Sunday, February 22, 2009

The baton

Years ago, when I was a high school band director, I had a bunch of conducting batons. Wooden batons, fiberglass, most painted white, a couple natural wood. I even tried making one of my own from a dowel rod and sanding it down. (Way too much work - I won't try that again.)

Some of the batons were cracked and broken, but I really don't remember throwing them away.

So when I became bandmaster, you would think I would be able to dig a couple of them out of storage, wouldn't you? (Okay, you can stop giggling now.) The only baton I could find was a sales promotion from HP that was so flimsy that I was never sure exactly where the downbeat ended.

I finally went to the music store and bought a new Mollard baton. I mention the name because I went to CCM with Bob Mollard. He was a fraternity brother in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. As so often happens, we lost track of each other, and it was not until a couple of years ago that I discovered that he was the new guru of conducting batons. It is almost getting hard to find a baton made by anyone else. It is a good baton - light and well balanced.

Of course, within hours of arriving home with the new baton, I found a couple of the old ones. So my debate began, do I take this new baton back to the music store?

I am still thinking about it, but I will probably keep it. Bob probably doesn't need the business, but you just have to support your old college friends.