Special Times, Conducting

Copyright © 2016 Stephen Hawley, all rights reserved.

Remember when Alice conducted the middle school band? Yeah, me too.

15 years ago, Priscilla Ross founded the Florence Community Band with the goal of bringing live music to the area. I showed up at the second rehearsal and have been a regular member since then. I love music and making music and have come to accept that regularly making music is important to my mental and emotional health.

One of the good parts about being a member of the band from the beginning is that I know the director and after Alice conducted the middle school band, I teased her, “looks like you’re out of a job”. And Priscilla was thoughtful enough to make the offer of letting Alice conduct a piece in the 2106 spring concert. I asked Alice, because even though I know that she would likely say yes, I felt it was important for her to have a say in the matter.

At that point, the question was, “how do we make this happen so that it is a success?” It involved me making sure that Alice came to rehearsals and practiced. Priscilla did a great job coaching her and Alice, well, she was in it for the fun. Think about it – she waves a stick and 56 musicians respond. Wow!

She went through a quick dress rehearsal before the performance, and being Alice, she kept trying to angle for going out to a restaurant. No, I don’t think so. Not today. Her grandmother, mom and brother were in the audience and were a bit of a distraction to her while she was on the podium, and mid performance, she stopped to turn around and sign “I love you” to them.

Although I feel that she could have done better, I recognize that Alice had a whole lot of fun.


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