Originally Posted by Class A Drummer
a stupid conductor or band member who tells you to play something that just sounds bad, then yells at you for playing it exactly how he/she says to.
I have a funny story about that. I was playing in a summer community band several years ago when I was in college. The band performed on an outdoor band shell. We had two directors- one was the high school orchestra director, and the other was high school band (I didn't go to high school there, so I wasn't a student of either). The band director was always fairly short with people so I didn't care for him much.
Well, the last time I ever played for him, we had an interesting march to play for the concert finale. Another high school drummer had come for the rehearsal but had blown off the performance, so I had to sit in on the part. It was a traditional march, but for some reason, instead of bass drum on 1, 3 and snare on 2, 4 (boom chick), it was reversed (chick boom). No problem to me, I'm a senior music major and can read it.
So I start playing, "Chick Boom", and the director immediately looks over at me with frustration on his face and tries to give me a bigger beat. I'm staring right at him and keep the snare coming on 1 and the bass on 2. I'm not sure if he just didn't bother looking at his own chart or what (I'm pretty sure the kid at rehearsal ignored the music and played "boom chick"), but he now starts slowing down and speeding up his tempo in an attempt to get me to turn around my pattern. Like a good musician, of course, I follow his fluctuations, and he's getting angrier and angrier.
After about 64 measures of this cut time battle, the song ends, and after the bows, I'm the first to grab the music and head up front to let him know I was not being disrespectful (and also for a bit of my own ego- I know I wasn't wrong). He listens for about three seconds and then turns away, still furious with me. I head back to start tearing down my gear.
Here's where it gets good. Domed band shell, remember? I'm sitting on one side of the shell, tearing down percussion equipment, and the director was wandered to the opposite side of the shell to talk to a band member. Thanks to the dome, although they are standing more than 30 feet away, I can hear their quiet conversation as if they're standing right next to me. Now I'm hearing the conductor call ME stupid and claim that I ruined the song. Ooooh, now I'm steamed.
I wait for about five minutes and walk up to the director, who has calmed down significantly. I start by saying, "You know, this dome is really cool; you can hear things from the other side of it as if they are right next to you!" He starts rambling about the science of that, but I interrupt, "My point is, if you're going to speak badly of someone, you should make sure you're somewhere that you can't be heard!" I handed him my folder, with the last march music on top, and left.
For the rest of the season, I only played for the orchestra director, and never played for them again after that.