Beyond the Baton: What Every Conductor Needs to Know

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9780195300932: Beyond the Baton: What Every Conductor Needs to Know

Seasoned conductor Diane Wittry draws a comprehensive roadmap to a successful career in Beyond the Baton. With first-hand understanding of how the role of the conductor has changed across the years, she expertly examines the new set of duties--both on and off of the podium--that now fall upon the shoulders of the music director.

From getting a job to fundraising and educational outreach, Wittry's comprehensive tips and strategies guide students and professional conductors alike through the leadership and organizational skills necessary for success. Numerous real-life examples illustrate vital skills for artistic leadership such as programming subscription, pops, and educational concerts; understanding the budget and the music director's role in funding the artistic vision; and presenting speeches, and radio and televised interviews. In informative conversations with the author, successful conductors Leonard Slatkin, Robert Spano, and JoAnn Falletta offer tips from personal experience on how music directors can work successfully with orchestras, and what their roles are with the board and the community.

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About the Author:

Diane Wittry is currently the Music Director of both the Allentown and Norwalk Symphony Orchestras and a frequent guest conductor for numerous orchestras, both in the United States and throughout the world. She is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the American Symphony Orchestra League's 1996 Helen M. Thompson Award, which recognized her outstanding artistic leadership with a regional orchestra.


"Being a music director for a symphony orchestra may be a demanding, tension-filled job, but if in the process of doing that job lives can be changed 'for the better,' then it is certainly worth doing well. Beyond the Baton will help any music conductor to do so, and that's why Wittry wrote it."-Geary Dahiny, Norwalk Citizen

"Beyond the Baton is not a text concerned with stick technique or nuances of interpretation. Rather, it is a no-nonsense explanation of the conducting profession with a distinctive philosophy of leadership. I recommend this text enthusiastically and without reservation."--Sean Burton, Choral Journal

"This book does a very thorough job of addressing a broad range of issues faced by conductors in the early stages of their careers, thus filling a need in the literature targeting our profession. Topics not addressed in most conducting textbooks, such as job-seeking, programming criteria, and board relations, are all covered with clarity and insight. Highly recommended as a practical resource for young conductors!"--Tonu Kalam, Music Director, University of North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, and President, Conductors Guild

"Wittry has done a wonderful job in producing what is surely a first: a guide to what lies beyond the music in the modern orchestral scene."--Paul Sarcich, Music and Vision

"There is much more to a successful conducting career than merely standing on the podium and making music. Diane Wittry has provided a remarkably thorough and thoughtful guide to this unique profession, one that will be of immense value to every aspiring conductor who hopes to work and flourish in American orchestras."--Henry Fogel, President and CEO, American Symphony Orchestra League

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