Sunday, May 16, 2010
The Irish Asoociation of Bands and Concert Bands took place in University Concert Hall Limerick recently .This is not a scene I am familiar with but it appeared to have all the ingredients to make for a wonderful and exciting afternoons entertainment; premier venue and loads of superb musicians young and old, attractive repertoire played superbly . Why then did I feel the whole was not the sum of its parts and the elements did not combine to produce the sort of excitement I anticipated .
To begin with, the catering arrangements at UCH seemed somewhat below par with not much on offer at the self service set up. The coffee was overpriced and not very good
I attended a junior and senior class competion The Junior Bands were very impressive . I have to admit that junior wind and brass groups make a more satisfying sound than junior string groups usually do. The hall was rather sparsely filled for both competitions. The competion compere certainly did nothing to contribute to a sense of razzmatazz by her casual atire. Part of her podium duties seemed to involve her looking pointedly at the clock and anxiously on as the bands endeavoured to seat themselves as quickly as possible.
There was some superb playing in the senior competition with the best performance for my money given by Barrack Street Brass and Reed Band from Waterford
I was surprised the bands were not introduced only by calling of a letter. The purchase of a programme for €3 was required to find out who was playing . It is the little things that irk one
Such a confluence of musical elements demanded greater coverage. There may have been some coverage locally but certainly I saw nothing in the national media and even though I consider myself to be au fait with musical matters I would not have been aware of the event unless I had a family member involved. I think this is a great opportunity missed and I think with a concerted effort, the event should have received more attention. Was there anything on Lyric ?. I am sure they would have been able to provide a suitable presenter.
Outside of the major cities many people’s only access to any form of musical raining is through the local band. Bands provide more low cost access to an ensemble experience for many musicians. This is certainly the case in Ennis. Bands have a higher profile than orchestras in towns because logistically they get out and march around every now and then .
While the venue was very comfortable it is somewhat isolated and not conducive to attracting a passing crowd.
Get a sponsor. Not easy I imagine in the current financial climate
Demand more coverage in local and national press, on Lyric and local radio
Invite lots of groups to make up the audience create more of an atmosphere
Hold it in centre of a medium sized town . Ennis is good size but maybe not geographically convenient.
Get representative group from different bands to give short performances outside of the hall to create a buzz around the event. It would have been nice to hear a brass quartet play in the foyer for instance.
Posted by Cathy Desmond at 9:17 AM