In what was probably one of best attended TYMBA AGMs, bandmasters, contest organisers and committee members gathered on 22nd January in Birmingham to discuss the future of the association.
Probably the biggest development of the day was the Chairman, Carl Nelson, outlining a new direction for our organisation. At the end of 2016, we carried out a survey with bandmasters from bands who were, and also weren’t members of the association. The Chair outlined findings from the more than 40 bandmasters which give a clear focus for the future. The three main points moving forward are:
The Traditional Youth Marching Bands Association needs to reduce its focus on competition to become much more of an advisory body, assisting our members in a variety of different ways.
Our focus as the leaders of the association will be to host an annual Marching Band Conference to enable networking between bands and encourage development.
We will create an educational unit to organise regional training events as well as training for leaders and bandmasters with recognised qualifications.
Carl Nelson explained: “This does not mean that TYMBA is turning its back on competition. Competitions will still be a part of TYMBA, but will no longer be the main focus for the leadership of the association, instead will be looking to offer support to others who wish to organise them.
“Through rebuilding links with a variety of military and other professional musicians, we will look to increase faith in our judges with their feedback at contests then being used to lead regional training events for participating bands.”
This plan was unanimously accepted by the membership.
Three changes were made to The Constitution and Rule Book; provision was made to allow the AGM to take place in February, updating of the regulations regarding how motions can be accepted and the biggest change being that bands are now allowed SIX members ‘over age’ in arena competition.
Bandmasters should consult the TYMBA Constitution and Rule Book 2017 for exact regulations when released.
Thanks were given to Julie McKay who has stepped down as Membership Secretary, with Samantha Hewitt from Kings Norton YMB being voted into the officer role.
Although competitions are no longer the main focus of the association, they are still a part of what we do. Carl Nelson outlined the importance of bands supporting contests else risk losing them in the future. The Bandmasters were also told how TYMBA and Contest Organisers were looking at ways to make our competitions bigger events, making them better value for money for our members.
For 2017 there are three competitions; Halesowen, Daventry and Greater Manchester. In June, as part of Dudley’s Armed Forces Day event, the Halesowen competition will take place at Himley Hall followed by a training session for TYMBA bands, and a Beating Retreat.
In July, TYMBA and BYBA join together for their first ever joint competition for Summer Rhythm with a jamming session between the two different styles after the main event.
For their 21st birthday, the Greater Manchester Competition planned for October will also host The TYMBA National Championships.
And making a return in 2017, Simon Taylor and Emma Simpson from Alderley District Scout Band are taking the reigns of the TYMBA Solos. Talks are currently ongoing as to when and where the much-loved event will be held.
Alan Brookes presented the first stages of his work compiling range statements to standardise the scores judges give in competition, consultation continues with bandmasters before they will be brought into use.
Sam Hewitt and Andy Downton are also leading a review of the TYMBA Constitution and Rule Book to make it more easy to read and understand and to also make it fit for purpose. Details will be released shortly to our members on how they can get involved with this review too.
The 2018 TYMBA AGM will be held once again in Birmingham, provisionally on Sunday 28th January.