We had a couple of pretty humorous moment at the Elgin Symphony this month. I usually don’t mention specific people or ensembles in story posts like this after realizing that they’ll pop up right at the top of search results (sometimes before the group’s actual website!). But what the hey, we’ll do a non-anonymous one this week:
An alarming yet amazing thing happened during our first night of rehearsal with guest conductor Andrew Grams at the Elgin Symphony recently. A dynamic and engaging conductor with a wonderfully musical grace to his interpretations, Andrew was really getting the orchestra to respond to his gestures and idea. Things were really cooking!
Andrew was looking quite comfortable, perched on a high stool and leaning casually against the brass railing behind the podium. His podium was right up against the edge of the stage, just as you’d expect for an orchestra rehearsal.
All of a sudden, the brass railing gave way, clattering to the floor, and Andrew started to fall backwards. He stood up, knocking over the stool in an attempt to save his balance, but inertia had taken over, and he ended up falling off the stage in a terrifying-looking reverse belly flop right off the stage and into the seats.
The orchestra was silent, everyone looking in surprise and horror at what had just happened. The conductor had, mid-sentence, fallen clear off the stage!
Somehow he managed to do some kind of complicated midair acrobatics and land on his feet, popping back up over the lip of the stage, looking around sheepishly for a moment, and then picking up right where he had left off in the rehearsal.
Now that’s the mark of a pro!
P.S. – The concerts were awesome. What a conductor!