Tag Archives: conduct

1749. A symphonic desire

Desmond had only one thing on his bucket list: to conduct a symphony orchestra. For over thirty years Desmond had been to every concert the national orchestra had staged in his home city. If only he could wave the baton for one minute! He would slow the orchestra down; he would speed the orchestra up; he would increase the volume; he would lower the volume. Such power at the tip of a little stick!

Of course, he would need to have the music and all the parts written out for each instrument. Desmond had a piano background from way back, so preparing the music was nothing. Selecting the piece of music was more problematic. In the end he chose to conduct Percy Grainger’s 1918 arrangement of Country Gardens. It was short and catchy, and had already been arranged for orchestra. Desmond need only get hold of the parts or write them out by hand himself. And he did that; he wrote the parts out himself.

And then tragedy struck. Such tragedy happens to most of us. The doctor gave Desmond sad news: you have but a short time left. Desmond had many acquaintances and friends, but only one knew of Desmond’s sole bucket-list desire. That friend wrote to the symphony orchestra. He already has the parts written out for Grainger’s Country Gardens. He’s been to every concert in thirty years. The piece of music is short. Perhaps he could conduct it at a rehearsal? But hurry! He has but a short time left.

The symphony orchestra scribbled a reply at the bottom of the friend’s returned letter: “Certainly not”.