facebook twitter rss vimeo

*
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."



Mead

Plans set for Bolsover Summer School

February 24 • More exciting plans have been put in place for the sixth Bolsover International Brass Band Summer School led by Steven Mead in July — and you can be a part of it...


Jones

RNCM announces major Philip Jones Brass Ensemble competition

February 24 • A major partnership between the RNCM in Manchester and Ursula Jones will see the hosting of the inaugural Philip Jones International Brass Ensemble Competition in July 2019.


Centre Stage

Drum rolls please — and keep it deliberately quiet

February 24 • The new MP-Drum from Centre Stage Percussion is being unveiled at the North West Regional Championship.


Spring

2018 Spring Festival details announced

February 24 • The list of bands competing at the 98th British Open Spring Festival have been announced by the contest organisers.


Contest: North West Regional Championships

Sunday 25 February • Winter Gardens Complex, Church Street, Blackpool. FY1 1HU


Friary Guildford Brass Band - the best of Guildford's musical talent

Sunday 25 February • Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Millbrook, Guildford GU1 3UX


Northop Silver Band - Northop Brass

Thursday 1 March • Northop Band Room CH7 6BQ


Regent Hall Concerts - Guildhall Brass Band

Friday 2 March • Regent Hall. (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London W1C 2DJ (opposite RESERVED) W1C 2DJ


Contest: Yorkshire Regional Championships

Saturday 3 March • Corporation St, Huddersfield HD1 2TA


Enderby Band

February 24 • Enderby Band are looking for a SOLO TROMBONE to join us after the Area Contest. We are a hard-working and sociable band and are looking for a committed player to fill a key seat. We have a sensible mix of concert and contests throughout the year.


West Somerset Brass Band

February 23 • West Somerset Brass is looking to strengthen its cornet and baritone section. We are a community band playing all over Somerset and hope to undertake a tour to France later in the year. If you can play whatever standard please make contact


The Corsham Band

February 22 • Having now been promoted to the 2nd Section for the forthcoming Contest season, the band are now looking for a back row cornet player, 2nd or 3rd, to join our team


Alan Duguid

BA (Hons), PGDipMus, PGCE
Conductor, Composer, Adjudicator (ABBA)