301 Artistic Advice

I have mentioned before that I sing with a choir and we are in rehearsal for Turandot. The maestro we are working with is not our normal conductor, but we have worked with him before.

A year ago the maestro stopped by a rehearsal to tell us that he was going to start utilizing us to perform with his orchestra, and that we very talented for a non-professional choir. A good deal of the chorus is still angry that he called us non-professional. There are professional singers in the choir, but the choir itself isn’t professional. You would have thought the man tried to kill us with his words with the way everyone behaves around him.

During our rehearsal on Saturday, I heard some choir members whispering behind me attacking the maestro’s personality and capabilities. It wasn’t so loud that he could hear it, but everyone around them could. We had several people quit over the past few weeks, including the choir member who runs the music school. The person got frustrated because they felt he was wasting rehearsal time, slammed their book down, and walked out. Every rehearsal fuels more and more open hatred towards this man.

Near the end of rehearsal on Saturday, the maestro was speaking to the children’s choir and he said, “Kids, here’s a lesson for you. Sometimes you will love the people you work with, but most of the time you can’t stand them. As you rehearse, forget about all that crap. Keep your eye on the prize. It’s not necessary to like everyone in your group to make good art.”

I chuckled a bit, knowing that all of those biddies whispering behind me heard him, but I will take the free advice. It’s right on the money.


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