Previous Episodes of Ask Randall

Click each question to access the YouTube video.

Episode 12 – November 29, 2020
Are there any advantages or disadvantages, or perhaps challenges, to conducting a period music ensemble? Does the fact that the group is playing on period instruments change your conducting in any way?

Episode 11 – October 11, 2020
What’s it like to teach virtual band?

Episode 10 – September 20, 2020
Orchestral Programming and Putting a Program Together for DCCO

Episode 9 – August 30, 2020
Practice Tips, Part 2: Practicing during the Pandemic

Episode 8 – August 16, 2020
From the Field of Dreams – Practice Tips, Part 1: Keeping You Eye on the Ball

Episode 7 – August 2, 2020
When I’m at a concert by a professional orchestra, or watch a video on YouTube, sometimes I’ll watch the conductor and not be sure I would be able to follow their beat pattern. Do the pro orchestras just not need a clear beat pattern? How does everyone count rests? Or do they just know the piece so well that they aren’t even counting?

Episode 6 – July 19, 2020
As a conductor, how do you learn about all the instruments, even ones you don’t actively play?

Episode 5 – July 5, 2020
Composers used to pick keys on the basis of some kind of feeling they expressed. Is there anything to this and is it still done?

Episode 4 – June 21, 2020
Essential African-American Composers and their Works.

Episode 3 – June 14, 2020
Are some instruments inherently harder to play than others?

Episode 2 – June 7, 2020
What’s it like to read the score while you’re conducting? How is it different than the way orchestra members may read a score when we’re listening to a piece? How do you track, visually all of the lines the score as we’re playing? Do you focus only on reading the lines that have the melody or places you need to cue?

Episode 1 – May 31, 2020
What’s your process (assuming there is a typical process??) for working with a score from the beginning up until concert time?