(peaceful music cues) (peaceful music continues) - Okay, Missy Sharpe, welcome to your conducting lesson.
- All Right - When we're conducting we should always be thinking of a plane, a big square.
Never come out of this square.
So we'll learn the first step, a proper ictus and we're gonna bounce our baton.
1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1.
Now we're gonna learn a pattern of four.
Most songs start in four.
1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4.
(dramatic orchestra music cues) (dramatic orchestra music continues) (dramatic orchestra music continues) - I am so glad that you are here in Detroit with us as the assistant conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
As an audience member we see the conductor waving their hands.
- I love this.
Waving your hands.
- Yes (both laughing) - Scooping the air.
(Na'Zir laughing) - Scooping the air.
(both laughing) But what is the job of the conductor?
- Well, funny or not the main job is to wave your hands and to scoop the air.
- Scoop the air, okay.
- But there is something deeper than that than just scooping the air and moving within the wind.
You're in charge of the time, the tempo, the rhythm, the heartbeat of the orchestra.
The musicians are some of the best musicians of the in the world.
They know how to play their instruments incredibly well.
They know the music.
So what can you give them other than just beating time waving your, it's not just about waving your hands but also about how you shape the sound.
How you shape the music plays softer or louder sharper accents or more legato.
It's, it's so much, much deeper than just that too.
It's about how you inspire the musicians to react to the music.
They already know what's happening next.
How do you get them ready for it?
How do you get the audience ready for it so that they're sitting on the edge of their seats?
It's about shaping the sound and creating an atmosphere.
That's what the role as the conductor is on the podium.
(dramatic classical music cues) (dramatic classical musical continues) (dramatic classical musical continues) - So you're preparing for this year's upcoming Classical Roots concert Na'Zir.
What's on the program for this year's concert?
- Well, we have a very exciting program, of course with every start of the Classical Roots program.
We start with Lift Every Voice played by the DSO and sung by the Brazeal Dennard Chorale.
Next in the program, we have a piece that I'm really excited for because I get to collaborate with my former clarinet teacher and clarinet idol.
I love his playing.
Anthony McGill, who is the principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic and will be performing Anthony Davis, "You Have the Right to Remain Silent".
which is a concerto for clarinet and orchestra.
That was written based off a encounter that Anthony Davis had with the police.
And it's a really powerful piece for clarinet and orchestra.
And in the piece, Anthony Davis writes that the clarinet improvises on top of the orchestra.
So I think the audiences will find this really exciting to hear what Anthony McGill comes up with on the spot.
We also have Florence Price Concert Overturn number two which will be the first time the DSO performs this piece.
We'll also be collaborating with bass-baritone Davóne Tines who is a wonderful singer and he'll be singing sermon number one, which is he devised his work to incorporate three different musical pieces into one.
And in between each movement there will be a poem two recited by Davóne Tines and one will have Detroit Native and poet Jessica Care Moore joining us.
And I'm so excited for this program.
I think our audiences will truly be amazed with what we've come up with.
- That sounds like an incredible program, Na'Zir.
And we're looking forward to seeing you conduct the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for this year's Classical Roots concert.
What is the mission of Classical Roots and why is it so important to keep that mission of classical roots alive?
- Well, first, the mission of Classical roots is to uplift the voices of marginalized communities but specifically the African American community.
We are performing works by African American composers.
The reason why we continue to do this concerts is to introduce this theme of African American art and music to our communities.
It's very important that we continue the trend of diversity within our orchestras and in our orchestra programming.
It's really important for young African Am American musicians to see that they too can do it that they too belong on the orchestra stage.
- How do you hope that the performance impacts the audience with this year's Classical Roots concert?
- First, I should say this is the first Classical Roots concert since the Pandemic.
So I think it's the perfect chance for our audience members to hear for the first time in almost three years, what the orchestra sounds like playing music by African American composers.
I hope that our audience members will be able to see themselves in the music, to relate to the music more so than other composers.
I pray that the audience members will enjoy the music as much as I do, as much as the musicians on stage do and that they are willing to come back to Orchestra Hall to see the DSO or to see myself.
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