Not long to go now! A few rehearsals left. BHMY have been working hard on the di…

Not long to go now! A few rehearsals left. BHMY have been working hard on the display for the 12th May.

BHMY have been on a transitional journey over the last few years. We’ve moved away from the competition circuit in favour of opening up our musical repertoire, our performance opportunities and most importantly our age range. This means we can offer a higher level of instruction for the children and produce a better sound overall. It also gives our older members the opportunity to stay with us within a leadership role and continue to do what they love doing- which looks great on the college/uni application and CV! All of this has given us a better structure within the band and means on parade, we have a higher level of safeguarding.

Whilst competitions were popular among our members at the time, the Bandmasters felt that we put too many hours of effort into our annual display which we would take to various contests/events and perform. We mostly performed to the parents of our own members and a handful of other band’s members/parents – we wanted the opportunity to perform to larger audiences. We realised we could do this much closer to home and without the ££££’s coach bill! Most importantly, we found that attendance and membership dwindled because of the commitment that was expected.

We also found that the judging system was very much based on personal opinion and we felt it was unfair that judges were able to place a band based on their preference towards it or lack of preference. The judges comments were usually positive – which is lovely, but not helpful to us as they didn’t really offer us any ways to improve the band. We were looking to ‘experts’ to help improve our band – we didn’t realise that we had the skills to do so ourselves.

Now, we approach our display in a different way. We prepare the band for a specific event, which then takes place and then we move on to the next one! It has meant that we have more of a focus for our rehearsals, our cadets can move up into the Main Band at any time of the year, we can choose what music we play/how we march for each event adding variety to our year – which is beneficial to both the band members and the parents who watch!!

The tattoo display has been a quick turn around because we had a concert in March which we were preparing for for a good few months before hand. We hardly did any marching during that time, so it was hard work to get back into the mindset of marching and playing! This will be the least amount of time we have ever used to put together a display.

BHMY has also had a huge influx of new members so there are at least 13 children aged between 8 and 13 that are new to the band or have swapped instruments and have never done a marching display before.

The 12th of May is a chance for all of our Main Band members to perform a marching display in front of an audience. We are very much looking forward to it – can not wait to get on the coach and have a whole day as a group. Our new ones won’t have experienced anything like it before!

**I firmly believe that there is a place for marching band competitions and spent a number of years travelling all over the UK to perform. They were fantastic experiences with lots to do during the day (stalls to spend pocket money on, huge and inspiring BYBA and TYMBA bands to watch and learn from and the freedom to spend the day with my band friends). They can be morale building and they can be inspiring – giving a sense of achievement. It’s just not the route BHMY are taking at the moment.

The official 2018 KBBT Poster