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The Brown Noser

Orchestra Conductor Has No Fucking Idea What He's Doing With His Arms

Published Friday, December 9th, 2016

Just two minutes into a performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass,” it was clear from orchestra conductor James Crumpf’s frantic flailing in the general direction of the musicians that he had no fucking idea what he was doing with his arms. “I’ll admit that there was no rhyme or reason to what I was doing,” said Crumpf, confessing that he was so confused as to how to get everyone to start, he just raised his arms completely vertically and made rock and roll signs with his hands. “At one point, I knew there were supposed to be horns so I pointed at the horns. When I thought it should get loud, I punched the air really fast and hard. And when I knew it should be soft, I made my hands very delicate. Conducting is a lot of trial and error in that way.” At press time, Crumpf was pounding his fists on his music stand to try to get everyone to stop playing.

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