I had a great time last night at the Indian Hill Middle School Orchestra Spring Concert!
My friend Candace Putz is the director and she mentioned a few weeks ago that her 8th graders would be playing Westward Motion. She invited me to say a few words before the performance, so I cleared my calendar and set my VCR to tape Lost. I got there a little late (unusual for me) but slipped backstage after the 6th graders finished to let her know that I'd arrived and was ready to speak.
"Oh, great!" she said, "Look, the kids want you to conduct the piece."
I was a little stunned at first, but said "Okay, let's do it!" Thank goodness I thought to wear a tie and nice shoes.
So I went back to the band room, quickly introduced myself, got everyone in places, and ran through the piece. I had no score and conducted with a xylophone mallet, but it worked out fine. The orchestra sounded good and several students commented that Westward Motion was their favorite piece. After the run-through, I answered a few questions and we went outside to wait for the 7th graders to finish.
The 8th graders took the stage and the performance was great. Mrs. Putz lent me her baton and there was a score waiting for me at the podium. The kids generally weren't happy with the rest of their performance, but Westward Motion sounded good. After the show everyone convened in the auditorium lobby for a reception, where I talked with several parents, who were very excited and appreciative. They seemed to like the piece.
So it was a great night and I had a great time! Mrs. Putz always does an excellent job and it's wonderful to see the progress her students make over the years.