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EFDSS and competitions

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The Sandman 29 Jul 08 - 06:00 AM
MartinRyan 29 Jul 08 - 06:13 AM
greg stephens 29 Jul 08 - 06:14 AM
greg stephens 29 Jul 08 - 06:28 AM
MartinRyan 29 Jul 08 - 06:29 AM
Ruth Archer 29 Jul 08 - 06:35 AM
MartinRyan 29 Jul 08 - 06:45 AM
Tootler 29 Jul 08 - 05:52 PM
The Sandman 29 Jul 08 - 06:17 PM
The Sandman 29 Jul 08 - 06:31 PM
The Sandman 29 Jul 08 - 06:51 PM
The Sandman 29 Jul 08 - 07:10 PM
Ruth Archer 29 Jul 08 - 07:27 PM
Ruth Archer 29 Jul 08 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,Russ 29 Jul 08 - 08:15 PM
The Sandman 30 Jul 08 - 06:34 AM
The Sandman 30 Jul 08 - 07:36 AM
Ruth Archer 30 Jul 08 - 08:26 AM
greg stephens 30 Jul 08 - 09:46 AM
The Sandman 30 Jul 08 - 10:01 AM
Ruth Archer 30 Jul 08 - 10:10 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Jul 08 - 10:43 AM
The Sandman 30 Jul 08 - 11:28 AM
RTim 30 Jul 08 - 12:14 PM
The Sandman 30 Jul 08 - 12:15 PM
The Sandman 30 Jul 08 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,fiddle4me 30 Jul 08 - 01:08 PM
The Sandman 30 Jul 08 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,fiddle4me 30 Jul 08 - 01:32 PM
The Sandman 30 Jul 08 - 01:50 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Jul 08 - 02:15 PM
Bert 30 Jul 08 - 02:20 PM
Surreysinger 30 Jul 08 - 02:52 PM
Bert 30 Jul 08 - 03:30 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Jul 08 - 04:20 PM
The Sandman 30 Jul 08 - 05:02 PM
greg stephens 30 Jul 08 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,Ralphie 31 Jul 08 - 01:47 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Jul 08 - 02:57 AM
Richard Bridge 31 Jul 08 - 04:04 AM
The Sandman 31 Jul 08 - 08:11 AM
MartinRyan 31 Jul 08 - 10:29 AM
Surreysinger 31 Jul 08 - 10:39 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Jul 08 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 31 Jul 08 - 12:14 PM
billybob 31 Jul 08 - 12:24 PM
The Sandman 31 Jul 08 - 01:53 PM
The Borchester Echo 31 Jul 08 - 06:28 PM
Gene Burton 31 Jul 08 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,Link follower 01 Aug 08 - 07:01 AM
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Subject: EFDDSS and competitions
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 06:00 AM

when are EFDSS going to reintroduce competitions?.
Comhaltas have been responsible[amongst other things] for strengthening the music through their fleadh system.
what logical reason is their for EFDSS,not to copy their success.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: MartinRyan
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 06:13 AM

I suspect Comhaltas' success in this respect has had a lot to do with its ability to tune in to, for example, parish rivalry and pre-existing structures at that level e.g. GAA clubs etc. Not sure the trick could be replicated in modern England.

Regards


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: greg stephens
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 06:14 AM

The trouble with competitions is they are great for the winners, but not so good for the losers


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: greg stephens
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 06:28 AM

All-England competitions could be absolutely dreadful. I have just spent forty years researching trad music in the northwest of England. I can just imagine the London judges dismissing the Cumbrian entrants(far too Scottish), the Lancastrians(far too Irish), the Cheshires and Shropshires(far too Welsh).And just imagine the arguments. Are fiddle ornaments English, or a dreaded foreign importation?Is that tune really called Yorkshire Lasses, or is it called the Top of Cork Road or Father O'Flynn? That D/G melodeon: is it traditional, or was it invented by Peter Kennedy?
And what about the Geordies? The EFDSS CD "Hardcore English" didn't have any NE musicians on it at all, as far as I can remember.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: MartinRyan
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 06:29 AM

Greg

I know what you mean about the impact of competition, but..... I sometimes think there are fewer losers than one might imagine in these things. The kids who drop out of tin whistle classes or who rebel at having to sing set pieces in a competition style or get tired of weeping at having come 14th yet again, still end up with a better sense of what the music is about than the perenially passive listener. They provide the core of a knowlegeable audience because they can tell the difference!


Regards


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 06:35 AM

you can introduce kids to music successfully and not have to make it a competition, Martin. Look at Kathryn Tickell's Folkestra, Luke Daniels' Gael Music project, and the numerous successful folk music tuition projects around the country which have as their outcome high-quality ensemble performance, not competition.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: MartinRyan
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 06:45 AM

I don't disagree, Ruth - of course. I'm simply outlining my own observations on what has happened in the context of Irish traditional music. In my opinion, Comhaltas effectively tapped into a pre-existing community rivalry and ultimately produced what many people regard as the monster of competition. My point is that, along the way, they also produced an audience.

Regards
p.s. Another of the Hydra's heads, of course, is what amounts to competitive drinking at Fleadhs!


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: Tootler
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 05:52 PM

Competitions are not unknown here in the UK.

They are common in the brass band world and also in piping.

Folk Festivals in Northumberland often seem to include competitions.

Nevertheless, I understand Martyn Ryan's reservations about competitions. They can introduce distortions by rewarding particular styles of performance over others. OTOH, I sometimes look at video clips on the Comhaltas website and am generally impressed by the high standard of musicianship displayed by the young players featured.

Another road that could be explored is the graded music exams used in the classical music world and which are now being extended into Jazz. They are not perfect, and also can result in distortions by focusing on some aspects at the expense of others, but the system is well established and understood and, done properly, could help to raise the status of folk music in England.

This page is worth a look.

Geoff


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 06:17 PM

hi ,Geoff,Comhaltas operate an examination system,which works well.
when all is said and done, Comhaltas have been successful.,they have acheived their primary aim,which was in 1951,the prevention of the disappearance of traditional Irish music
they are the only organisation[as far as I know] that provides instrument tuition in most areas of England.Dick Miles.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 06:31 PM

GREG ,you appear to not know how Comhaltas competitions are run,the competitor has to play a selection of tunes,generally a hornpipe a reel a jig and one other,names are not of importance.,so arguing about whether a tune is called Father O Flynn or Top ofCork road,just doesnt happen.
Comhaltas have a set of rules that are very clear.
thereis nothing to stop another organisation having rules that are perfectly clear.the competitor checks the rules ,if he/she doesnt like it he/she doesnt have to enter.
you are making problems that dont exist,Comhaltas have been running competitions for 57 years.
music is judged subjectively,but the criteria does not have to be ornamentation,it can be musicality,danceabilty,lilt.
with song it can be other things,and with songwriting different criteria again.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 06:51 PM

as recently as 1967 the EFDSS organised a group competition,won by the Puritans,and a solo competition,which was won by someone still performing on the national folk circuit.
I have just found this piece of recent information.by googling EFDSS Competitions.
       Traditionally-focused music, song, and dance competitions? [xposted]
As part of my work for EFDSS, I've been asked to put together a list of traditionally-focused music, song, and dance competitions in the UK, with an eye to those with a national scope (although we'd like to look at healthy regional competitions as well).

We're interested in sponsoring some prizes for these awards, but we can't do that if we don't know what they are!

Is there a listing anywhere (various google searches haven't come up with one, so I'm not hopeful) of competitions? Even a listing of competitions for specific instruments would be great.

If you know of a list, or of a competition I might not have heard of (or even one you're sure I msut have heard of!) please leave it in a comment?

Thanks,
Gwen Knighton
Marketing and Publicity
English Folk Dance and Song Society.

well, when I suggested competitions 18 months ago,I was criticised and ridiculed by members of this forum ,who were members of the EFDSS.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 07:10 PM

why not take a look at Comhaltas,
eg solo singing,duo singing group singing,set dancing,solo violin, solo tin whistle, solo concertina, solo northumbrian pipes,solo two row diatonic accordion,english country dancing, playford dancing, solo broom dancing,solo one row accordion,solo piano accordion,trio ,duos etc etc,then divide it into age groupings.under 12, 12 to 18,over 18.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 07:27 PM

I'd like to point out that Gwen no longer works for the society. If anyone wants to know the society's current priorities, they might do well to contact the Chief Exec, Katy Spicer.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 07:29 PM

by the way, Dick - have you joined EFDSS yet? I think I remember pointing out some time ago that EFDSS is a membership society, and that if you want to have input into its strategic direction, the best way forward is probably to become a member.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 08:15 PM

What Greg said.

National Competition = homogenization.
Interestingly diverse regional traditions get replaced with some sort of meta-"tradition."
Gresham's law in action.
I've seen it happen in the states.
The distinctions between regional fiddlers and "contest" fiddlers, regional styles and the "festival" style are well known.

Russ (Permanent GUEST and traditional musician)


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 06:34 AM

Russ,I agree competitions using ornamentation as a priority does lead to a homogeonised style,but competitions using other criteria wont necesarily.
an emphasis upon danceabilty instead of ornamentation will not.
all irish styles whether they are Donegal ,Sliabh Luchra,or whatever,are danceable,that is the purpose of the music to dance to it,and that should be its criteria when its being judged.
Sliabh Luchra polkas are dancey so are Clare reels.The same applies to Northumbrian music and East anglian music.
another alternative is not to have national copmpetitions ,but just regional competitions,so Northumbrian music is judged seperately.
East Anglian music is judged seperately.
north west music is judged seperately etc etc.
that way regional styles will be encouraged and preserved .DickMiles


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 07:36 AM

Ruth,there are people on this forum who are not members of Comhaltas[Jim Carroll,BonnieShaljean?],who comment upon its various antics,I have no problem with this.I am not a member of EFDSS,and see no reason why like them I cannot comment on an organisation,even though I am not a member.
neither am I a member of the Labour party,but the best thing Gordon Brown can do,if he wants to win the next election,is exempt petrol and Diesel from vat,reduce the duty,that will bring the price down considerably,help to reduce inflation,to make up the loss of revenue,reintroduce Gambling tax,and put extra tax on non essentials[ alcohol and cigarettes].but he wont because hes a penny pinching dunderhead.
Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 08:26 AM

"I am not a member of EFDSS,and see no reason why like them I cannot comment on an organisation,even though I am not a member."

But your concern with its future direction is ever so slightly obsessive, Dick...

It's not really fair to expect the right to contribute to any membership organisation's strategic direction without accepting the responsibility of membership - even if that responsibility is a relatively minor financial one. It's a matter of constituency.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: greg stephens
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 09:46 AM

Dick: I am with Ruth on this, if you really want the EFDSS to organise national competitions, join up and propose it. Human nature being what it is, members of a society are unlikely to react favourably to being lectured incessantly about what they ought to do, if the lecturing is coming from an outsider.
    You accuse me of not knowing how Comhalts organises competitions: I wasn't talking about Comhaltas, I was talking about the kinds of arguments that would inevitably arise if a committee of the EFDSS tried to organise a national competition in England. Now, in a modest way I have acquired, by plugging away for forty years, a reputation as someone who knows a bit about English fiddle tunes and suchlike allied subjects. So I might well be in line to be considered as a judge in such a competition: well,if so, I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole!
    There is a kind of competition I would welcome. If organisations like the Grasmere Sports, or county agricultural shows, or village fetes, or family fun days in parks, or similar, had a fiddling competition, or a clogging competition, with a £100 prize, or whatever: well, then I think I'd be all for it. As long as some self-appointed knowall(or knowalittlebutnotall) wasn't prescribing the details of the "national style" the entrants were meant to be adopting. Because that way madness lies.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 10:01 AM

Ruth,Obsessive?
I have not started a thread on this subject [the EFDSS] since 23 JAN 2008.,thats six months,hardly obsessive,you are factually inaccurate.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 10:10 AM

Dick, you know I like you and respect you as a musician. But I think the way you keep returning to the subject of EFDSS, and specifically competitions, is a bit bizarre.

My suggestion is simple, and an honest one: join EFDSS. It's about thirty quid for a year's membership. Then e-mail the new Chief Exec, and put your proposals to her as a member with a vested interest in the society's future.

If you are sincere in your wish to make this proposal a reality, I think this will be your most productive course of action. Who knows? She may agree with you.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 10:43 AM

EFDSS needs competitions like a fish needs a bicycle - the mess that is Comhaltas, and the number of young people who have been driven out of the music by their competitions should be proof enough of that for anybody.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 11:28 AM

on the contrary Jim,look at all the young people who are playing traditional music in Ireland,thanks to Comhaltas,you obviously dont go to regional or national fleadhs,it is a minority that drop out.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: RTim
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 12:14 PM

To hear the Capt. talk - it looks like there are NO young people performing English Music - and that is Wrong!!! Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 12:15 PM

Jim,are you Comhaltas bashing again?or perhaps you could explain,the phrase the mess that is comhaltas.
Comhaltas were formed in 1951,for 57 years they have successfully encouraged and promoted fleadhs,from which hundreds of thousands of people/musicians have derived pleasure,as they will do again this year. they have acheived their original aims,these are all facts.
however ,you come along and just make wild unsubstantiated statements,are ther finances in a mess?how are they in a mess?,sounds to me like your talking predujuiced unsubstantiated fiction.DickMiles


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 12:49 PM

R TIM,please substantiate your comment.I have never said that
. you are not hearing or seeing what I have said on this thread,please go back and reread my posts.
these wild statements get tedious .Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: GUEST,fiddle4me
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 01:08 PM

As an Irish fiddler who's been playing sessions since the age of 8 Im glad that my folks never encoraged me to take part in competitions. I learnt young that all the best musicians stay well clear of Comhaltas and the nasty side effects it has on peoples musical ability and understanding of he music! I dont think a blow-in like Dick Miles should be commenting on this.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 01:17 PM

guest fiddle 4me,
good to see Intolerance and xenophobia,are high on your priorities.
presumably you think Irish people are not entitled to comment on the EFDSS,or English folk music,Martin Carthy,Northumbrian pipe music,reminds me of the days of NINA,No Irish need apply.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: GUEST,fiddle4me
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 01:32 PM

I made my comment because you Dick Miles as I assume an English man have not gone through the ridiculous rigamarole of a Comhaltas competition as ateenager or less. If you did then I take it back. If you didnt then Id rather rely on the views of my frends who did than you. You seem to be one of those people whos tongue is never long enough to lick the last drop of jam from the jar.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 01:50 PM

1.Jim Carroll is also a blow in.
2.I have entered comhaltas competitions.
3.Ihave lived in Ireland for 18 years,and can tell you what I see with my own eyes,many[95 per centof the children] enjoying the fleadhs
your remarks are xenophobic ,intolerant and anti English.
goodnight Geoff.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 02:15 PM

Cap'n
As you say, Comhaltas has been in existence since 1951.
It has no accessible library, it has no sound archive, its magazine Treor is a joke on par with the Beano, it has no academic standing whatsoever, and its visitors centre, Bru Boru at Cashel is a musical Disneyworld.
It is totally devoid of any form of democracy, with a leadership that can expel branches without either consulting the membership beforehand or informing them after the event. The lifeblood of the organisation, the membership, is treated with contempt by the leadership.
Irish music is blossoming at present, not because of CCE, but in many cases despite it (read O Murchú's's report).
I saw hundred of youngsters in the UK driven out of the music because the motivation they were given was not love of the music, but the winning of medals - when they didn't win they left.
One of the strongest and most influential areas of traditional music in Ireland at present is here in West Clare, Miltown Malbay in particular. The main driving force behind the Irish music renaissance has been The Willie Clancy Summer School which has been in existence for three and a half decades and which CCE refused to participate in because of the refusal of the locals to hold competitions.
On the last 3 St Pat's Day parades there were well over 60 youngsters of school age playing Irish music here in Miltown, and playing it well - Comhaltas only re-opened a branch here last year after 25 years absence.
One of the main causes of the disappearance of regional styles has been the standardisation of the music in order to win competitions.
Comhaltas once played a vital part in the survival of Irish music; it no longer does so - As Breandán Breathnach once said "It is an organisation with a great future behind it".
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: Bert
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 02:20 PM

I don't think that organised competition has a place in folk music.

If you want to see what competition does to music just take a look at The Eurovision Song Contest.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: Surreysinger
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 02:52 PM

Don't think I necessarily agree Bert - I went in for a singing competition some years ago... for the purposes of obtaining honest feedback on my singing at a time when I was a little unsure whether to believe family and friends' opinions. It was an incredibly useful and confidence boosting experience (in my case) ... and I also ended up making several friends amongst the other competitors. I think it may have some place ... but it would depend on the purpose and intent of the competition.

On the other hand some of the masterclass courses organised by people like FolkSouth West attain exactly the same ends, but without the competitive element (which is obviously not something that everybody would actually want to put themselves through!)

And I'm totally bemused that a thread headed up EFDSS and competitions seems to have evolved yet again into one about Comhaltas !!!


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: Bert
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 03:30 PM

I guess you were lucky Surreysinger. I was just pointing out the effect that an internationally known contest has had on the quality of songs.

But I must admit that the Eurovision Song Contest is vastly superior to the Eisteddfod in Llangollen that I went to once.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 04:20 PM

Surreysinger
Sorry about introducing CCE into a thread about EfDSS, but I really do believe that everything that could go wrong has gone wrong with a music organisation has gone wrong with Comhaltas, and much of it is due to the fact that virtually everything CCE does is aimed 'The Glittering Prizes' (the subject of this thread).
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 05:02 PM

jim ,the Beano is funnier.
EFDSS has in the past organised competitions.
CCE organise Fleadhs based around competitions these are a great success,particularly the regional and national fleadhs.a spin off of which are the many fine sessions.
CCE also organise exams,For those that are less competitive minded.
they are the only group who teach instruments on a national basis in England[something EFDSS dont do].
CCE also organise workshops with tuition in regional styles.
During the summer they organise sessuins[ traditional musical gatherings that are not competitive]these can be very good
during the winter some branches[Skibbereen CCE is one]organise musical get togethers for children,in a safe environment these are non competitive.,many children love these.
so Jim ,is Incorrect, CCE is much more than an organisation aimed at glittering prizes,that is part of it but that is not its entirety.
when did you last attend a Comhaltas branch meeting Jim?
your information is out of date,and your opinions misinformed.
I have my reservations about Comhaltas and consider them a Curates Egg,good in places.
now to EFDSS,
competitions do not have to be based on the comhaltas model,there are many different possible formulas.
I suggested earlier, one possibility,regional competitions judging regional styles,with no national competition.
another is a national songwriting competition[efdss did this recently]
another could be something akin to the Fred Jordan competition cup[Saltburn Festival]for unaccompanied traditional singing..
another possibility might be a northumbrian pipe competition.
a lancashire clog competition,as part of a Lancashire night etc
if these were all held in CecilSharp house,they would draw people into the House. of course a Lancashire night would be more succesful if it was held in lancashire .Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: greg stephens
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 08:09 PM

Surreysinger, in your last post you said:

"And I'm totally bemused that a thread headed up EFDSS and competitions seems to have evolved yet again into one about Comhaltas !!! "

In point of fact I should point out that this thread was started by Dick Miles specifically as a discussion about Comhaltas competitions(try reading his opening post in the thread and you will see what I am saying)


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 01:47 AM

I hear that the BBC is considering "Strictly Folk Dancing" in a prime time slot on Saturday evenings.

Can't Wait!


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 02:57 AM

Cap'n,
My information on CCE - see Comhaltas-Interruptus thread to judge their malignant influence.
CCE aside- how about outlining the criteria by which you would judge competitions - and who would be the judges - how would they be chosen - what would be their qualifications - how and where would the competitions be staged?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 04:04 AM

Well, let's put it another way. If the Comhaltas competition sytem is adverse, what then has produced the rish revival from 1951 to date?


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 08:11 AM

when are EFDSS going to reintroduce competitions?.
Comhaltas have been responsible[amongst other things] for strengthening the music through their fleadh system.
what logical reason is their for EFDSS,not to copy their success.my original post.
Jim,if EFDSS,decided to reintroduce competitions,how they proposed to run them is up to them.
They ran a song writing competition,last year,which was successful,so they probably have a good idea how to do it.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: MartinRyan
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 10:29 AM

I repeat (for the last time - I promise!). Both the "success" and "failure" of the competitive basis of Comhaltas derive from the type of community in which it developed. If CCE did not exist now, any attempt to produce something like it in Ireland - not to mention in England - would be doomed to failure. It's a child of its time and place. The ambivalence of many Irish musicians and music enthusiasts towards the organisation is just that - ambivalence. They recognise the amount of good work that has been done and regret the classic excesses to which the organisation has on occasion, gone.

Regards


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: Surreysinger
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 10:39 AM

Greg ... I think you and I might have to differ on that ... the thread title was about the EFDSS, and so was Dick's opening sentence .. albeit that the second reintroduced Comhaltas as an example of what he considers a success ... but nevertheless the thread title and opening sentence suggest the discussion should be about the EFDSS, and competitions. Probably depends on how you read it, I suspect.... but nevertheless we seem to be on to whether or not the Irish system works, instead of the question of whether the EFDSS should introduced competitions. (Speaking as a member, I don't think that they're the right sort of organisation for that... and again I think it depends on what the competition is supposed to achieve.) Anyhow, I'm out of this one...

and Ralphie "Strictly Folk Dancing" ... surely you jest???


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 11:16 AM

Cap'n,
To put all this in a historical context.
It's tends not to get bandied about too much but back in the fifties the EFDSS ran competitions. They put elderly singers like George 'Pop' Maynard in front of a panel of judges and humiliated them by telling them what was wrong with their singing. They alienated a great many people by their crass behaviour; dig out some of the people who were there if you don't believe me. Knowing how you feel about the older singers, perhaps this doesn't bother you too much - it does me, and it appears just as crass to suggest repeating the exercise.
I wasn't there, so I only have this information second hand; however, I did attend some of the 'Fiddler of London' competitions where some of the finest and most important source musicians were (for the best reasons in the world) humiliated in more or less the same way by setting them against youngsters with all the skills (and their youth) at their command.
What on earth could possibly be achieved by reintroducing such 'inquisitions'.
"Jim,if EFDSS,decided to reintroduce competitions,how they proposed to run them is up to them."
No - you suggested this idiotic idea; how do you propose it should be run?
Some time ago you offered to finance such competitions and proposed yourself as a judge - do you really think you are qualified?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 12:14 PM

I think we should leave Jim and Dick to carry on locking horns.

For the rest of us, we should move on, crying softly.

Life is far too short.

Ralph


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: billybob
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 12:24 PM

"Strictly Folk Dancing" what an idea! Will this be for teams or solo competitors? It will brighten up my Saturday no end! :)


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 01:53 PM

no comment.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 06:28 PM

Strictly Come Folk Dancing has been done before. And look at the convoluted mess it got into.
Actually, I remember Comhaltas competitions happening downstairs in C# House. And so does Maggie Boyle.
The EFDSS has a long history of "competitions", as does the BBC. The oddest people get entered, and indeed, win.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: Gene Burton
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 07:29 PM

Did somebody ring for me?


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Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
From: GUEST,Link follower
Date: 01 Aug 08 - 07:01 AM

Well Gean Burton having followed your link to your page and had a listen, I assume that the list of influences you have listed are those artists you have not been influnced by.


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