan how they affected each other, let alone have work, relationship and church life in the equation etc.

Every situation is different though


Di B

I think that it definitely depends on the person. There is no right or wrong answer on this one. There are a lot of player/conductors around now - thats only natural I suppose.

I think if you want a position within a band and wish to do both activities you need to decide which is most important and be honest with yourself and those around you. If you love playing, conducting may well be second priority and vice versa. Also, the level of commitment in any post will vary from band to band.

Any band looking for a player or a conductor need to know where your priorities lie, and this may affect them recruiting you. Most bands on the up don't want a part time conductor but someone who can give them the commitment they need for example! Higher level banding requires a similar level of commitment from a player too - especially soloist seats.

I think these reasons are probably why a lot of excellent players are hired by bands to take them on a professional basis? They might be good conductors, but their playing comes first.

To summarise - if you do both then be honest about your priorities to all parties involved - including yourself. If you start conducting you will soon know yourself if it takes priority in your life. I really don't think it is possible to be exactly a 50/50 split between playing and conducting!


Dave Payn

Active Member
Agree with what the general opinion is, no right or wrong answer. Depends on the bands' commitments etc. Bit awkward for me as conductor of one and principal cornet of another, but it's worked out OK so far. Not always been the case, though. At the 3rd section areas in (I think) 1998, I was conducting one and playing in another in the same section. The Law according to Sod dictated that they were drawn one after the other! (conducting first, playing second). In the end, the band I conducted came third and the one I played in came 11th. I suppose I'd have felt a twang of guilt however the results panned out, so I wouldn't personally recommend conducting one, play in another in the same section that are both trying to qualify for the finals! :?

Naomi McFadyen

New Member
I think that if people couldn't cope with conducting one band and playing in another they wouldn't do it in the first place... it's obviously do-able seeing as so many of us do this.
I personally do both... Ideally to come out of all this as a conductor over playing, which would then be my 'hobbie'...
I love both :)

as for priorities, I go for the job/band that I agreed to do first... if something comes up afterwards and the date is filled in my diary I am simply unavailable...



At present, playing the bass trombone is my priority. If I was to make conducting my first priority, it would virtually mean I would be retiring from playing-at the age of 25, I feel this is a little premature.

The night I auditioned to conduct Dinnington, I informed them of my attitude and this was accepted. The band were used to this after a number of playing conductors such as Alan Exley.

Whenever the building society have contests to prepare for, I tend to have to engage a deputy for a few rehearsals I'll be missing. Fortunately there are a number of excellent lower section conductors in the area who do a great job for the band. I try to use the same conductors, so if I'm ever unavailable for a concert, the band are familiar with the incoming conductor and standards are maintained.

I always prepare a rehearsal schedule months in advance of the events Dinno have. This sometimes has a few changes of rehearsal day or time, but as the band has prior warning, they are flexible. For this reason, a well organised diary is a must.

I also believe Dinno benefit from my playing priority. As I've been fortunate to play with some of the finest bands, I'm constantly learning conducting and tutorial methods from the great conductors, which I then apply to Dinno.

Toby Bannan


Active Member
madandcrazytromboneguy said:
this is 4 all u people who r involved with more than 1 band, how do u cope with the pressure of playing in 1 band and conducting another, 4 example toby bannan plays with ybs and conducts dinnington, do u find it hard 2 keep up with 2 bands, or do u find it hard 2 decide who u r more commited 2 or any other things that become factor when ur involved with more than 1 band, im just asking because i wud eventually like to conduct a band aswell as play with a band aswell.

I think it might me easier than trying to read your writing! :p
I've just started conducting a band- as well as playing for the Yorkshire Imps. My priority is still with the Imps as thats who i'm registered with, but I put a lot of effort into my new band (York University Brass Band) as i have organised everything and found all the players etc- its been a bit of a hobby recently.


Active Member
Its easy to do but you have to:

1. Ensure practice nights dont clash - Mon & Wed for Conducting, Thurs & Sunday nights playing for me. My girlfriend plays in the same band as I conduct and conducts her own band on a Thursday and goes out with her mate on a Sunday. So it all ties in nicely for me and means we still have loads of time together. :tup
2. Decide your priority if there is a clash of dates and ensure the band that you will drop if it clashes know the situation. My conducting band comes first and if any jobs clash the band I play for know I will put conducting first and need to get another bass player to deb for me. :)
3. Choose section carefully - I play in a Championship Band and conduct a 4th section one so even if they are in the same contest 90% of the time there is loads of time between the sections for it not to clash. 8)
4. Make sure you dont want a life apart from Brass Bands before committing to two bands :D
thanx 4 all the gr8 replies, and the 1 dodgy 1 from homo, lol, playing with hebden bridge is and will b 4 a long time, my 1st priority but i wud love 2 conduct either a non contesting band, a youth or junior band, or a 4th section band, but as toby does i think i would have 2 get some1 2 back me up if there was any clashing at all, i spose i shud have asked tom from flixton coz he conducts hebden juniors who i played with 4 10 yrs, but hopefully i mite get a chance with a band hopefully in the near future, im currently getting some conducting time in with todmorden community band and its a real help 4 me as i do conducting in the band studies course which im studying in, please keep replying as it is all valuable info 4 me as a player/future conductor.


Active Member
When I played in a quartet, and conducted it at the same Time I found it really difficult. That's the only time i've ever had that dillemma really! :D

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