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….
Read on here.