All applicants should know, from the first, that AoBBA itself does not arrange engagements for adjudicator members. The list of AoBBA Adjudicator members is published on the AoBBA website (www.aobba.com) and is freely available to view by contest organisers and the public alike.
There are two levels of membership of the Association:
- Trainee Adjudicator
- Adjudicator Member
Your application should be completed with as much detail as possible (please do not send a CV). Your application will be reviewed by the Executive Committee and a decision made based on the information supplied and the relevant experience of the candidate. You should be able to demonstrate expertise in the areas of performance, conducting and musical knowledge and already have some adjudication experience (but understand that this may be limited).
New members are sent website password information following receipt of member’s fees when AoBBA adjudicator’s biographies and photographs can be uploaded to the AoBBA website. If you are invited to become a ‘trainee’ member you will be asked to undergo a mentoring period of two years prior to becoming a full member.
Adjudicators are required to pay an annual subscription to remain as an adjudicator member of AoBBA. The subscription is requested at the end of the year for the following January to December period.
Over 90% of Brass Band competitions are organized by volunteers who spend the year finding the funds to hold their events and engage professional adjudicators. Many save hard to bring adjudicators from a distance – someone that their performers would never meet in any other way.
For contests, their adjudicator(s) is the most important expense and they want him/her to bring an atmosphere of learning and encouragement which makes their event very special. They expect their adjudicators to offer encouragement as a matter of course, but they also expect and require that additional, educational aspect which singles out AoBBA adjudicators from others. They expect constructive criticism and advice on how to take performances forward to the next level. The ability to do this is always expected from AoBBA adjudicators, both in the written records of the performance (adjudication sheets) and verbally from the platform. How you handle this aspect will be a crucial aspect for assessors of the process.
Other aspects to take into consideration are that AoBBA adjudicators need to understand the endurance required to cope with the long hours of concentration at a Contest. They should dress in a professional manner and present a pleasant demeanour on the platform and be skilled in public speaking.
Applicants should bear in mind that the role of Contest Adjudicator requires that you be able to present your summation of the performances from the stage with confidence, clarity, and cohesion, engaging the audience with your knowledge and understanding of your subject. Microphone technique is also a prerequisite.
Brass Band competitions are infinitely different and the standard and types of performance are variable. AoBBA adjudicators can never go to one competition, confident that it will mirror the last. There will be slightly different rules, regulations, awards, requirements and it will be important to ask about these if they are not forthcoming, to absorb that information very quickly and act on it immediately.
Finally, in regard to support: there is an AoBBA Adjudicator’s Code of Practice, which all members implicitly sign up to on acceptance as a member. There is an elected Executive Committee and AoBBA adjudicators can write or call to ask for support. There is a mentoring and support system for new AoBBA adjudicators. New full members must send copies of their first two adjudications to the secretary for discussion by the executive as a way of support and ensuring the expected level of adjudication is being undertaken. AoBBA executive members provide a year-round information and advice service and are always pleased to help individual members with more specific matters, through meetings, emails or telephone contact.