Meagan C.- Sandusky, Ohio
Hi Megan and thanks for the question! Preparing for a concert, from the perspective of the conductor, is a lot like be an "air-traffic controller." With limited rehearsal time to put a concert together, you have to know what you want from the orchestra and craft a "flight plan" to get the orchestra to the performance.
One of the great things about the HSO is that the musicians are from all walks of life which keeps things really interesting. The main things I do is called, "score study." This is done by analyzing the musical score to see how each instrument fits into the overall composition and relays the composer's intent to the audience. As I work through the score I also take notes on areas of the music that might be troublesome and craft ways to help the orchestra members play at their best. A majority of the orchestra includes string instruments. The way the string players move their bow is also considered and has to be carefully thought out and communicated to the orchestra. All the while, I am constantly working on developing an "inner iPod"--this is what I hear the sound of the orchestra to be--and then, how to get there.
As you can see there is a lot that goes into concert preparation. I hope this gives you an insight into what the conductor does in preparing for concerts!