Orchestra Seminar

October 28, 2007 at 3:09 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

This post isn’t about Band Literature, but I thought that it was relevant enough that it could go in this post.  After all, this blog is first and foremost about music.

Since the beginning of the semester I have been in a Conducting Seminar in our Orchestra here at Grove City.  In the first week of classes I was assigned an arrangement of Bach’s Little Fugue in G minor.  It was a good arrangement and I really enjoyed the piece.  Starting in the second week of the semester I rehearsed the Fugue at every orchestra rehearsal.  I was video taped at all the rehearsals so I could go back and view what I had done in rehearsal.  This was very helpful and also very humbling!  At the end of every week I would meet with our orchestra director and he gave me pointers of what I could do to improve my conducting and make things clearer for the orchestra.  He also gave me tips on how to fix certain things that might not have been going well in rehearsal musically.  One of the things I really liked about what Dr. Konzen told me, was to constantly think of what I could do when something wasn’t going right instead of immediately saying what a section was doing wrong and what they needed to do.  We focused on how my conducting could fix a problem.

Just this part of the seminar was a great learning experience.  I had already taken three conducting classes at school and had also had small amounts of podium time with other groups, but this was more beneficial than any of the classes I had taken.  To be able to be up in front of the orchestra twice a week and get constant feedback was great.

The final part of the seminar was to conduct the piece in the Fall Concert which was this past Friday night (October 26th).  I had never conducted in a formal concert like this and I loved every minute of it.  For a good portion of the day on Friday I just kept thinking about the fact that I had to conduct that night.  I was wondering if I would trip walking to the podium or if I might forget to conduct one of those random 2/4 bars in the piece.  When it was my turn to conduct, as soon as I walked onto the stage and up to the podium (without tripping!) I felt very at ease.  The Fugue sounded great and it was a great feeling to be up there conducting the orchestra.  I could do that every day.  Before I knew it, I was back in my seat playing the last piece in the concert.  I felt like I had barely been up there for a minute.

In these past two months in seminar I learned so much.  Rehearsing the orchestra was an experience that really taught me a lot and conducting in the concert was a lot of fun and I’ll never forget it. 

Well my next post will go back to Band Literature or another composer.  I just wanted to write a little about my first experience with getting to really be a conductor and what it taught me. 

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  1. Hey Krista,

    It doesn’t get too much better than the Little Fugue when it comes to Bach. I am glad that you had that experience. Conducting your peers and rehearsing them is a great opportunity to develop as a conductor. I actually felt less pressure when I student taught because of the experience. It is also great to see you keeping a quasi-journal of that experience. Hope all is well and that you have a great Thanksgiving break!

    Sincerely,
    Travis J. Weller


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