Orchestra Observation Essay

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Rehearsal Observation - April 16, 2012 The rehearsal I observed on Monday, April 16th, was a rehearsal for the last CIM Orchestra concert of the year. The CIM Orchestra, conducted by Joel Smirnoff, the president of CIM, is playing Mahler's second symphony, "Resurrection" with a chorus and some solo vocalists. Everyone is visibly excited for two reasons. One - everyone is ready to be done with school and two - everybody seems to love Mahler’s Second Symphony. It was nice to hear the orchestra, but I was mainly watching Joel Smirnoff, the conductor. I had never really paid close attention to a conductor before in a concert. Usually when I go to an orchestra concert I am just listening to the music. Also, because I am a guitarist, I have never really followed a conductor before I took conducting class. But it was definitely a very educational experience closely observing the conductor. It has made me appreciate the job even more. I always figured it wasn't easy being a conductor, but not being familiar with conducting and what the job entails, I never really knew why. Upon closer observation, it becomes very apparent why conducting is so difficult. The conductor must not only be aware of what every musician is doing, but be aware of what each musician is supposed to be doing according to the score. It is amazing how many things that we are unaware of. Seeing how different a conductor was than my previous mental image made me think of how much else in this world is different than we normally perceive it to be. Joel Smirnoff was an interesting guy. Even though he is the president of CIM, I have never really seen his personality before today. He seems nice, but he also doesn't put up with any misbehavior. When the students were talking too much he would just interject with a loud "shh shh shh" etc until they stopped. The students were especially talkative because
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