I decided to start a blog because I envied my sister’s outlet for useful knowledge that could otherwise so easily go unspread. Because the thing about conducting is that no one knows what conducting is except conductors, and half of them don’t even know much about it because they fell into conducting accidentally and never really thought about it. The thing about conducting is that, although many people in ensembles and audiences see it and naturally draw conclusions about what they see, few have real inside information.
I’ve wanted to be a conductor since the 8th grade, and I’m thirty-three years old now. I conducted my first choir when I was seventeen, then took every conducting course in college plus private lessons, attended every summer seminar and workshop I could afford, had my first church job at twenty, taught high school, got a master’s degree in conducting, and now am finishing the second year of my doctoral work. That means I’ve been thinking about conducting for twenty years, doing it professionally for twelve years. Also, I’m me, so I’ve formed some opinions. For example: ensemble singing can save the world. I’ll tell you why later.
I’ve already written some about my approach. You’ll find me in James Jordan’s Evoking Sound: The Choral Rehearsal, Vol. I; Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir, Vols. II and III; and the Choral Journal, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Choral Directors Association, notably at the moment in your April 2010 issue.
The thing about conducting, is that few people have the inside information. So I’m going to put it out here, on the internet, for all to see, so at least it’s out there and you could know if you were interested enough to look. I’m going to do what I love to do; but, instead of standing on a podium, I’ll be sitting at my computer. Instead of waving my arms, I’ll be constructing sentences. Instead of analyzing and interpreting musical scores, I’ll be analyzing and interpreting… well, the list of things is very long. Some of the things are really big–life altering big, once you know them. Which is why I’m here.