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How hard can it be? recent news05.08.08

How hard can it be?

Three weeks on from Baton Camp, and the students are trying out their conducting skills on Sinfonia Tamesa, a 60-strong orchestra of young musicians, in a church in London. Radio Times journalist Christopher Middleton visits them. He makes the mistake of asking whether it's as easy as it looks, and is promptly invited to have a go.

"The first thing you feel when you step onto the rostrum is that you've walked into a crowded room, full of people who are looking to you as if you have answer to an important question," he observes. He steels himself for the challenge, plunges his baton down and...nothing happens. It turns out that the orchestra won't play a note until the conductor's baton reaches the "beat one" position (due south).

Then they're off. The orchestra follows their master resolutely, even, as he puts it, "when they know they're heading towards suicide".

He makes it to the end, feeling like "a thoroughbred that's just run the Grand National", and with a new appreciation for the tough job of conductor.

Let's hope the Maestro students rise to the challenge.

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