And tonight’s guest conductor is………..

This year, it has been a real pleasure to have been asked to conduct a number of bands in the area either at rehearsal or for concerts. Being a guest conductor is always fun as generally, the musicians are aware that things won’t necessarily be the same as under their regular conductor – a fact I mention to them at the start of any rehearsal!

From an interpretation perspective, all conductors are generally always right so it’s never a reflection on the resident MD if something is done in a different way – something else that I always mention up front so that they know that next week, when the boss is back, his reading of the score is also correct!

First up during the year was an opportunity to run through “Dimensions” with my good friends at Brighton & Hove City Brass whilst their MD was on vacation. This was useful for me as a player too as I performed this with them at a contest during the year which I’m pleased to say the band won!

The next band I worked with was LGB Brass – the last time I was booked to conduct this band, they were called Glynde & Beddingham Band and despite being booked to wave one stick, I landed up with 2 and played drums instead! We spent a very windy but enjoyable 90 minutes together on Eastbourne Bandstand whilst their regular MD was away.

The last conducting engagement of the year was a fun affair in Hastings with Battle Town Band – a band I have not worked with before. Despite not being aware that they start their rehearsals early, we were able to prepare for the concert the following week at a Masonic Christmas event. The evening include a very amusing “12 Days of Christmas” with each table standing up and singing a different part of the song – as you can see, the cameraman didn’t know where to look next!

It’s been a fun year and I also managed to guest on cornet at a rehearsal of the fabulous Mission Peak Brass Band in California – as I travel there a lot, I hope to do so again next year.

If I happen to turn up at your rehearsal in place of your regular conductor, with tongue firmly in cheek, here’s a few tips:

  • If you see a latin word of phrase above the stave, it means “watch Andy” – all of them mean “watch Andy”!
  • Whilst my tempo and your regular MD’s tempos may be different, we are both right!
  • For concerts, the jokes WILL be awful!
  • I may bring something with me that I don’t believe you will have played before!

Happy New Year to you all!