by Dawn De Braal
dry sherryThe lights in the concert hall lowered. The audience took their seats. Their tones hushed as the lone conductor walked onto the stage. He stepped up on to the platform, tapping his music stand with the baton to garner attention, he put his hands up. Instruments went to their mouths or into the playing position. Down came the baton, the cellos and violins and tympanies started to play building up to a crescendo. The conductor motioned for the woodwinds to join beckoning them with his one hand while the other kept the 6/8, time signature. All eyes of the musicians’ split between the music on their stands and the man who held them in his hands. Wonderfully, he danced on the podium while the hand signals drew them out, or pushed them back down with his flat hand, brought up their volume and hushed them to silence. The musical interpretation of the piece held the audience captive. When it ended, the conductor bowed and then stepped off the stage to give the musicians their due. The crowd rose to their feet with a standing ovation
" Encore!” the audience shouted. The conductor stood smiling at holding his hand out to his orchestra. Finally, someone tapped him on the shoulder to let him know they were requesting an encore. They spoke to him in sign language. No one expected the conductor, who brought out so much emotion in the music, to be deaf.