Festivals and Competitions - Why?

Many people get concerned about the competitive nature of Festivals and Competitions when it involves music. Yet they are ok about their children playing competitive sport every weekend, and they probably are members of a "footy tipping" competition. So what's the problem? Students live in a competitive world, we all live in a competitive world! The problems happen when there is an unhealthy emphasis on winning. Many of the members of ABODA SA will be heading to Mt Gambier this weekend for the 2016 "bigger and better" version of Generations in Jazz along with thousands of others. I know I have already won! My band is focused (win!) and has been practicing hard (win!), they are cohesive, committed, cooperative and trying to be the best they can be (win!) because on Saturday they compete - for the opinion of one or two wise souls who are tasked with deciding which band/s are the best on the given day ( Saturday). I think the value of this great Festival is in the collegiality of the Band Directors and  the excitement and motivation of the students. As I said the winning is "in the journey" not at "the destination". The Festival is the celebration point for all that work and motivation. Whether we win a prize or not becomes totally irrelevant! Name me a Band Director whose band has become "worse" by practicing and striving to be their best this weekend?

My very best wishes to all Band Directors, Teachers and students for this great weekend.

Have a blast!

Darryl Pope