The Baton Doesn’t Fall Far from the Podium

I’ve now performed under three generations of conductors who have mentored one another:

  • John Oliver, conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus
  • Dr. William Cutter, John’s assistant conductor at MIT from 1990 to 1996 and currently his assistant conductor for the TFC
  • Kelby Khan, graduate student in choral conducting studying with Bill

It’s fascinating to observe what’s been passed down from master to apprentice: gestures, rehearsal style, and even jokes! I’m not a conductor myself, but I recently led a church choir rehearsal and found myself saying, “Last time through. No mistakes.”

Maybe someday I’ll work with one of Kelby’s students.

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