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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



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.. .


Morgan Griffiths

Dip. Performance
Conductor, Peripatetic Music Teacher, Lower brass specialist


               

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