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Koen88

Sax Drinker / Beer player
Messages
426
Hey Everybody,

I know there must be a few directors, frontmen, chairmen, people who are concerned with the presence of you co-musicians on rehearsals.

i'm chairman / frontman and 1st sax of a party wind/brass band. We are quite a relax group, some people just picked up their instrument again just a year ago some of us have been playing 20+ years quite a mixed group.
our "gigs" aren`t paid ones but we tag along with a another club(the ones with the pointy hats in the background) during carnaval (its hard to explain: cultural difference) to give you an idea:

yes there is allways a lot of beer involved during gigs, not during rehearsel and I'm not playing with them ont this vid. This is during the brake from my party/cover band (stage is behind them).

so fun is the first thing that counts, second is beginning and ending together, third is tuning.

we are bigger then ever now reaching to 26 members currently, but still struggling with the presence during rehearsels, and performances. We only rehearse from oktober to march, but the number of people showing up is still to low. And today I had to call off the rehearsel with only 6 of 26 people who were available tonight.

how do other bands/ensembles etc. keep up numbers? I know I'm keeping the music diverse even arranging own covers for our group.

share you opinions, tips and advise. I'm sure we arent the only club having the same problem.

P.S.
this isn`t breakfast but I couldnt fit it in elsewhere, so this is more of a supper subject.
 
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MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,556
Hi there,
I have no idea how we do it.
We are a 40 member community wind band.
We meet once every 2-3 weeks during school term-times, on a Sunday afternoon.
Usually 30-35 people turn up each time.
We have 2 conductors - one leans towards jazz / blues / swing and the other towards classical. They are very different characters. They each do a 1-hour session.
We play in public about 4 - 6 times a year, usually at village fetes, nursing homes, civic events. Never in quite such a party atmosphere as you have there. I suspect some of our members are too old for such frivolity!
We are never paid, and often raise money for other charities.

On a Sunday, we have a 2-hour practice session, with tea / coffee and biscuits.

The whole thing is very laid-back, enjoyable and a really good social event too.
 

Koen88

Sax Drinker / Beer player
Messages
426
Hi there,
I have no idea how we do it.
We are a 40 member community wind band.
We meet once every 2-3 weeks during school term-times, on a Sunday afternoon.
Usually 30-35 people turn up each time.
We have 2 conductors - one leans towards jazz / blues / swing and the other towards classical. They are very different characters. They each do a 1-hour session.
We play in public about 4 - 6 times a year, usually at village fetes, nursing homes, civic events. Never in quite such a party atmosphere as you have there. I suspect some of our members are too old for such frivolity!
We are never paid, and often raise money for other charities.

On a Sunday, we have a 2-hour practice session, with tea / coffee and biscuits.

The whole thing is very laid-back, enjoyable and a really good social event too.
sounds nice too, 2 conductors.. well, our rehearsal is most of the time from 8:30 to 10:30 but with a loose atmosphere and a few beers, and a break for 20 min.

I dont that age is the matter.. the 2 oldest are in their 40s, 5 or so are in their 30's the rest is 30- and even a few 20-

and our public performances do have some similarities, we play on village events too, and in a nursing home, and during the new years dive etc.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,946
I have experience as chairman of two choirs and another music group, plus other groups over the years.

Your issues probably stem from your informality. If you are too informal, people will not take rehearsals seriously and will therefore be poor at commiting and only turn up when there is nothing more exciting to distract them (sorry if that seems harsh, but I'm afraid it's human nature).

Both of my choirs have formal attendance requirements (you must attend 75% of rehearsals for a given event to be able to perform - exceptions have to be agreed with the music director). Rehearsals are weekly evenings in term time and last for two hours.

Because we have to pay for rehearsal venues, accompanists and conductors, we have subscriptions, so this probably helps too.

If you need a 'core' group to function as a band, then you will need to consider constituting yourselves more formally as an organisation and establishing some ground rules (e.g. rehearsal schedule, times, minimum attendance requirements etc).

If you make it a little more organised then people's attitude will change and they wil take it more 'seriously'.

You can still have fun.
 
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Nick Cook

Member
Messages
861
I agree with everything Tenorviol said!

I'm in a community orchestra and we have subs of £25 a term to pay for hall hire, director's work producing the music, etc. We practice 9 evenings a term from 7:00 to 9:00 and play a free concert on the 10th week. There is a collection for charity at the concert.

We also have a lot of fun - it's not as formal as it sounds, and if you don't turn up it's a big waste of £25!!!
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,946
I agree with everything Tenorviol said!

I'm in a community orchestra and we have subs of £25 a term to pay for hall hire, director's work producing the music, etc. We practice 9 evenings a term from 7:00 to 9:00 and play a free concert on the 10th week. There is a collection for charity at the concert.

We also have a lot of fun - it's not as formal as it sounds, and if you don't turn up it's a big waste of £25!!!
Sounds about right - one choir is £80, the other is £90. The community orchestra I've just joined is £4 per week so about £50 per term.

We have to charge for most concerts as we have overheads of booking venues, soloists, musicians, music hire, insurance etc
 

Koen88

Sax Drinker / Beer player
Messages
426
thank you for your insights, I'm afraid the situation is quite complex.

We are somewhat related to a more formal wind/brass band and about 50% of the "party" band are members of the more formal wind/brass band. with the more formal band (light classical, musical etc.) memberships are dropping and we are hoping some of the people that picked up their instrument again and play with us might join the more formal band too, in time offcourse.

It is my first year as chairman so changes will be necessary, so im intrigued by the attendancy percentage but what happens If the people dont reach their 75% ?
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Subscriber
Messages
3,409
I just love what your doing and doubt that there is anything similar in the uk,what a great way to have fun and enjoy playing even if your not that good and the more you play the better everybody is going to get FAB-U-LUS
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
Well, as far as " Carnival" bands are concerned I think this is not bad at all! :)

I play in a much worse community band well known in Amsterdam, " The Oktopedians" . This is an improvisation " orchestra" founded in 1972 by Herman de Wit ( also know as Herbie White......in a jocular way!) with the very alternative view that anybody should be learning to play as they sing. So no prior knowledge of music is required and reading was , at least originally, frowned upon. People can show up or not at rehearsal so you never really know who knows what and every time some people miss a few evenings you have to re-study a piece all over again (remember this is all playing by memory and ear!)

This is a band were all sorts of people play together which means some who can play more or less well and some who play plainly badly all play alongside each other. We all have a ball! Among us there are all sorts of folks, many senior citizens among whom a soprano player who has an hearing aid (can you imagine what that sounds like?) but I can guarantee we have lots of fun playing together. I am not sure the audience has fun too..... :) :

Thursday we will have our new year concert...........in typical Oktopedians style we haven't played together for weeks (because of the Xmas holidays) and we will have a quick rehearsal just before playing.

Some of us are expected to play pieces that we've never played together or ever played at all! It will be the usual Oktopedians sound.......
 

Koen88

Sax Drinker / Beer player
Messages
426
what I noticed with people who get started again or dont know how to read that well, that they develop their hearing much faster then some others who are "stuck" at the printed notes.

We have a sousaphone player now, he started last year on tuba but wanted to play sousaphone, he`s quite enthousiastic now and knows allready some parts by head!

but after the story from milandro, I guess it could be worse ;}
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Milandro,
Your mob sounds a bit like the famed and sadly missed Portsmouth Symphony.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,946
thank you for your insights, I'm afraid the situation is quite complex.

We are somewhat related to a more formal wind/brass band and about 50% of the "party" band are members of the more formal wind/brass band. with the more formal band (light classical, musical etc.) memberships are dropping and we are hoping some of the people that picked up their instrument again and play with us might join the more formal band too, in time offcourse.

It is my first year as chairman so changes will be necessary, so im intrigued by the attendancy percentage but what happens If the people dont reach their 75% ?
Hi Koen88

I'll send a proper reply later - got to head to work now!
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,556
Milandro,
Your mob sounds a bit like the famed and sadly missed Portsmouth Symphony.
they weren't the ones that Chris Evans played on his breakfast show, where they??

where they were all excellent musicians, but had to play each other's instruments with one lesson of instruction from their fellow band member.
So they could all read music really well, and kept perfectly to the rhythm, but they had little idea on where their fingers should be.

It was quite a hilarious piece.

But maybe I have the wrong orchestra.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,946
Hi Koen88

I'll send a proper reply later - got to head to work now!
Sorry rather long day....

In both choirs, new members receive a welcome pack. In that we provide everything you need to know: contact info, rehearsal details, what we do, types of music we perform, policy re hire of music, what music we expect members to have themselves (i.e. which we do not provide). Included in there is the policy on attendance.

Most people adhere to the rules. We know we always will have times when it's difficult (business trips, holidays, family events etc). It's made clear that they need to talk to the music director. If he thinks they know the music well enough, or knows that they are diligent enough to practise at home, he'll let them sing in the concert, if not then they have to sit it out (and we don't do refunds on subs because they can't make the concert - the sub is for the whole year).

It's a case of acquiring and developign good habits. In fact in both choirs it's rare to have to enforce it.
 
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