NABBC: Diploma in Adjudicating - Notes for Candidates


There are some notes that you need to have a look at if you are thinking about taking the Diploma exams.

Notes for candidates for Sections I and II

Entry to the examination for the Licentiate Diploma in Brass Band Adjudication is open only to candidates who, in the opinion of the Board of Examiners, have the kind of musical expertise and experience which fits them to sit in judgement of fellow musicians.  The application therefore takes the form of a personal profile.

This should be hand-written and should provide an indication that the candidate can adequately express himself/herself through the written word, whilst at the same time outlining the candidate's experience in any of the fields of conducting, arranging or teaching, and listing all previous experience of adjudicating.  The profile must accompany the application form.

Candidates will be informed as soon as possible whether or not their application has been successful.  Those who are unsuccessful may re-apply after a minimum of two years from the date of the original application.

It should be clearly understood that the Licentiate Diploma is not a course in adjudicating, but rather a certification that the candidate is competent to adjudicate at a brass band contest.  Previous adjudicating – official or unofficial – is a necessary pre-requisite to the examination.

Successful applicants will be informed of the date and place of the examination and will be asked to pay the fee for Sections I and II (£110).

The Examination:

On the day of the examination the morning session will be devoted to Section I and the afternoon session to Section II.

The object of the Scoring Test is to ensure the candidate's familiarity with scoring conventions and an understanding of the playing capabilities and limitation of players found in an average brass band.  Competence rather than an outstanding scoring talent is expected.  A good knowledge of Denis Wright's "Scoring for Brass Band" should be the aim of the candidates.

The Score Reading Test is based on a score from the repertoire of First or Second section bands.  After approximately 30 minutes' private study of this there will be a viva voce examination to test the candidate's assimilation of the content of the score, of points of special interest to the adjudicator, pit-falls for a band playing the piece in a contest, and relevant points regarding instrumentation, style and texture.

For the Aural Perception Test candidates will be notified of the title of the set work at least four weeks before the examination.  The test will take the form of a mock adjudication, by means of a pre-recorded tape, at the start of which the candidate will be informed of the category of band being adjudicated.

In the Viva Voce Tests candidates will be allowed to make notes during the playback of part of an actual contest performance, the standard of band being given.  The performance will then be discussed with the examiners, who will wish to hear points of both criticism and praise, and how these would be expressed in written remarks. Following this, the candidate will be given the opportunity to demonstrate his/her knowledge of current repertoire of all grades of band, and of instruments – including trombones and percussion.

Questions may be asked on the ‘mechanics ‘ of adjudicating, and candidates should be prepared to take some basic aural tests.

As soon as possible after the examination, candidates will be informed of their results in Sections I and II.  Successful candidates will, at the same time, receive further information regarding the conduct of Part III of the examination.


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