Doing “other things”, or things other than music, are frequently part of a conductor’s activities. Last week I had the opportunity to do one of my favorite “other things” and that is host a special show on WGBY, our Western New England PBS station in Springfield, MA. For about 5 years now I have been the host of this remarkable show they have called “Together in Song”. It is a regional choral show sort of in the format of all of the competition shows like “American Idol”, “The Voice” etc. Over the course of 6-8 weeks there is a show featuring several amateur choral groups and then those with the highest audience votes takes part in a grand finale awards show in which they receive commentary from judges, audience votes etc. etc. and an overall favorite is announced. WGBY has now begun a special feature show profiling the winning group and I went into the studio and taped the introduction for this special show featuring the Amherst Regional High School Choir with their director Anita Anderson Cooper.

This is great fun to support all of these regional amateur groups with their music making and singing talent! But I have to also admit, it is simply great fun to host something as the emcee! when I was a small child, I thought the coolest thing in the world would be to host a talk show like Johnny Carson, or a game show like Bob Barker, Monty Hall, Wink Martindale, Bert Convy and all the rest of those guys from my childhood. That being said, it is really a different kind of day, getting ready to appear on camera and speak coherently, read the teleprompter, hit my mark, not blink etc. the one thing that is no problem is making sure my hair looks ok…although they do frequently have challenges lighting my head so that there is not an abundance of glare. I had the chance to watch the takes at the studio and indeed I do have one thought…time to get back on the diet…the camera seriously does add more than a few pounds…yeah, that’s it, it’s the camera’s fault!! LOL

For those in Western New England, the show premieres tonight, Oct. 6 at 9pm they tell me! The many fun things this conducting career has allowed me are really incredible!!!

Later this week, it’s off to Boston for the opening of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra season with Mozart, Respighi and Beethoven…back to music!!

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