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1/15/2001: I am conducting for the first time—Cabaret. What suggestions do you have on starting out, especially how to run the first rehearsal and how to study the score?

First, do you have a full score? I noticed that, when I did a few of these shows some years ago, I had to work with the piano score and pencil-in notes to myself about who is playing what. You kind of have to depend on the musicians’ playing the right music until you hear something that seems wrong.

As for conducting generally, it is always helpful to sit with another conductor and talk through it. Someone who has done the work can tell you things that do not appear on the page: pitfalls, difficulties, effects you might want to consider, and so on. I have no quick-study hints. Obviously, if you are pressed, records can help.

As for conducting technique, you should take some lessons and read some books. I do not recommend any books in particular. You can browse many titles at the on-line booksellers. There are other messages in our archives regarding conductor training, click here for the summary of subjects.

©2001 by Joseph Rescigno. The text here may be freely reproduced for non-commercial purposes as long as credit is given.

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