Beyond the Baton: What Every Conductor Needs to Know

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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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195300932
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet 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.

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Table of Contents

Prologue: So-You Want to Be a Conductor?: It Starts With You     3
Preparing for Success     7
Formal Musical Training     7
Character Development     13
Choosing the Path     17
Path to the Podium     27
Interview: Leonard Slatkin, National Symphony     27
Interview: Robert Spano, Atlanta Symphony     33
Interview: JoAnn Falletta, Buffalo Philharmonic     38
Your First Job     45
Getting the Job     45
Negotiating the Contract     58
First Year-Do's and Don'ts     66
Getting Organized     70
Artistic Leadership     77
Understanding Leadership     77
Steps to Becoming a Successful Leader     79
Thoughts about Artistic Vision     90
Artistic Programming     97
Subscription Concert Programming     97
Thematic Programming     119
Pops Programming     121
Educational and Family Programs     131
The Overall Concert Experience     136
The People Factor     141
Working with People     141
Implementing the Artistic Plan     153
The Music Director's Rolewith the Board     170
Union and Orchestra Relations     176
Rehearsal Techniques     185
Developing Your Network     190
Funding the Artistic Vision     193
Getting to Know the Numbers     193
The Music Director's Role in Fundraising     197
Creating a Visible Presence in the Community     200
Closing Thoughts     209
Keeping Your Competitive Edge     209
Leaving a Legacy     211
Epilogue     212
Music Organizations     217
Networking Organizations     217
Directories, Magazines, and Journals     218
Internet Resources and Forums     219
Artist Managers     221
Music Sources     225
Standard Music Publishers     225
Pops Music Publishers     227
Library Special Collections     229
Training and Personal Development     251
Summer Festivals and Workshops     251
Conducting Competitions     253
Grants and Residencies     258
Programming Resources     265
Thematic Programming Lists     265
Encore Lists     308
Audition Repertoire Lists     311
Sample Contracts and Resume Format     319
Music Director Job Posting     319
Music Director Job Description     320
Sample Guest Conducting Contract     321
Sample Music Director Contract     322
Sample Resume     326
Recommended Reading     327
Music Books     327
Leadership Books     328
Organizational Books     329
Photo Credits     331
Index     333
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