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2011: January

This month we give our opinions on working on the banding image, not winning anything with kids and praise the move towards open debate...

Working on our banding image

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise that news of Laura Hirst becoming the first female player to join Brighouse & Rastrick and the death of the actor Pete Postlethwaite brought stereotypical responses towards brass banding from the media.

Out came the clichés and trivialities – from fashion problems of wearing ‘men only’ band jackets, to the preposterous film image of ‘Danny’ cycling home from band practice, resplendent in uniform, whistling ‘The Floral Dance’.

Once more, the opportunity to provide the movement with a positive image was lost – or more tellingly, not even considered.

The media treats brass banding with a lazy contempt - not because it knows any better, but because we have never managed to persuade them otherwise.

A general enquiry to the BBC revealed that their contributor’s database for brass banding issues and information is – well - nonexistent (BBC Wales has just started a general scheme).

No banding media spokesperson, ‘talking head’, or well known banding ‘personality’ is listed for such occasions when brass bands are deemed to be ‘newsworthy’. No one it seems has contacted the BBC to be considered as one.

Any decision to try and talk to someone with any sort of informed viewpoint is left, we were told, to whether or not a researcher can find anyone to contact on the internet.

It is no wonder then that brass bands continue to be worthy only of the banalities of fashion tips and fairytale ‘northern’ working class imagery.

We have only ourselves to blame.

What do you think?
Send an email to:
comments@4barsrest.com


You won’t win anything with kids?

If there is one thing football pundit Alan Hansen will forever be remembered for, it is his infamous faux pas of declaring that Alex Ferguson would never win anything with a Manchester United team made up of kids.

Everyone knows what happened next….

The same could well apply to Black Dyke in 2011.

The band and its ‘manager’ are well used to the opinions of the critics on the studio sofas (4BR included) – but never before in the decade long tenure of Nicholas Childs have they come under such pre-season scrutiny – especially as the Black Dyke team this year is perhaps the youngest ever in terms of average age.

After a season of disappointment in 2010, changes were made, and this year the band will take to the major contest stages packed with a squad that includes some of brightest young talents around, allied to key youthful positional changes.

The critics will wait to see what happens of course (as will their rivals), and whilst none have yet come out with a public ‘Hansen’ statement, many harbour the thought that this could be a make or break season for the Queensbury outfit and its conductor.

However, given that the MD is such an admirer of the successful methods employed over the years by his counterpart at Old Trafford (and has his own track record to prove it since 2000), you won’t bet against them ending 2011 with a trophyroom full of silverware.

Any would be Alan Hansen’s may want to think twice then, before they make a fool of themselves questioning whether you can win anything with kids in the ranks…

What do you think?
Send an email to:
comments@4barsrest.com


In praise of open debate…

2011 could well be the year that the brass band movement frees itself of entrenched opinion and ushers in an era of open debate.

The ongoing work of the fledgling Umbrella Group Working Party will be discussed at a further summit meeting at the forthcoming RNCM Festival of Brass, whilst Steven Mead’s ongoing crusade to further debate on criteria based adjudication will be discussed at an open seminar on the same weekend.

With ABBA already starting the ball rolling with its test piece workshop at its AGM at the start of the month, and with the BFBB welcoming views and opinions via the work of its newly appointed Liaison Officer, it seems the opportunity is being presented for a vibrant atmosphere of debate to be created for the benefit of the movement as a whole.

And if it carries on like this, we may even see some real progress being made too…

What do you think?
Send an email to:
comments@4barsrest.com



The Marple Band - Marple Band Family Christmas Concert

Friday 18 December • Marple Conservative Club, church Lane, Marple, SK6 6AY


Black Dyke Band - Brighouse & Rastrick, Huddersfield Town Hall

Saturday 27 March • Corporation St, Huddersfield HD1 2TA


Contest: 100thSpring Festival

Saturday 8 May • 97 Church St, Blackpool, FY1 1HL


Contest: Whit Friday March Contests

Friday 28 May • Saddleworth & Tameside OL3


Contest: 168th British Open

Saturday 11 September • Symphony Hall, Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA


Chadderton Band

November 17 • Chadderton Band is a non-contesting band playing at various events throughout the year. We are a friendly band looking for players of all ages and abilities on all sections + EUPH and percussion. Most welcome to come along and have a blow give us a try.


Crewe Brass

November 12 • Crewe Brass require an Eb or Bb Bass to complete the "engine room" line up. We are also seeking a Tuned Percussionist to complete our section.


Shipston Town Band

November 1 • We are currently looking to recruit a Bass Trombone BBb bass and EEb bass to bring the band up to strength ready for when things return to normal. We are graded section 3 in the Midlands taking part in a good range of concerts and contests


Julian Bright


Conductor, Compere/MC, Cornet Soloist


               

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