*
banner

2013: December

The 4BR editorial opinions on thinking outside the entertainment box, adding contest purpose and in praise of the Swiss...

Thinking outside the entertainment box

The result of the recent Brass in Concert Championship may not have come as a total surprise, but there were certainly more than a few eyebrows raised about how it was achieved.

Adjudication (be it the quality of musical performance, programme content or entertainment and presentation) will always be a subjective matter - even when the contest itself provides a mission statement that it hopes will provide bands with a guiding template for artistic inspiration.

One of the great strengths of Brass in Concert is that this new musical ethos is aimed at encouraging bands to provide a much broader spectrum of musical repertoire. 

As a result, it should come no surprise that opinions about the entertainment provided, both official and unofficial, will vary - although perhaps not as widely as was the case this year at The Sage.

However, so much the better for the greater good of brass banding that we are not presented with the laughable excuse of ‘...we have agreed on every position from 1 to 20 etc’, which is all too often the default mode of poorly informed, weak willed judges.

The odd raised eyebrow is therefore not too bad a price to pay for a contest that actively encourages its competitors to explore new musical genres, provide slicker more inventive presentation and produce better balanced programme content.

There is no perfect way of judging an entertainment contest - but Brass in Concert gets closer than most.

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


An added contest purpose

There is little doubt that many local association contests are struggling. 

Despite the hard work and commitment of volunteers, financial cutbacks in local authorities, venue price hikes and increased travel costs are making it increasingly difficult to run local events in a sustainable long term way.

Players and supporters are also pondering what is the purpose of competing if all you get out of the investment in time, energy and commitment is a couple of hundred quid at best for your band - even if you win.

It’s therefore encouraging to see the organisers of the British Open Championship working in partnership with local organisers to provide an added sense of purpose to both their contest structures.

The progressive Wychavon Contest is one of the first to benefit - with its winner or highest placed band not already competing at the Spring Festival in Blackpool, gaining an automatic invitation to compete there in future, with the aim of gaining a foothold on a potential ladder of success that could ultimately lead to the British Open itself.  

It is understood that other events may soon join in a partnership that will ultimately give competing bands the opportunity to aim for more than just winning enough money to pay for their bus and the engraving of the trophy.

And that is surely what the purpose of contesting is all about.

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


In praise of the Swiss

The Swiss have always been people who know how to do things well.

The organisation of their National Championships in Montreux (and not forgetting their hosting of the 2011 European Championships) is a case in point. 

The desire to produce an event that both showcased as well as developed their increasingly impressive banding movement is admirable; delivered with an understated level of professionalism that should be the envy of the rest of the world.

Swiss diplomacy has ensured that successful long term business partnerships have been developed slowly but surely, backed by regular new music commissions and initiatives such as a Sunday morning Gala Concert - all of which proved to be a great success this year.

All this and the bands themselves are getting increasingly more impressive too - especially at elite level, where they could be on the verge of making a long awaited breakthrough at the European Championship.

Say it quietly (and in about 4 different languages) as they do at Geneva airport, but Swiss brass banding excellence could well be shown in more ways than one in the years to come.

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



Glossop Old Band - Cadishead Public Band

Sunday 23 January • Glossop Band Club, Derby Street, Glossop. SK13 8LP


Black Dyke Band - RNCM Brass Band Festival

Saturday 29 January • Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9RD


Regent Hall Concerts - The International Staff Band of the Salvation Army

Saturday 29 January • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London WC1 2 DJ


Black Dyke Band - Gladstone Theatre

Sunday 30 January • Greendale Road, Birkenhead, Wirral CH62 4XB


Glossop Old Band - Silk Brass Band

Sunday 30 January • Glossop Band Club, Derby Street, Glossop. SK13 8LP


Bollington Brass Band

January 21 • We are looking for a front row cornet player (position negotiable) and a percussionist to join the band after the North West area contest. If you fancy a new challenge with a friendly 1st Section please get in touch.


Forest of Dean Brass

January 18 • Do you fancy playing Spectrum at the West of England Areas in March? We are currently looking for a Front Row Cornet to complete our line-up. We rehearse on a Tuesday and Thursday at our bandroom in Yorkley, Forest of Dean GL15 4TA


The Cobham Band

January 17 • The Cobham Band is fully up and running again and requires a EUPHONIUM or BARITONE player. We have some great concerts planned including bandstand dates for the new season under our new conductor, Jim Lynch.. .


Ian Holmes

BA (hons), PGDip (RCM), ARCM, ALCM
Conductor, piano accompanist and educator


               

 © 2022 4barsrest.com Ltd