The substitute conductor.
Last week I had another interesting skype session with my personal a capella guru, Peder Karlsson. We talked about a lot of interesting things, off course, and one of them I want to share with you.
Have you, as a conducter, ever worked with a substitute conductor during performances? I recently was asked by the board of one of my choirs if I'd mind if they asked another conductor to lead a performance I wasn't available for. The choir considered it a great opportunity to perform, and was a bit disappointed that I wasn't availabe. My first thought was that I don't think the choir will perform in the same way if I wouldn't be there. But maybe I'm a bit of a control freak or I give myself to many credits, of course...;-) I don't want to deny them any good chance to perform, but I was a bit in doubt.
Anyway, at the same time it might be a good opportunity for the choir to see how well they can perform on their own, and how responsable they feel for the musical choices and energy we always work with. So now the choir can get a chance to be even more active and self controlling, during this performance.
Of course, it depends on what kind of performance we're talking about. If it's about a short a capella set on some Christmas market, for example, or if it's a well known theater with paying audience. In the first case, of course this wouldn't be a problem. But you know what? It might don't have to be one in the second case as well. In a perfect world the choir would be so well trained and together on this, it's only gonna be an experience where they can all feel more involved. It keeps them awake, and let's them think for themselves.
My conclusion: let's do it! :-)
Musical wishes, Merel