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Conductor\'s Diary August 2008

21st august

GCSE results today, a week after the A levels. The class of 2008 deserves credit for a 100% A star -C with almost 80% gaining A or A star. What a great bunch of young students!

14th August

The A level results are out today and I have to say that all of my candidates deserve credit for their efforts. Although the E and D look like low grades, they are very good results for the experience and musical backgrounds of the candidates and they have had to work hard and learn an awful lot of new things to get those grades. Anyway from the look of the results, I am very happy with the way you have all worked. A level music is not easy!


12th August

Rain! Well showers anyway. Holiday in England, save the planet, don\'t fly to exotic, warm places where things are open all day and tourists are a welcome part of the economy.

Why are seaside resorts decaying and depresseing places? Because we don\'t make an effort to do something meaningful in beating the weather. Still, it is a holiday and we are braving the weather, walking the dogs, exploring the countryside and not complainiing. There are some nice pub/restaurants and some good walks. But really in terms of real tourism Britain is still in the dark ages. When global warming finally offers us summer sunshine I wonder if we\'ll be ready to exploit it. Well not when half day closing is Saturday!

11th August

Yesterday whilst exploring Ilfracombe, I heard a band playing. |From the distance it sounded ok so I went closer. The group was on a traditional bandstand and looked a little untidy.

On closer inspection they were poor in ensemble, very random in approach, relatively in tune, wayward in rhythm and accuracy and two dynamics; loudish and softish. Probably a fourth section local band with a tall but poor conductor. I wondered off thinking that perhaps I shold have just listened like a tourist. No! It would not have taken much to improve their music making. I wonder how many musical groups are being so poorly guided in the UK today. Perhaps there should be a conducting course that all conductors need to take before being allowed in front of a group. A minimum qualification; approved to British Standard 1A.

Afterwards I walked through wind and rain to the beach across flat sands and got in the water where it was much warmer. That was suffering but it was still better than listening to the band.


August is a quiet month this year and apart from the last few days of the NSWO tour to Austria, it is recouperation and holidays.

I am in England where it is trying to prove that global warming is a myth and so is summer temperatures and sunshine. I was going to write about the NSWO tour on here but I am going to try to put a Podcast on to describe the adventure and my thoughts on it all.

I should say right away though thet the tour was very successful and I am really glad that I chose to conduct the group in Austria. Not just because they tried so very hard to play every concert well, but also because the group were a pleasure to be with and it was a memorable and enjoyable experience.

I should thank Margaret and all of the helpers, all of the players, the people who tried hard to make it easy for me and the band.


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