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Classically Trained: It's more than just waving a stick

May 19, 2011|By Bradley Zint

It's like calling a newspaper editor useless because he's not the one writing the stories. Or the football coach pointless because he doesn't execute the plays.

St.Clair's actions are enough to break a sweat. Seriously. Post-concert, sometimes conductors like St. Clair look like they just finished the Boston Marathon.

If you don't believe me, check out YouTube videos of the greats — Leonard Bernstein, for example. Take heed at his crying on the job while conducting some emotional Mahler. You'll see dripping eyes and a perspiring forehead.

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I hope all that I've just highlighted about the conductor's role was answered for what was probably a crowd of many orchestral newbies in the house Monday.

I surmised that after St.Clair asked the audience members to raise their hands if it was their first time to the concert hall. Most hands went up.

Judging by the good playing all around, seeing an effective conductor lead and being in the beauty of O.C.'s grand hall, I hope that those hands' owners will be back again. And again.

BRADLEY ZINT is a copy editor for the Daily Pilot and a classically trained musician. E-mail him story ideas at bradley.zint@latimes.com.

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