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Michael Avagliano

November 17, 2004 at 8:05 PM

Well, after 5 weeks of rehearsals, I can give myself a early conducting report card.

Score preparation and knowledge: B
I've done a fair amount of study, and I find I no longer need the score to know what's going on in the parts -- I'm turniing pages a lot less than I was six weeks ago. But I'm still far better versed on the string parts than the winds and brass.

Stick technique: B-
I mirror too much. It's a common problem with young conductors, but it's still there, and I'd rather not. Also, my dynamic range could be larger.

Direction to the orchestra: C+
When I find myself searching for the right words, I know there's something that needs to be improved. I'll work on it -- public speaking is not really a strong point for me.

But, now to the important one:

Fundraising: A
We have enough to cover the entire season, and we're not even at the first performance yet. That hasn't happened with this orchestra in 4 years. This was a big thing for me: as a freelancer, I know that the best gigs are the ones where the check is in your hand the night of the concert.

Once again, it amazes me how much of being a conductor has nothing to do with standing on the podium. It's more like being a manager -- putting out fires and being a moderator, making sure things stay on an even keel. After all, it's just a temp job.

Anyways, I'll let you know how the concert goes. And eventually I'll write about instrument sales again.

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