*
banner

BBC clarify Big Band position

BBC Executive Producer has spoken to 4BR about the future of their BBC 'Big Band Special' radio programme and that of shows such as 'Listen to the Band'.

 

BBC Executive Producer Bob McDowell has spoken to 4BR to clarify a number of points raised by our recent news item concerning the alleged demise of the BBC Big Band from the airways of the BBC.

Concerns and opinions

4BR highlighted the concerns and opinions of Malcolm Laycock in a letter to the Guardian newspaper in its Media Section of the 15th December, in which he berated the corporation and Bob McDowell for what he saw as the unilateral decision to take BBC ‘Big Band Special’ radio programme off the air.

Important part

Bob told 4BR: "The RPO has been managing the BBC Big Band for almost a year. However, the BBC Big Band has been managed outside of the BBC since 1994 when it ceased to be a full time staff concern.
“The BBC Big Band remains an important part of Radio 2’s output with its own weekly programme Big Band Special."

This means that programmes such as ‘Big Band Special’ and Listen to the Band remain a valued part of BBC Radio 2’s output both now and in the futureBob McDowell

Responsible

When asked about its future by 4BR, Bob McDowell replied: "As things stand this programme has been commissioned until at least April of 2010. The BBC remains editorially responsible for all aspects of this programme and for the ongoing partnership with the Town Hall, Birmingham.

"This includes the band’s own regular series of concerts at the Town Hall; the first time a big band has enjoyed such status in the UK."

No axe

So does the BBC intend to axe the programme 4BR asked?

Bob added: "As far as the Malcolm Laycock programme is concerned this is most definitely not being ‘axed’. The format and emphasis of the programme has changed. British Dance bands of the 1920’s and 30’s will feature less but the programme is and will remain 100% devoted to big band music in all its forms.

"All of the specialist music genres that are covered by BBC Radio 2 are subject to the service agreements agreed between the BBC and the BBC Trust."

Value of the programme

The former ‘Listen to the Band’ Producer also outlined the value of programmes such as the BBC’ Big Band Special’ and ‘Listen to the Band’ to the BBC.

"This means that programmes such as ‘Big Band Special’ and Listen to the Band remain a valued part of BBC Radio 2’s output both now and in the future.

"Listen to the Band is an important outlet for brass bands. The programme gives them a massive level of exposure to a radio audience, many of who would never dream of visiting a brass band contest or concert."

Turning the question

As a final point however, Bob McDowell turned the question of the challenge of producing a programme such as BBC ‘Big Band Special’ and ‘Listen to the Band’ around.

"Weekly exposure at this level presents challenges as well as opportunities. It is often asked ‘what is the BBC doing for brass bands?’ The question asked less frequently is ‘what are brass bands doing for the BBC and its audience?

"Strong creative partnerships, more than anything else, are what will secure the future of programmes like ‘Listen to the Band’ and allow brass bands to show their biggest audience just how much they have to offer."

Become a supporter and help make our future secure.

4barsrest continues to be a proudly independent voice. There are no paywalls to overcome to be able to enjoy what we do to keep our journalism at the heart of the brass banding world. Support us with a one-off donation or subscribe from just £2.50 per month.

Support us    


pRINCIPAS

National Youth enjoying destination Repton

August 3 • The players of the National Youth Band of Great Britain have headed to Repton School for their Summer Course under Cory MD, Philip Harper


Wellington

New Zealand reflects on National boost

August 2 • New Zealand banding returned to the post Covid-19 contesting stage with a sense of rejuvenation — led by a new generation of young players.


Bolsover

Communal approach brings Covid success for Bolsover

August 2 • Extensive preparations and communal support gives the Bolsover International Brass Band Summer School a clean bill of health as well as a huge musical boost.


Butlins

Cash and carry at Butlin's in 2022

July 31 • There is plenty of prize money to win at the Butlin's Open Brass Band Festival in January — with individuals, ensembles and bands able to carry off big cash prizes.


Regent Hall Concerts - Trafalgar Brass

Friday 6 August • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London SE7 8RE


Epping Forest Band - Proms on the Green

Sunday 8 August • On the green outside the Epping Forest District Council Civic Offices CM16 4BZ


Regent Hall Concerts - Arc Brass

Friday 13 August • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London . SE7 8RE


Regent Hall Concerts - The Wind Ensemble of the Band of the RAF Regiment

Friday 20 August • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London . SE7 8RE


Regent Hall Concerts - The Brass Ensemble of the Central Band of the RAF

Friday 27 August • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London . SE7 8RE


Uppermill Band

August 3 • . UPPERMILL, current National 3rd Sect.Champions and North West Area 2nd. Section Champions are heading to Cheltenham in Sept. to compete in the National 2nd Sect. Finals. We require a SOLO CORNET player to join Team UPPERMILL


Golborne Brass

August 2 • We are an eclectic bunch, with a fun loving outlook and the only thing we take seriously is music and entertainment. If you have had a while off and fancy getting back in to it, or find your current position a little stale, you need to get in touch, now!


Reading Spring Gardens Brass Band

August 2 • A vacancy exists for a capable and committed solo cornet player to join the band as it establishes itself in the third section.


Neil Samuel


Conductor


               

 © 2021 4barsrest.com Ltd