Unfortunately, as a consequence of another disappointing season the band have been downgraded back to Grade 4B - the lowest 'adult' grade. Even worse, due to a quirk in the system this is actually the hardest grade to get back out of - because it's the grade for "everyone else", it's difficult for any one band to stand out from the crowd.
Still, it's a fair reflection of the way the band has been playing. Indeed, one might argue that we should never have been moved up in the first place - in the year we went up, we actually missed out on doing so on merit by a single place. The deciding factor was that we'd recruited a bunch of new players from a higher grade, pushing us up. But when it came to it, almost all of those new players were no-shows, which meant we didn't actually get the benefit. So, really, we were always a little higher than we perhaps should have been.
Anyway, we did briefly consider appealing the decision, because again we're expecting several new players to join the band in the near future. But that has changed again - our lead drummer from last year has decided to leave (apparently, he'd been wanting out for some time, but didn't want to let us down), while some of those newer drummers have chosen to go elsewhere.
So Grade 4B it is. Which, in theory, should mean that next season is a bit more relaxed. But, on the other hand, I think there's likely to be a big push to get back up again, so maybe not...