A small act of kindness can make a lasting impression

As conductors, we likely have experienced more than our fair share of accolades. Of course, being a conductor is not all “Cheers and Bravos” as it is also a position prone to criticism. However, despite the negative comments we sometimes endure, it is those kind words that a singer or orchestral member might slip to you in passing that can make all the difference and stay with you for a lifetime. One of the most touching moments for me came when a long-standing musician in a top-level orchestra approached my dressing room and asked me to sign their program for the show we were performing that evening. Of course, I have no illusions that this gesture was intended to imply they felt I was on the same level as the “greats” they have worked with over the years, but rather I took the gesture as meaning  simply “Hey, good job”. The fact that this top-level, highly experienced musician would make this small act of kindness is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I am deeply grateful to this person for adding joy to my life.


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