The Ups and Downs of evaluations at the fleadh

The Ups and Downs of evaluations at the fleadh

I am trying to come to terms with a great variance in how my singing in english is judged
last year I qualified for the all ireland in the 90’s
in Ireland I received 80’s
I tried to take the judge’s comment from Ireland to heart that I needed more ornamentation
but I was literally kicked to the curb this year in a qualifier for showing too much emotion
I am now working on showing restraint in singing and the judge’s advice to stay simple

But, I can’t help but feel a little put out the winner sang out of her range
and the second place finisher forgot her words

why if i get carried away is that considered a bigger sin?

Re: The Ups and Downs of evaluations at the fleadh

I think Lao Tzu had it right when he said, If you are praised, be alarmed!

Re: The Ups and Downs of evaluations at the fleadh

I think you need to invest in a fancy stop watch and a pair of flash nike trainers if you really want to take the competition seriously. Places on podiums do not come to the faint hearted. More effort is required. Train hard, eat well, don’t party. Focus focus focus.

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Re: The Ups and Downs of evaluations at the fleadh

“why if i get carried away is that considered a bigger sin?”

Maybe, dwell on that image of the Irish dancer: modest, straight, hands clamped to sides, asexual. That, some would say would be the CCE image and the philosophy by which standards are set. Now perhaps, transfer that image to CCE singing competitions.. of course, that has to be a sweeping generalisation and much must come down to the subjectivity of the adjudicator. But like all generalisations, there’s a core of truth.

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Re: The Ups and Downs of evaluations at the fleadh

The Huzzar speaks true - a huge element of the judging in CCE competitions is subjective, I undertand that very little guidance is given to judges in what is being looked for. I suspect that the deeper question is whether traditional music, where interpretation and expression are such central elements, should really be the subject of competition at all.

Undoubtedly the prospect of competitions provides a great incentive to practice and improve but the results should always be taken with a grain of salt. If you perform well and enjoy it that should be enough. If you happen to get a medal because the judge on the day liked your stuff well that’s always nice but never let it go to your head, a different judge might well hate it.

Re: The Ups and Downs of evaluations at the fleadh

I often wonder how a character like the late Johnny Broderick would get on in a Fleadh Competition. Yet for sheer entertainment he’s a winner in my book. Here he is singing the War and Peace version of The Dance at Glenmore.

http://youtu.be/X9pDmE30tM0

Re: The Ups and Downs of evaluations at the fleadh

Enhoyed the clip, Free Reed, but it drove me mad watching that fella (Frank Hall was it?) shouldering Broderick into position, then trying to interrupt him after every verse. Was Hall three quarters cut and/or did he always dominate his “guests” that way?

Re: The Ups and Downs of evaluations at the fleadh

*Enjoyed of course. I can’t enhoy things any more since I put me back out.

Re: The Ups and Downs of evaluations at the fleadh

There’s a fine quote in “Last Night’s Fun” about the county fleadh with no fiddlers entered in the competition, but a big trophy to be presented. The opposite of your situation I fear.
I’ve heard unsubstantiated rumours that it’s possible to bribe the judges, I don’t know, with food and drink, flattery, cash ?
Perhaps you’re not sufficiently in tune with the local ethos of the competition .

Re: The Ups and Downs of evaluations at the fleadh

Why are you competing? What makes an adudicator qualified to tell a singer ‘wrong choice of song’ or as I once heard at the newly composed ballad all Ireland comp some years ago ’ ..your tune is not keeping within the tradition’ (because it wasn’t same as The Rocks of Bawn etc). These adjudicators are Comhaltas sympathisers. I suggest you forget what they say and sit for four days in the company of Len Graham, Roisin White, the Goilin Singers - save your money and visit the Inishowen Singing Weekend, the Frank Harte Weekend, If you want to become a traditional singer learn from the source not from the unqualified.