Positives Derived

Pleasant Day out.
See how other bands present themselves and perform.
View musical equipment for sale.
We Grew more proficient as players during our practices..
More confident for next contest think the competition is fantastic to hone us musically as well as.
Amazing for our standing in the community.
We grew the band to a new level and also individuals improved.
Dynamics improved but still needs to be a focus in all we play
Provides an opportunity to concentrate on contest music to raise the level of the bands sound and
musical ability
Appreciate Harold’s in depth “Workshopping” our own choice “New World Symphony” Dvorak
We were up to the challenge. The band has improved since last years contest. The band is better
than 12 months ago. We are a community band, of varying ages and abilities
Experience of playing in a competition
Being assessed
Comparing my playing standard to others
Taking on a challenge as a team
Building of esprit de corps
Contact with other bands
Hearing feedback (adjudication) for all bands
Listening to other bands
Areas of improvement
Playing as a team
Playing the music as written
Timing/sync with conductor
Improve intonation
Improve tone
Sectional Practice IS required
Sections must practice together to blend their sounds…refer to the YouTube playback of the contest
Balance across the band (hard when sections are different numbers)
Always playing together- entries etc
Probably some more section practices and the Band Assoc could be given a shake up!!!
As feedback provided by the adjudicator, tone and consistency were lacking in our performance.
Hard to comment personally as I only listened I wasn’t there in person
People could have ran their own section rehearsals to improve their playing. Aside from that the
band rehearsals were ran great and very in-depth
Players placed under great pressure
Months and months of emphasis on performance and contesting for an adjudicator
Felt bored, jaded and thought had peaked in performance well before the day
Formal military style uniform looked over the top in comparison to other bands. It was too hot and
Disparity between adjudicators comments and the numbers he bestowed.
Accurate reading of parts from the beginning, before inaccuracies imbedded
Valuing all players
Listening and supporting

Suggested Action

Rethink contesting and consider band members wishes re contesting. Perhaps an anonymous written
If undertake contesting again, set a time for intensive practice (eg 8 weeks) so that it doesn’t drag on
and on
Vests and open necked shirts would have been more suitable and fitted in with other bands attire
During rehearsal break into sections that play the same part to ensure we can all listen for each other
Listen to a rehearsal session together to provide critique before the performance
More section rehearsals
Letter to Band Assoc
ALL band members need to always listen across the band
Section practice 30 minutes prior to rehearsal
Audition: A new charts B: Existing charts in preparation for 2024
More practice
Sectional rehearsal
Practice at home and in groups
Playing with click track recording to hear self
Intonation exercises at home
Practice +++ lessons
Sectional work at an early stage -0 planned
Talking more than “go to website”
Careful work with tuning and intonation….consistently
Be willing to listen when there are issues within the band
Not (negatively) judging individuals who try to help
Valuing long-term service as well as “young” and “new” i.e. notice what hidden contributions are
made all the time- recognition is not needed, but vilification is totally wrong

General comments

Lets enter the 2024 NSW state Contest….I like the challenge
All the stress for one mans opinion, is it worth it?Are bands who win a section required to go up to
the next section? If not, where is the incentive for us to compete? Cant stay in the same grade if you
win in sport, for example.
Seems somewhat selfish and egotistical for a band to compete in a grade lower than they should
We can keep striving for improvement but band must always remain fun
The adjudicators comments don’t seem in sync with the marks given
I’d prefer to put the same effort that we put into the contest into preparing for a concert instead, I
think it would be more satisfying
When is the winning band required to progress to the next grade?
As a community band we don’t want to turn people away or tell them not to play because the
section is already full, guess that means we have to work even harder at the balance issue

Musical Directors Response

Firstly, a big thank you to all members who took the time to either fill in this survey or to let me know
your thoughts in other ways.
There are a number of very positive thoughts being submitted here which will allow the band to
grow further and plan ahead for the next years or so.
I believe that there is a value in the band competing at a state level, it provides us with a focus to
improve and independent feed back as a result. I said many times before the contest, that the points
don’t matter and sadly this proved the case. Yes, I was disappointed in the result as I felt the band
took a step up in its onstage presence, confidence and unity, that is the bonus we get from
It is pleasing to see the number of comments pushing for sectional practices and greater rehearsal of
contest material which I will be happy to facilitate as need be.
Will we contest again? I think at this point that will rely very heavily on the actions of the Band
Association as there is little point being beaten by the same bands again, this I think needs to be
carefully monitored (please look at the suggested action plan)
I am saddened and more than a little annoyed that an anonymous member chose to use this contest
feedback form to throw accusations of vilification around, this is well outside the scope of the
questions asked, well outside of the code of conduct carefully developed by the committee to ensure
the equal treatment of members and unwarranted at this time.
There are two other comments I wish to address, both made anonymously as was allowed: More talk
instead of go to website: We have very limited time on a Tuesday to rehearse, so I try to reduce the
talk and get on with more music as much as I can, seeing as we don’t currently have access to our
own bandroom, our website is our virtual presence and anything that is needed is put on there as
soon as possible, this includes discussions on rehearsals, recordings and all sorts of things relating to
the band, it is there and accessible to all financial members for there perusal.
Lastly there is a comment about pressure on players: Im not sure if this relates to pressure being
applied to learn your part (which should be standard practice regardless of contests) or pressure
being applied to contest. Let me be perfectly clear, no member is forced to perform against their
wishes in any circumstance. No member was forced to attend rehearsals any more than any other
performance or playing, A contest is just another performance and should be treated as such, as with
any membership of an organisation, there is a reasonable assumption that a member will take part
as they can. The decision to contest remains the sole discretion of the Musical Director, however,
members are free to express their opinions to the director or to the committee.
Again thank you to all our members who played, supported or encouraged a fine performance of the
Camden Community Band.
Action Plan
1. These comments be made available to committee and general band members for their perusal
2. A letter be drafted and circulated to the band addressed to the Band Association NSW, outlining
the concerns regarding grading and the obvious disparity between D grade bands and lack of C grade
3. Sectional practices: should the band compete again, regular section practices be scheduled and
run prior to band
4: Team work: Members of the band invited to form small group ensembles, they can play before
band when sectionals are not required, this would help build up team skills and provided better
opportunities for players to listen to each other.
5: Work towards a concert prior to contest time which would allow is to focus on other music
6: If contesting rehearse at least once in a different suitable venue to experience the different
intonations and balances