Conducting Debut

File this one in the “you’re never too old to do something new” folder. On Wednesday morning, my mom, who is a musician, but has never before directed a band, stood before a high school band in Wisconsin and directed as they played “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”

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Here’s the back-story….

My mom loves to talk about things she’s always wanted to do. The rest of the clan tries to come up with ways to make them happen (often to her surprise and amazement).

“I’ve always wanted to drive John Deere tractor,” she said once. We contacted a farmer friend and arranged for her to drive one on her 70th birthday.

“I’ve always wanted to drive a zamboni,” she used to say, often. A family friend knew someone who worked at a local skating rink, so she arranged for my mom to drive one on her 80th birthday.

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In recent years, she has talked about her desire to direct a band playing “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” It so happens that the same friend who got her on the zamboni heard her express this wish is the conductor of the Hudson High School band in Hudson, WI. A couple of weeks ago, he called and told her his band was playing her song (so to speak). Would she like to come over one morning and direct it?

Of course she said yes.

In preparation, she spent the past 2 weeks practice-conducting with a YouTube clip of the Marine Band playing the song.

On Wednesday morning, she was ready for her conducting debut. Here it is in full.

Way to go, Gracie!

With winter just around the corner here in Minnesota, she’s now started talking about always wanting to drive a snow plow.

Looks like we have our work cut out for us!