Waiting. A continuous flow of person after person building up their bravery to set the tempo in front of the crowd. Would all of the music have been played? Her heart racing. She had never set the tempo before. Always a musician but never in the rhythm section. A child who looked to be eight or nine steps up. “He must have taken a conduction class” she thought. Standing ovation.
The baton. Resting on a cold piece of black steel. No one had claimed it for 20 seconds. Her turn. She looks back at her muse and smiles. She picks up the baton. “Victory!” or so she thought. “What would you like us to play?” inquires a violinist. Ah ha, a choice. “Beethoven, Brahms or Bach? Do you have any of those?” she replies. With a smile, the violinist says “We do.”
She raises the baton and counts them off. They began to play. She flails her arms in a semi-fluid motion as they glance between the conductor and the off-white pages spotted with black music notes. The longest three minutes it seemed. Her heart still racing. “Am I doing it right?” she thought. The song was over. No standing ovation.
An older lady from the crowd emerges and walks over to the woman. “Did you know you were conducting in six eighths?” “My goodness. You are brave. I hadn’t done that in years.” With wide eyes, the woman exclaims “I didn’t.” They both had a laugh. The woman returns to her muse “Next time if they ask if I have any request, I’ll say, you got anything with an odd signature?”