LEAD TRUMPET - Louis Dowdeswell to inspire online

Issue 6088

MAPPED OUT - Host cities confirmed for European Championships

IFOR JAMES - The horn player who tried to change the horns 

Virtual banding moves to next level following release of Band Manager 2021

Thursday 1 April, 2021

For years, fans of the beautiful game have been able to bring their wildest sporting dreams to life, guiding their team to cup glory in the virtual world of Football Manager. Now members of the brass band world will be able to savour the special feeling of taking their beloved band all the way to the top.

Band Manager 2021 offers players the opportunity to appoint themselves conductor with some of the most famous names from across the major banding nations, whether beguiling with Black Dyke or tasting cup success with Cory. In true Football Manager fashion, however, they might prefer to start in the Third or Fourth sections in a bid to guide their local town band on a meteoric rise to the top. Be careful, though; enjoy a few dodgy results and the committee could be forced to step in with the dreaded vote of confidence.

From big budget bands with sponsorship aplenty, where money for deps and expense fees is no object, to those where every penny counts in order to pay for the band coach, players can choose their level of difficulty.

Band Manager 2021 allows players to take charge of every single element of a band's activities, from the number of practices per week to the content of the warm-up and the music which follows. The intensity of sessions can be varied, from a gentle tootle to a full-on, fast paced rehearsal. Getting the balance right, says developer Chick Niles, is key.

"Rehearsing the band might sound easy but keeping players fit and motivated can be a challenge," Chick explained. "Some enjoy hymn tune warm-ups while others just want to play test-pieces. Some might be model bandspeople, others might turn up late and hassle the conductor, causing a big fall-out and sending everyone home unhappy - there's a lot to think about."

In between rehearsals, it's important to schedule an appropriate balance of concerts and contests, which can then be viewed in a cutting-edge, live simulation, transporting players to many of the most well-known venues in banding, from the Winter Gardens in Blackpool to the splendour of London's Royal Albert Hall.
In-game conductors also have to deal with any personnel issues which arise as well as player comings and goings and phone calls from the brass band media looking for their next story, all part and parcel of life as the man or woman in the middle of a brass band. 

Band Manager 2021 is available to purchase from April 1...


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