Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Conductor's Interview

Our local symphony is looking for a new conductor.  They began the search process in January of 2012.  In the spring of 2013 they had a final three conductor candidates.

As the executive director said today at lunch: "We are looking for a partner for me. We are looking for a music director."  She would later say, "Being involved in the arts allows you to be creative every day."

I like that. :)

I'd never really thought of it that way - the executive director and music director as partners.

Makes sense for in so many ways they are.

Today I was invited to attended a luncheon at a local school where the second conductor candidate talked with the adults present then talked with some middle school students during their lunch period. (A month ago I attended a luncheon for the first candidate; the third candidate luncheon is in January.)


Here are some comments made by the candidate to the students in a discussion about careers in music. [Yes, I took notes.]

(On what he does)

     "My job is like that of a traffic cop.  I stand in front of them and tell the musicians when and how to play."
     "I work professionally as a musician. I get paid to make music."

     "I help the orchestra decide what the music is going to be about."

(On practice)

     "Stinking at something is required before you get better."

     "I liked music and worked really hard to get better at it. Now I'm pretty good at it, but I still must work hard to get better."

(After telling about what he has done in his career)

     "I've had all these experiences and it's all because of music."


This meeting with the students was just one function on the schedule of this candidate. 

Keep in mind the conductor candidate has been in the candidacy/interview/waiting process since January of 2012.

Here is an overview of his WEEK-LONG interview printed in the local paper.

1 p.m.       Meet with Executive Director and Personnel Manager
2 to 4:30 p.m. and 6 to 8:30 p.m.    Rehearsal with musicians

11:30 a.m. and Noon    Live TV appearance
5 to 7 p.m.    Board of Directors meet and greet reception patron's home

8:15 a.m.    Meet with president & executive director at local bank (sponsor of symphony concert series)
9:30 a.m.    Coffee with the Symphony League (volunteer organization)
11:10 a.m. - Noon    Lunch at local school, discuss “careers in music” with students with Executive Director
1:45 p.m. (taping at 2 p.m.) Live TV interview

Noon to 1 p.m.   Lunch & open forum for the community at local church
2 to 3 p.m.          Meeting with executive director of local arts council

9 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.   Meeting with Local Mayor at City Hall
10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.   Meeting with County Mayor at County Courthouse
12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m.   Conversations with students at local university
4:35 p.m.   Radio interview
6:30 p.m.   Visit with symphony's youth orchestra

9 a.m. to 10 a.m. School concert rehearsal
10:30 a.m. School concert
7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Orchestra rehearsal

2 p.m. Orchestra rehearsal, Q&A with orchestra musicians at conclusion of rehearsal
7:30 p.m.   Concert, “Twists of Fate,”
Post-concert reception



This makes me think that my 7.5 hour interview for my current job was nothing.

I wish this candidate and the other two the best of luck.  I feel privileged that I have had a small part in the process.  I've enjoyed meeting them, learning about their views on music, and watching them conduct.

I can't wait until Saturday's concert.

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