*
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    


Bach

4BR Tuesday Interview with Michael Bach

April 20 • 4BR talks to the well known conductor about the first steps back to post Covid-19 musical normality in his country and his hopes that Swiss banding can hopefully 'Rejoice' at the National Championships later in the year.


sbba

SBBA launches newsletter

April 20 • The Scottish Brass Band Association has launched a newsletter to get its message direct to bands.


Bradofrd

Brass returns to the playgrounds in Bradford

April 20 • The sound of brass has been heard in the Bradford area once more as Covid-19 relaxations brings back face to face peripatetic teaching.


Fodens

Foden's add publishing arm to musical portfolio

April 20 • Foden's Band Publishing will see the North West Area champion promote and develop their own stable of in-house composers.


Contest: 100thSpring Festival

Saturday 8 May • 97 Church St, Blackpool, FY1 1HL


Contest: 168th British Open

Saturday 11 September • Symphony Hall, Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA


Contest: Lower Section National Finals

Saturday 18 September • The Centaur, Cheltenham Race Course, Prestbury, Cheltenham GL40 4SH


Contest: Lower Section National Finals

Sunday 19 September • The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse, Prestbury, Cheltenham, GL40 4SH


Contest: National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain

Saturday 2 October • Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London SW7 2AP


Chinnor Silver

April 19 • With rehearsals starting soon in line with government guidelines we are looking to strengthen BACKROW CORNETS &PERCUSSION TEAM concerts and contests planned.we rehearse on wednesdays in our own bandroom check out our lockdown performances and come join us


Chadderton Band

April 17 • Chadderton Band is a friendly non-contesting band playing at various events throughout the year. We are looking for players of all ages and abilities on all sections of the band particularly on Euph Drums and Horn. Come along for a blow most welcome.


Oxford Cherwell Brass

April 14 • Returning to the band room in May we have vacancies for second and third cornets. Rehearsals are Wednesday evenings 8-10pm at Edward Feild School, Kidlington. The band has engagements and contests lined up from late summer onwards.


Kevin Wadsworth


Conductor, adjudicator, teacher (ABBA)


               

 © 2021 4barsrest.com Ltd