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2013: July

The return of the 4BR editorial — with our views on the right man for the job at BBE, dynamic obesity and in praise of the bandstand concert.

The right man for the BBE job

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Mike Kilroy will become the new Chairman of Brass Bands England this weekend.

He is the right man at the right time for one of the most important roles in UK banding. 

He will take over an organisation that under the 12 year stewardship of Robert Morgan MBE did much to help the brass band movement. 

However, there is little doubt that since gaining Arts Council funding, unfocussed ambition far exceeded purposeful realism.

That will hopefully now change.

With a skill set that combines a very high level of business acumen linked to a great deal of banding experience, Mike Kilroy will provide BBE with leadership that seeks co-operation rather than conflict, strategic partnerships and consultation rather than isolation and obduracy.

The good news is that there appears to be a real desire for change in the organisation – and already a sense of transparency and accountability has become evident. 

Brass Bands England needs the right man for the job, but so does brass banding in the UK as a whole.

His will be the most welcome of appointments.

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


Ridding ourselves of the obesity problem

It’s not just players who are physically getting bigger.  

Brass bands themselves have slowly but surely become the fattened hogs of dynamic excess.

The desire for ever more power output has made top flight bands in particular, leviathans of blubbery exorbitance: Volume rules. 

What was once a result of better training has now become a steroid injected short cut to Brobdingnagian implausibility (also helped at the top level by the acceptance of European led quotas on the number of players allowed on stage).

Grace and subtlety, dynamic refinement and coherence are now almost forgotten musical traits – especially with the emergence of ‘bespoke’ own choice works that have become vehicles to exhibit ever more exotic technical prowess.

As a result, the dynamic range a top brass band can now produce has become huge – but in the process, also quite meaningless. 

When for instance, was the last time you actually heard truly defined mid range mezzopiano or mezzoforte playing in a test piece?    

Perhaps the time has finally come to start purging ourselves of excess and return to a dynamic diet plan that is much healthier for all of us. 

We could all do with losing a bit of weight.

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


In praise of the bandstand concert

One of the great traditions of the banding world is fast becoming in danger of extinction.

The local bandstand concert – once a staple part of any summer diary of engagements has gradually become a victim of the ever increasing pressures on local government funding. 

As a result, some of the finest Victorian and Edwardian concert platforms (as well as some great modern designs) in the UK have become increasingly disused, dilapidated and even destroyed.

It is a huge pity, as there is no better way to bring a local community together on a weekend afternoon than by sitting near a bandstand in a well maintained park with a brass band playing easy listening music – and as long as the weather is pretty good too.

The fees may not be great (or you may even have to promote it yourselves), but with a bit of inventive planning and co-operation the humble bandstand concert is perhaps the most effective way of showing your community just what you have to offer.

So why not give it a go – before the great bandstands of the land are bulldozed to make way for yet another unwanted and unloved car park. 

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



Contest: North West Regional Championships

Sunday 23 February • Winter Gardens Complex, Church Street, Blackpool FY1 1HU


Black Dyke Band - The Hawth, Crawley

Sunday 23 February • The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley RH10 7Yz


Contest: scaba Own Choice Test & March

Sunday 23 February • The Hawth in Crawley, West Sussex RH10 6YZ


Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Academy of Music Horn Ensemble

Friday 28 February • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London. SE7 8RE SE7 8RE


The GUS Band - Northampton International Academy

Saturday 29 February • Northampton International Academy. 55 Barrack Rd. Northampton NN1 1AA


Upper Rhondda Brass Band

February 20 • Upper Rhondda NEEDS YOU. To help consolidate the Band, and its position within the grading system at the next Welsh Area Championships, the Band urgently require the following players, Soprano, Solo Cornet, Solo Euphonium and a Percussionist..


Longridge Band

February 20 • Due to retirement the Longridge Band (1st Section North West) require a back row cornet player (position negotiable), Eb bass & percussionist . We have a good mixture of contests/ concerts and a tour to Belgium planned for later in the year.


Escafeld Brass Band Sheffield

February 20 • Escafeld Brass Band Sheffield has vacancies for all instruments. We are a friendly, non-contesting band who practice Friday evenings near Sheffield city centre. Our numbers have declined in recent years but we are very keen to grow again with our new MD.


Steve Pritchard-Jones

FTCL LTCL LDBBA DipMusEd GMus QTS NPQH
Conductor, Adjudicator, Teacher


               

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