The Seminar was an attempt to show everyone the thinking behind the idea that a transparent system of judging could be beneficial to all bands, conductors, audiences and even help the adjudicators themselves.
To bring a little more objectivity into the fundamentally subjective process of assessment has to be a good thing. I produced some methodology to show that the same process can be applied to brass band entertainment contests and solo contests.
I tried to answer point by point all the concerns expressed by the ABBA, but in my opinion the leading figures from this organisation came to the Seminar with closed minds. They were not able to engage fully in the issues, and the questions they asked, for the most part, showed a complete reluctance to imagine any change to the current system. This aspect was perhaps the most disappointing.
Other visitors and all the RNCM students responded terrifically to the Seminar. I am grateful to the four guest speakers for their balanced views and excellent presentations. All the material I produced for the Seminar is available now for download now.
Here is the main text/information from the Seminar. Click HERE
Also available are sample mark sheets for brass contests, both test piece and entertainment, as well as quartet and solo contests. Click HERE
Some have asked me what would be the next step. Ideally this should be taken by others...my euphonium is very demanding of me for the next months, and I will concentrate on this. People know my opinions now.
Whilst we have leaders of the ABBA with such apparent lack of vision and exhibit a fear of transparency, we will have to be very patient. One comment from the ABBA Chairman has stayed in the memory. When someone suggested we need some talented musicians perhaps from outside the close knit community of the band world, to adjudicate band contests, and presumably join the ABBA, he replied, "I asked someone to give me a list of names, but they didn't get back to me !"
Until the band world gets some proper structures in place and all prevalent apathy can be shaken off, the status quo will remain.
I recorded the entire seminar onto a DVD and will try to make this available soon.
If you haven't yet read my full report on the Criteria Judging Experiment (published December 2010), you can download it HERE.