Double-bass finds dead body: Should I tell the orchestra?

Double-bass finds dead body: Should I tell the orchestra?


norman lebrecht

May 25, 2016

Jason Heath’s always entertaining blog has taken a turn for the macabre:

There’s an absurdist part of my personality that enjoys saying strange things (within reason) to large groups of teenagers and observing their reaction.  It’s a good way to break up rehearsals, and it can make you seem quite mysterious if applied judiciously.  I’ve told many a crazy gig story in orchestra rehearsals, which results in a lot of laughter and quizzical looks.

So… I had to decide… do I talk about the dead body with my orchestra?

The next day, I found myself up on the podium in front of one of my orchestras (about 60 students), and they were merrily playing, tuning, chatting, and settling into rehearsal.  I couldn’t help myself.

“Hey guys, guess what?  I found a dead body!

Note to self: if you ever want the total, rapt attention of a large group of high schoolers, just say the words “dead body.”  Never have I heard a room fall so eerily silent.  I had their complete, rapt attention.  If only I could get that attention when trying to give them a new bowing!

I related the story, they asked some questions, and we proceeded with a very somber rehearsal.

Coincidentally, my orchestra director colleague at my school has also found a dead body….

jason heath

Read on here.



  • Jason Heath says:

    Thanks for the mention! Much appreciated. I alway love reading Slipped Disc–it’s in my Feedly andI look forward to it every morning.