Ghost Light (ghost_light) wrote,
Ghost Light

I always say stage managing the Civic Orchestra is one of my favorite events. Here is an example of why:

I was chatting with one of the musicians after the rehearsal last night and he told me that, years ago, they had a guest conductor who was known for throwing his baton at orchestra members if they made mistake.

Knowing he was not a perfect player, the musician told the conductor at one of the first rehearsals "I'm a police officer. I have handcuffs and a gun with me. If you throw your baton at me, I will arrest you for assaulting an officer. If you throw your baton at anyone here, I will charge you with misdemeanor assault."

"Well," huffed the conductor. "That is just my way."

"Then find another way," says the musician.

They were rehearsing the 1812 Overture. You know, the one with the cannons? But instead of cannons they had a little guy off stage playing the part on kettle drums. Because he was little, he had a hard time seeing the conductor. The orchestra reached the climax of the piece with the cannons going off madly and, of course, the end of the piece, but the guy didn't see it and just kept on drumming away like Animal.

Finally he notices it's sounding pretty lonely out there (since he is the only one playing) and he peeks out onto the stage. The conductor is standing there glowering, arms folded and the baton is twitching, just *twitching*.

After a moment, the conductor spoke.

"I have only one thing to say. I think you should keep beating them. They are not dead yet."

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