I hope that everyone’s summer is progressing well and staying cool or dry. Some crazy weather patterns are happening around the country. I’m in here in Maine at the Conductor’s Retreat at Medomak. It has been a crazy intense experience but very rich in knowledge shared and a wonderful community of conductors here. It is an 18 day retreat that will end on July 22 and I will be ready to return back to Beaumont. I have learned so much here. We have a big singing project left to do and the final concert on Sunday. I will be conducting the 2nd movement from the Mozart Symphony No. 40. It is all about learning.
One of the aspects that has been really refreshing here is that there are 36 conductors and just to be able to compare “notes” (small pun intended), meet people, network and just fellowship. In the conducting world we get so cut off from our fellow conductors because there is not usually many of us in any given community. So it can get a bit isolating. We are also hanging in the woods from civilization. No McDonalds, no Diet Pepsi, no TV (now that hurts), just a lot of trees, lakes and fresh air. It has been nice to detox out here, just some good living.
One of the challenges after one gets off of the formal training track (out of college and such) is how does one continue to grow. The other issue is that you can reinforce bad habits and habits as you know can be a silent killer. I have been trying to exorcise some conducting demons these past two weeks and it is not easy. It is especially not easy when you are in front of an orchestra, a room full of conductors, in front of a teacher who is going to share your faults with the world AND you essentially have no control. But my motto here has been, lets deconstruct so that we can reconstruct. One has to put their beliefs and methods to the test, put them to the fire otherwise you live in your own fantasy of greatness…….in your head. If all you get is the “Atta Boy” and pats on the back then is there any real growth? This is about truth and exposing your truth to the world and getting it picked apart. Is it difficult, yes it is but hopefully I will get on the podium a stronger conductor.
The SOST season is kicking off September 15 and more about that later. Wow, the summer flying by. SOST will be back in business before you know it. Have a great rest of July. Bye for now.
Chelsea “The Woodsman” Tipton, II