*
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    


Cheltenham

Result: 2021 National Championships of Great Britain: Section 1

September 18 • Kingdom Brass and Ian Porthouse are triumphant as they claim First Section honours


Cheltenham

Result: 2021 National Championships of Great Britain: Section 3

September 18 • The return of competitive banding in the UK after the enforced Covid 19 break sees Tewitt Silver first past the finishing post at Cheltenham Racecourse.


cd

2022 Area test pieces announced

September 18 • Works by Wilfred Heaton, Gilbert Vinter, Goff Richards, Gordon Langford and Stephan Hodel will test the qualification credentials of bands next year if they want to get to London and Cheltenham.


Steve Sykes

Adjudicator Covid-19 test result impacts National Final

September 17 • Steve Sykes will not adjudicate at the Section 1 National Final this weekend due to a positive Covid-19 test result.


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


Bodmin Town Band - Bodmin Town Band in concert

Friday 24 September • St Petroc's Church, Priory Road, Bodmin PL31 2DT


Regent Hall Concerts - RAF Central Band Brass Ensemble & Seraphim Consort

Thursday 30 September • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London. WC1 2 DJ WC1 2 DJ


Regent Hall Concerts - Fulham Band

Friday 1 October • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London. WC1 2 DJ WC1 2 DJ


Bollington Brass Band

September 16 • Looking for a new challenge? We are currently recruiting a Solo Cornet, E Flat Bass, Tuned and or Kit Percussionist. Friendly 1st section North West. Sensible contest and concert program throughout the year. Currently rehearsing Thursdays 8-10pm.


Chinnor Silver

September 15 • We are looking to strengthen the band and require PERCUSSION CORNET AND 2ND TROMBONE PLAYERS.. Rehearsals are on a wednesday in our own bandroom.. Good atmosphere in this ambitious friendly band so give us a call.. Concerts and contests planned


Ashton under Lyne Band

September 15 • SOPRANO CORNET: We are looking for a confident and competent player to join our experienced cornet bench. Rehearsals are on Monday nights 8-10pm and we have a sensible and good quality forthcoming concert and contest schedule.


Prof. Christopher Houlding

MMus, GGSM, LRAM
Conductor, Performer, Educator


               

 © 2021 4barsrest.com Ltd