5 Grade proposal to be voted on by Victorian bands

A rule change has been proposed with the aim of bringing the grading system into line with the current standards of bands.  The motion is below:

Motion to amend the VBL Contest Rules v2.3

Moved: D van Bergen from Boroondara Brass
Seconded:   M Stapleton from Moonee Valley Brass


That the number of grades for Open Brass and Open Concert bands be increased to 5, with the additional grade to be called Premier Grade and to sit above A Grade.

Sections 12.1 and 32.1 of the VBL Contest Rules would read as follows:

  1. Conduct of Contests

12.1 Band Contests may provide for competition in the following grades:

  1. a) Open Brass Bands: Premier, A, B, C, D grades
  2. b) Junior Brass Bands: A, B, C grades
  3. c) Open Concert Bands: Premier, A, B, C, D grades
  4. d) Junior Concert Bands: A, B, C grades
  5. e) School Brass Bands: Senior, Intermediate, Junior, Novice grades
  6. f) School Concert Bands: Senior, Intermediate, Junior, Novice grades
  7. g) Primary School Bands
  1. Classification and Grading

32.1 Bands shall be classified and graded as follows for contests run under the VBL Contest Rules:

  1. a) Open Grade Brass Bands – Premier, A, B, C, D grades
  2. b) Junior Grade Brass Bands – A, B & C
  3. c) Open Grade Concert Bands – Premier, A, B, C, D grades
  4. d) Junior Grade Concert Bands – A, B & C
  5. e) School Bands – Brass & Concert

32.2 For all contests of Recognised Australasian Band Associations where a different grading structure applies, the Music Advisory Board will classify bands into the required structure. These grades will also be assessed under Rule 33 (Grading Assessment).


There is quite a disparity in standard between A Grade bands as well as a large step between B Grade and A Grade. This disparity in standard has, over recent times, occasioned a large debate in how to proceed with the grading of bands.

Adding an additional grade will provide further motivation for those bands at the higher end of A Grade whilst also allowing those at the lower end of A Grade the chance to be competitive in their own grade. Simply moving these bands from the lower end down to B Grade would not be the answer. Whilst bands at the lower end of A Grade might struggle to beat those at the top of A Grade, they are still a clear step above the current B Grade contingent of bands. This can clearly be seen with the recent results in bands that have moved between A and B Grade. It will also provide a more balanced gradient for bands moving from B Grade into A grade.


The current version of the rules can be found on the VBL website.

A Special Delegates Meeting is called for Sunday November 19th at 10am at the Moonee Valley Brass bandroom. The above motion will be voted on at that time and take effect immediately if passed.


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