Richard Sparks continues on leadership for young conductors

RICHARD SPARKS KEEPS EXPANDING his series on young conductors, this time talking about leadership:

For the young conductor, whether an undergraduate music education student or a graduate student with considerable experience, I believe that thinking about leadership directly is an important factor in your success. Ask yourself what you admire about your mentors or other conductors (All-State/Honor Choirs/Church Choirs/Community Choirs, etc.). What are the characteristics about them that inspire you and other members of the choir? How do they communicate their excitement about the music, the choir, you? Simply put, what makes them an inspiring leader?

I think the study of leaders is an important factor in the success of conductors.  The best conductors are usually great musicians, but nearly all are great leaders.  That’s one reason why I think watching rehearsals is so much more important than going to concerts — you actually get a chance to see leaders in action.

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