Artistic Development - What's in it for you?

The first year of successful Artistic Development events have toured the country, and for those of you who haven't come to an event yet, the question is ... why not?

Andrew came along to Phil Harper's workshop in Barnsley this June, and has very kindly shared this testimonial to let you know why you should book a place!


Thanks for your email and the opportunity to give you some feedback on the Artistic Development course run by Philip Harper.


Maybe I should start on where I came from and why I attended the course.  I have been in the past on numerous conducting courses and feel reasonably confident in my ability to conduct a band, after all I have been doing it for over 20 years.  So when Mike Kilroy invited me along it was with a bit of scepticism as to what to expect.


However from the start my preconceptions were challenged, here was a different view of what I should be presenting to an audience not just a case of this is how you beat, but a comprehensive overview of our roles as Artistic Directors, Musical Directors, Conductors however we label ourselves, how we lead, curate and influence the audience through our musical journey which we present them. How do we want them to feel at certain points in the concert short-term and long term. Consider the audience journey from the first step to the last and above all how we should be a trusted guide on the journey.


So what I am doing differently now?  Well at 5:00am the following morning; yes 5:00am as I was so buzzing from the day I had to write my ideas down, I went through the audience journey at my band concert.  From stepping through the door of the concert hall to leaving at the end, the complete experience and how we should improve. The over-riding thought was professional at every point of contact with the organisation and a document has been produced so the band and committee know what is expected and this will be the baseline for concerts going forward.


The aim I have set out for the band at the next concert is to increase the audience by 10%.  Not something that is too difficult but I am actually hoping to play to a full hall.  I believe by putting the suggestions that Philip brought to the Artistic Development course we should be able to achieve this and more. Philip encouraged us connect better with the audience, connect better at point of delivery and have a strong on-line presence (website and social media) and these are all things we are now putting into place.


Rehearsals are better planned now, I have a rehearsal book with what I am rehearsing, for how long and what I am aiming to achieve.  Phil mentioned about connecting with players and audience, I consider my players at a rehearsal my audience so I tried to connect better with them and I also have to give them the same respect I would any other audience in preparation and time keeping.


Would I recommend the course to anyone else?  I certainly would and have already done so.  If only ever band MD went on this then image what a wave of musical excellence and enthusiasm we would create in the movement.  I took copious notes and go back to them constantly to remind myself and the enthusiasm is still there, I'm planning Christmas concerts and looking at a Spring concert next year.  Maybe if my concerts are of a more entertaining standard than the usual brass band format concert we will get more audience members, maybe we will get people wanting to join us to be part of what we are doing.  It could filter down to our junior band and they could develop into an incredible feeder band, who knows what could be achieved, the sky's the limit.


Thanks Philip, my eyes have been opened to the wider possibilities that can be achieved.


Many thanks to Andrew for sharing his feedback on the course. Hopefully you've now been inspired to come along too! Links are below for the upcoming Artistic Development events available to book. 


BBE Members £5 / BBE Non-Members £15

Lunch included.

Saturday 21st September 2019 - Artistic Development (Southampton)

Saturday 9th November 2019 - Artistic Development (Worksop)

Saturday 18th January 2020 - Artistic Development (Essex)

Sunday 22nd March 2020 - Artistic Development (Lancaster)