Expandable Brass Band (EBB)
Principles, Roles, and Guidelines
The Expandable Brass Band – loud, raucous, and full of fun – is dedicated to spreading joyful music to the people of Western Massachusetts and beyond.
Inspired by the international street band movement, we spread the joy of playing in the street, both for fun and in support of people working on important social issues, especially in our local communities. We play in streets, parks, parades, sidewalks, and anywhere we can. If we march, they can join us; if they march, we can join them! We strive to be up, moving, and interactive. We are a democratic organization with principles, goals, and guidelines.
We support progressive causes, movements for positive social change, and charitable organizations working for the common social good. We do not endorse specific candidates for elected office.
We recognize the value of musicians as workers and that we deserve to be compensated for our work. If it is financially feasible for an organization, we will attempt to negotiate appropriate payment for the band. At times, we will donate our talents to causes we believe in. We will occasionally play private events following a band discussion, either in person or electronically.
We expect every member of the band to be respectful of each other both online and in person during performances and practices. We expect members to avoid name calling, aggressive arguing, profanity directed at an individual, unwanted physical contact, and personal attacks.
In the spirit of democratic organizations we value diverse opinions and strive to achieve consensus whenever possible.
As a leaderless organization and knowing that everyone’s availability varies, members of the band are expected to take on leadership roles for various duties including, but not limited to: coordinating gigs, arranging/transcribing music, recruiting and mentoring new members, leading rehearsals and performances, managing accounts and band business, updating our website and other fan stuff, etc. Roles can be shared and can rotate. We encourage people to take on different roles and even learn new ones. These roles may change over time and new ones introduced as the need arises.
1. Band Promoter(s)
Update content on the EBB website and social media sites as needed. Respond to gig inquiries and identify gig coordinator(s). Announce upcoming gigs and practices. Post video/photos from past events. Keep sites current. Remove post-dated events.
2. Gig Coordinator(s)
Take responsibility for being the main contact for a gig. Communicate with the requestor, clarify details regarding logistics and intent, desired length of gig, money, etc. Make sure the gig is accurately listed on the Gig-O-Matic; inform the band of any updates. Before committing to the gig, make sure there is enough coverage in each section to create a “quorum” – that is, sufficient players and instruments to make sure we will sound good. The Coordinator is also responsible for making sure a set-list is prepared with input from the rest of the band, one that will fit in our allotted time at the gig and be appropriate for the players who have said yes to the gig.
3. Rehearsal Facilitator(s)
Focus the rehearsal around a goal (i.e., practice a set list for a gig, rehearse new songs, brush up on underplayed songs, bring up topics for discussion). The Facilitator should keep the band on task so as not to waste rehearsal time. We are all busy and have many things to accomplish outside of EBB. Let’s make the most of it!
4. Rehearsal Notetaker(s):
Note what tunes were played at a rehearsal and what changes were made to each tune. Ideally the notes would be shared with the entire band via the listserv a few days after the practice.
Monitor group dynamics and watch for potential conflicts. Help individual members of the band resolve unresolved disagreements.
6. New Music Inspirer(s):
When suggesting new music for the band it is helpful to provide a recording, sheet music, or links to an online video. Tunes are brought into the band repertoire through informal consensus, sometimes after several variations have been tried at rehearsals.
7. Band Mentor(s)
EBB welcomes new members. To make their entry into the band a smooth one, the Band Mentor provides a general orientation of how the band works and this Principles, Roles, and Guidelines document.
When someone leaves the band, the Band Mentor asks the departing member for feedback on their experience with EBB and why it is that they are leaving.
8. Music Mentor(s)
Provides guidance and resources to help members of the band learn the musical repertoire of the band.
9. HIVE participants:
The "Hive" is an informal EBB process for facilitating discussion of matters related to the functioning of the band. Any band member can call for a Hive meeting or bring up an issue by posting to the email list. Attendance is voluntary. All who wish to participate in such discussions are welcome. Hive 'decisions' aren't binding; they are recommendations that are reported to the band. One purpose of the Hive is to remove discussions from rehearsals so that rehearsal time stays focused on music and gig preparation.
If a band member violates EBB principles and/or guidelines, and existing efforts of Band Mentors or Peacemakers have failed to solve the issue a Hive meeting is the mechanism for considering appropriate corrective action.
1. Constructive Suggestions:
We encourage members to provide clear and constructive musical feedback to each other. Discussions over personalities and behavior should be held individually outside of a rehearsal or practice.
2. Resolving Conflicts:
If you are having issues with another band member, it is your responsibility to bring up the issue, privately, with that band member. If after attempting resolution it is not yet resolved, you may ask for help from the peacemakers.
3. Gig commitments:
If you agree to make a gig, please take the commitment seriously. Of course if you are ill, have an emergency, etc., please let the band know as soon as possible so we might find a replacement, cancel, or reschedule.
4. E-mail etiquette:
EBB relies heavily on email for communication. Please be respectful of the 30+ members on our email list who range in age and sensitivity. Minimize idle chatter, foul language, and be clear and courteous in your messages. We all have had good and bad experiences with e-mail communication.
Here are some tips for making more of our experiences good: http://www.101emailetiquettetips.com
5. Be happy, be kind, have fun!