Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Winding Down

It takes a unconventional mentality to be in the company of,, much less to be a member of, a low-brass section.

I have to conduct the school's wind ensemble for two selections during a noon concert on Thursday. It's not something that should keep me awake during the hours I should be sleeping between now and then. The professor for my instrumental/choral conducting class knows I can't be the one to personally play all the parts, nor do I even have the power to grade the individuals playing the parts. If a flute player doesn't know a G-flat from an open bottle of Guinness, it's really not my problem. All my professor is really looking for is that I'm thoroughly familiar with the score and that I am clear in my direction of the musicians. That is something I can manage. My mom taught me how to conduct when I was in kindergarten.

I was originally planning on taking a few days off after my senior recital, but the MacNeill trial has concluded, and that was something I was considering watching if it had still been going once my recital was outof the way. There's nothing else compelling enough to keep me away from class.

Today was a Kodiak bear of a day, as, on top of my classes, I had to sit through the entirety of a three-hour wind ensemble rehearsal just so that I would be present to conduct my two pieces when the actual director of the wind ensemble eventually got around to rehearsing them. When the guy finally got to the first of my pieces, he wanted to run through the difficult patches, then run through the whole thing, then run through it again with me conducting it. The first-chair clarinet player told him just to let me conduct it on the first run-through. His words were that I was not "a complete moron like that other jerk student conductor we have" and that the ensemble could follow me. I wouldn't ordinarily consider it a compliment for someone to acknowledge that I'm not a complete moron (I may very well be a partial moron in the guy's opinion) but the director handed the baton to me and gestured to me to take the podium as though I should have been totally flattered by the clarinet player's remark.

Last night's sleep in my dorm was interrupted when a freshman left a toaster strudel or some other glorified form of pop tart (Ugh! I would not eat one of the things unless I was an inch from literal starvation and all the unflavored cardboard in my region had already been eaten) in a toaster too small to pop up and disengage when it normally would. The campus fire squad kept us outside for about half an hour, which initially irritated me, but when we walked back through and I caught a better whiff of the second-floor inferno, I understood why the fire squad was concerned. The stench was worse than the most egregious microwave popcorn disaster I've ever experienced, and I've come into contact with more than a few. Anything that creates such toxic smoke in its torched state cannot possibly be good for a body even when properly heated. My prediction is that those who consume large quantities of such garbage will not require normal embalming procedures upon death, as the people are probably already full of formaldehyde.

My friend Rebecca had surgery today. By the time my day finally wound down , it was too late for an even minimally polite person to call someone's parents who live within the Eastern Standard Time Zone, so I'll have to get a a few inutes early tomorrow morning in order to check on her.


  1. LOL… I remember those fire alarms in the middle of the night. I will have to blog about the one time I didn't go outside.

    Your conducting assignment sounds interesting, even if the clarinet players are snarky, like Squidward.

  2. A Kodiak bear of a day--I wish I'd written that!