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2015: April

This month we give our opinions on the costs of quality judgement, improving Ball skills and in praise of the rules...

Quality judgement costs

4BR may have had a few gripes in the past about the Association of Brass Band Adjudicators (ABBA), but we have never accused their members of not being worth the money they are paid for providing their essential service to the brass band movement.

However, you would be surprised at just how little many contests value their expertise in pounds, shillings and pence.

So with ABBA now making progressive strides in the future professional development of its members, perhaps the time has come for a formalised table of fees to be agreed between both parties - rather than the current system of ‘ad-hoc’ agreements that currently exist.

It would surely benefit all those who take part in competitions. 

Bands invest so much financial time and energy in their contest preparation that it seems absurd that we seem reluctant to do the same with adjudicators.  If we really want to improve all our standards, then we should be prepared to pay a proper professional rate for a highly professional job. 

ABBA has shown its desire to justify its value to the future of contesting in the UK, so perhaps it’s time for the rest of us to do the same.

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


Improving Ball skills

It has taken a while, but the true brass band musical genius of Eric Ball may finally have been revealed - via the compositional pen of Peter Graham.

The damaging effects of our headlong pursuit of mind boggling technique came to roost around the country on ‘The Torchbearer’ - as far too any bands and conductors found themselves unable to coherently translate a musical language that seemed almost alien to them.

The subtleties of dynamic, tempo, balance and texture - the hallmarks of the great man’s writing, were rarely heard. Instead we got the pulp fiction approach - visceral blood and guts splashed all over the place. 

What required skill and understanding was replaced by blunt-witted special effects. 

However, what may be saddest outcome of all is that it remains debatable whether bands have now lost the ability to showcase those once inherent Ball skills for good...

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


In praise of the rules

There must have been one heck of an increase in Google search engine traffic in the past two weeks looking at how to spell schadenfreude in a grammatical Yorkshire accent... 

Black Dyke’s disqualification from the Regional Championship in Bradford and subsequent qualification confirmation for the National Final was met in equal measure by surprise, bafflement, anger and wry smiles of puzzled delight.

However, what it also showed was that very few people (including a Band Secretary or two around the UK) pay more than scant attention to their understanding of both National and Registration rules.

Black Dyke’s disqualification may have done us all a favour then.   

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



Black Dyke Band - Lake Wobegon

Thursday 23 June • Liberty Court House, Minster Rd, Ripon HG4 1QT


Chichester City Band - Celebrating 125 Years of Chichester City Band

Saturday 25 June • St Paul's Church, Churchside CHICHESTER PO19 6FT


Grimethorpe Colliery Band - Driffield Showground, Midsummer Spectacular

Saturday 25 June • The Showground, Kellythorpe, Driffield, East Yorkshire. YO25 9DN


Black Dyke Band - Bridgwater

Saturday 25 June • St Mary's Church, Bridgwater TA6 3EG


Mereside Brass - Comberbach Village Fete

Saturday 25 June • Comberbach school. Mather Drive CW9 6BG CW9 6BG


Blidworth Welfare Band

June 24 • The Championship section Blidworth Welfare band are now accepting applications for the position of BBb bass Player. Following an excellent Midlands area and 1st place at Buxton contest we are looking for a Bass player to join our ranks. .


The Egham Band Youth Brass Project

June 22 • The Egham Band Youth Brass Project are looking for a new Brass Teacher to deliver whole class music tuition to primary schools in and around Egham.


East London Brass

June 22 • East London Brass, a sociable, championship section band, has a vacancy for a kit player to complete the percussion section. The band rehearses on Thursday evenings in Walthamstow, north-east London.


Mark Wilkinson


Cornet Soloist, Teacher, Adjudicator, Conductor


               

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