European Championships: 4BarsRest set out our position with
regard to the Own Choice test pieces, the contest, the bands and
At the end of this article, 4BarsRest will give you, the reader,
the opportunity to see what we believe the competing bands at this
year’s European Brass Band Championship will be playing as their
“Own Choice” test piece in the Championship Section.
4BarsRest do this because we believe that the general public who
have an interest in brass bands throughout the world, should be
informed of what music is being played and by whom at the contest.
We believe it makes the contest both transparent and relevant to
those who wish to attend and for those who do not or cannot.
We would emphasise that our opinion is based on our information
only, and there is no active or premeditated involvement of any
of the competing bands.
We believe that the information given to us is accurate and is
information that is in the public domain. We therefore print it
If you do not wish to know, or disagree with our policy, please
do not continue with this article. You will be given another opportunity
to exercise your own choice at the end.
The information concerning the choice of the test pieces and the
name of the judges was published by the European Brass Band Association
in a newsletter and press release dated March 2001 and is available
to anyone worldwide, who wishes to visit their website on www.brass.ch/ebba
The European Brass Band Championships are now in their 24th year.
Since their inception in 1978 the contest has undergone many changes
– nearly all for the better – so that the European Championships
are now a contest worthy of the title.
4BarsRest however believe that there are some aspects of the contest
that need radical re-appraisal if the European Championships are
to be seen by the general public of Europe as a modern and relevant
musical competition between the champion bands of its countries
In this respect we believe the contest needs to address three main
issues. Firstly, the question of qualification. Secondly, the question
of adjudication. Thirdly the question of transparency.
The first question we believe can be easily resolved. The criteria
for qualification must be made equal throughout Europe, with only
the Champion Band of each country or region being invited to compete.
The use of the Regional Championships of the National Championships
of Great Britain and the use of the highest placed English band
at the Finals themselves is both outdated and unfair. There are
structures and contests already in place within the UK to address
these anomalies, and we believe these should be used.
The second question concerns the continued perseverance with “closed”
adjudication. We now live in the first decade of the 21st century,
yet the majority of brass band contests use a method of adjudication
that belongs in the middle of the 19th century. No other major international
music competition that we know, be it choral, instrumental or vocal
now uses this method. It is an antiquated and parochial system to
be used at this level. We believe therefore that the integrity of
the judging would not be any way brought into question if the contest
was openly adjudicated upon.
Lastly the question of transparency. This we believe should be
the foundation of any international competition. Without it, the
public finds competition irrelevant. If the organisers do not wish
for the judges to be informed which band will be performing which
piece, that is a matter for them address. We believe the general
public has every right to be informed of the details of the competition
in full. It does not make any difference to the nature or integrity
of the judging of the contest if the paying audience at the auditorium
or the brass band public at large are informed of what the competing
bands are to play. They do not judge the winners.
The European Brass Band Association released details of both the
judges and test pieces to be used at the competition two months
in advance of the contest. We therefore believe that the general
public has the right if they so wish to be informed of all details.
If you disagree with our policy or do not wish to know what we
believe the competing bands are playing, please exit this article
If you agree with our policy and wish to be informed of what we
believe the competing bands are playing, please continue..
Click to reveal