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2012: October

This month we give our opinions on the future of a brass band registry, musical problems in Norway and praise the great Howard Snell.

The future of a British Brass Band Registry

The decision of Kapitol Promotions to back the creation of a new Brass Band Players Registry from 2013 has destroyed the last vestiges of credibility the British Federation of Brass Bands/Brass Bands England had in trying to maintain their increasingly tenuous hold on running a fully functional British Brass Band Registry.

The spasmodic reactionary death throes of an organisation that has allowed itself to be sunk by its own management deficiencies has been pitiful.

The BFBB/BBE has only itself to blame: The British Brass Band Registry has been crying out for radical change ever since the decision was made to open up contesting to professional as well as amateur players back in the early 1990s.

A combination of a lack of vision, investment and increasingly antagonistic internal management eventually led to its collapse; the hollow sounding call to arms behind a banner proclaiming ‘business as usual’ allied to the promise of £10,000 of upgraded restructuring reeking of desperation.

The time when money could solve this particular problem passed a long time ago. 

The basic premise to secure the future of banding in the UK is for someone to address the twin reasons why we need a player based registry in the first place, and in having one, what benefits it can bring to all levels of the banding movement?

If Kapitol can offer the constructive answers, with a system that is modern, robust, flexible and proactive, based on the fundamental assertion of giving the individual player a stake in the banding movement they are being asked to be a part of, then they deserve to succeed.

The BFBB/BBE has had its chance and has failed: Now has come the time to support a new body. If it is run correctly it could well prove to be the saving of the banding movement in the UK.

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


Norwegian turmoil

Spare a thought for what has been going on in Norwegian banding of late.

Hailed by its admirers (4BR included) as a beacon of modern, democratic management and organisation, the Norwegian Band Federation has found itself mired in a bit of bother over the selection of an alternative test piece (or test pieces as the case may be) for the Elite Division of its National Championship next February.

The competing bands say they are not happy with the choices made by the Head of the Music Department – yet it’s Geir Ulseth who is charged with taking the responsibility to find or commission works for the Championship each year – something which until now hasn’t been too much of a problem.

They also say they were not consulted over his alternative triple choice of ‘Resurgam’, ‘Introduction’ and ‘In Perfect Peace’, and that they should have been asked for their opinions.

Perhaps so, but then again, Norwegian bands are no different to any others when it comes to a form of musical self preservation – and there may be a little bit of that involved here.

This may seem a rather mix and match musical answer, but then again it is only for one year, will certainly test the bands and means that there will be two readymade contemporary works in the pipeline for 2014 and 2015.

There is also a feeling that deep down, the bands also realise that they don’t play Eric Ball’s music very well either – and these choices may well show the rest of the world that too.

Whatever the case, the Elite bands should abide by the decision, ensure that alternative arrangements are put in place if the situation arises again, make the most of what they have been given and thank their lucky stars they are not faced with the problems that are tearing banding apart over in the UK.

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


In praise of Howard Snell 

In a couple of week’s time, some of the very best bands in the UK will battle it out to try and claim the title of Champion Band of Great Britain at the Royal Albert Hall.

They will do so on the greatest ever arrangement of an orchestral work written for brass band, with Howard Snell’s masterful treatment of Ravel’s ‘Daphnis and Chloe’.

Those lucky enough to have first heard it at the European Championships in Cardiff in 1986 were stunned by it. 26 years later an even larger audience will have the opportunity to sit back and enjoy the crowning glory of the art of brass band arranging.

There is little doubt it will stun the listeners once more.

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



Foden's Band - Sandbach Transport Festival

Sunday 22 April • Sandbach Town Centre CW11 1AE


Contest: National Youth Championships

Sunday 22 April • Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick, Gibbet Hill Rd, Coventry CV4 7AL


The Hepworth Band - Wakefield Grammar School Foundation Chorus

Sunday 22 April • Queen Elizabeth Grammar School (QEGS). Northgate. Wakefield WF1 3QX


Lofthouse Brass Band - Mayor's Annual Charity Concert

Monday 23 April • Ossett Town Hall, Market Place, Ossett WF5 8BE WF5 8BE


Regent Hall Concerts - Clarendon Brass Ensemble

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


Lofthouse Brass Band

April 23 • Lofthouse Brass Band require a DRUMMER to complete their line up. We are a friendly 3rd section band who rehearse on Thursday evenings 7.30pm - 9pm and Saturday mornings 10am - 12noon at Outwood WMC.


Lindley Band

April 22 • TUTTI CORNET required to join friendly team who enjoy a sensible balance of contests and high quality engagements under the direction of our new MD Rob Westacott. We rehearse Monday and Wednesday evenings in our own bandroom just 1 mile from M62 Jcn 24.


Lindley Band

April 22 • FIRST HORN required to join friendly team who enjoy a sensible balance of contests and high quality engagements under the direction of our new MD Rob Westacott. We rehearse Monday and Wednesday evenings in our modern bandroom just 1 mile from M62 Jcn 24.


Gary Davies


Conductor, Band Trainer, Adjudicator