Out of Brass Band?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Dale Proctor, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. gbshelbymi

    gbshelbymi Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 3, 2013
    Travelers Rest, SC
    I was on the Board of the band I was in for a while. I learned that it takes quite a bit of money to keep a brass band afloat. A big part of our budget came from concert series ticket sales. (We were fortunate that we didn't have to pay for our rehearsal space, or it would have been much worse.) And the general public will only pay to attend if they are entertained, of course. So you have to program things the audience likes. Our director did a pretty good job of mixing in more "artistic" selections with the drivel.
  2. Bochawa!!!

    Bochawa!!! Forte User

    Nov 4, 2007
    Our big band is in it's 22nd season. I think you've hit the nail on the head here. The audience/band relationship is symbiotically mutualistic (Did I just say that?). It's all about balance and variety. Nobody's going to like everything.
  3. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    I dunno, maybe I'd prefer Superman over the Poet and Peasant Overture, which if I never heard or played it again would be too soon, and one reason why I won't play in our community band, (Not that they'd have me.)

    What's happening for me is that jazz playing opportunities are just vanishing. There used be be improv ops (jam sessions) a couple of times a week, but now the only one is too late for me to get to and still function the next day at work. Of course, that's me and AGING which is the root cause.
  4. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    43 years for the band I'm in now. Players come and go as they please. Some folks don't like that, BUT, we play more than any other band in town. The director has a good pulse on what the audience wants. We rarely play the same piece twice in a season, Christmas is the exception because it's Christmas. I feel your pain though. We had to play Gangnam Style last year. Not because he liked it, but it was "the" song that year. We will probably never play it again! PHEW!!! Maybe you just need a better, ahem, director.
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Some perspective: I play Rock & Roll horns lines in a top 40 wedding/party band. This is not my favorite genre of music to play. It's not really even 2nd or 3rd. Why do I do it? Simple - it PAYS, and I gig regularly. Does this mean I'm miserable doing it? Not at all. I find ways to enjoy what I'm doing, and for every tune that's pretty lame (and a lot of the current hits are pretty lame) there's some other really fun stuff out of the Motown or disco eras that makes it more enjoyable.

    I've always said, if it stops being fun, that's when I'll stop doing it.
  6. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    We were fortunate in our band to have two or three half decent arrangers. And with scores being a significant part of the band's financial outlay, management was only too happy to take on freebies, especially as we could adapt scores to suit the instrumentation and different abilities within the group.

    Obviously, we had to keep a wary eye on copyright issues, but it's a very grey area with medley's etc and we never had any bother.

    And today there's so much readily available assistance such as Musescore and Sibelius and how-to... sites such as here that you don't really need a degree in music to do it.

    Just a thought.
  7. Pinstriper

    Pinstriper Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 26, 2013
    Our community big band just turned 2 years old. We have at least one gig every month, and have had as many as three ! We are playing at farmers markets, art fairs and such, plus the usual circuit of retirement homes.

    Depending on the setting, we play Swing, a lot of Count Basie/Nestico, old Kenton, dance music, and are now adding in some roaring 20's jazz. It kinda makes me cringe when we're playing things like Alley Cat and PA6-5000, but...frankly, if you "sell" the piece, the audience enjoys it more and it is more fun to play.

    Our director is very open and has announced that anyone is free to bring up a piece, and he will acquire an arrangement, and we'll try it. With the proviso that he will have to assess whether it is within the capabilities of the band and how much time to invest in getting the piece ready, within the rest of the book. Many pieces get no more than a single run through before it is more or less universally decided to put it away "for another time". But the openness is great and it also stretches the band to be better.

    But I'm glad we don't have to do "pop", which is something that would give me pause about another type of group.
  8. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    That describes most of the bands I've ever played in. :D Good, but just not quite at that next level, which is fine because I'm not at that next level either. As long as it's fun and the music is interesting, it doesn't have to be perfect. That's the beauty of live music, and people who expect perfection in local groups have been listening to too many edited CDs.

    As far as paying gigs go, well, that's like work, and you have a job to do whether or not you enjoy the music. You give it your best and at least act like you want to be there... Of course, if the gig is fun and or satisfying, that's a plus.
  9. Bochawa!!!

    Bochawa!!! Forte User

    Nov 4, 2007
    And so "musician" is the world's second oldest profession!
  10. gunshowtickets

    gunshowtickets Forte User

    Mar 11, 2015
    Tidewater, VA
    "Be the change you want to see in the [band]," or something like that.

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