Monday, May 24, 2010

A Conductor With A Galloping Adam's Apple?? Read On...

Yesterday an event I hadn't thought about in many years reappeared, and it is unique enough, from my view, to share it with you:
During my high school days I played violin in the school orchestra, even though the piano was (and is) my primary instrument. The music system throughout the city was one of the best of any city in America, as Eastman School was the driving force, this great music college being intrinsically involved in the public school system by way of its visiting faculty.
Our particular school orchestra was highly motivated, and led by a very proficient conductor, who had us doing such works as the Brahms second symphony, which I really loved being involved in, as the string aspect of that symphony has so much beauty. I remember one year our concert master, who was a senior at that time, did the Bruch Violin Concerto in "G", and the young man ended up the following year as both a freshman at Eastman AND as a member of the Rochester Philharmonic, which paid his way through college - a rather unusual confluence of events surrounding one of the many really strong talents in our school orchestra. My four years in high school constituted a profound effect upon my musical consciousness and aspirations - I have already related to you other really wonderful experiences in other blogs germane to those formative years.
Well, I MUST tell you about our beloved conductor, whose initials were J.L.L. -
He was a loving and enthusiastic musician, and he gave us a really large repertoire over the years.
He was a tall, lean man, with a protruding Adam's Apple centered upon a exceedingly long neck.
Whenever he plopped down off the podium and went to the piano to cite a particular example of, say, proper tempo in a particular piece, he would play, and as he played, his Adam's Apple would move up and down his long neck in exact rhythm to the music being played.
As I recall, no one ever giggled or suppressed a guffaw - I suppose it may have been due to our being in such awe of this traveling Adam's Apple, that it precluded anything save thunderstruck silence; honestly, in my four years as witness to this unprecedented addendum to his performances, I can state that not once did any of the students laugh or giggle.
I cannot recall as to whether this peripatetic Adam's Apple went through the same motions when J.L.L conducted; probably because I was so immersed in the music I was attempting to project on my violin.
I remember J.L.L actually appearing at my home, beseeching my parents to have me continue playing the violin, as at that time, I had decided to deal with the piano only, and sadly leave those beloved days in orchestra.
I loved that man; BUT, that Adam's Apple was, arguably, even more memorable.

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