Sophomore Robby Meese participated in a week-long conducting class in England

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Meese, a Music major and member of the Duke Wind Symphony, worked with the London Classical Soloists over winter break.

During the intensive program, Meese conducted the London Classical Soloists in rehearsal and two concerts while receiving coaching from Achim Holub on conducting technique, musical interpretation, and creating a successful career as a conductor. With the orchestra, he worked on the second, third, and fifth movements of Schumman's 3rd Symphony, and the first movement of Mozart's 39th Symphony. He conducted the Mozart first movement and Schumann finale in two concerts.  (See the videos of Robby conducting.)

Robby says: "It was an incredible experience working with such a phenomenal orchestra (my first time conducting a professional ensemble) while being surrounded by such talented conductors (there were 16 in all from a total of 13 countries). It was also a great experience getting to explore London in the limited free time we had. Over the course of the week, I feel like I improved greatly in communicating musical ideas with the ensemble and gained a greater sense of what I needed to show the musicians in order to best help them. I also had to reach a new level of confidence on the podium in order to conduct a group of professionals, all older than me!"

"I am extremely grateful to the Duke Music Department, the Undergraduate Research Support Office, the Vice Provost of the Arts Scott Lindroth, and the Trinity College Dean of Academic Affairs Arlie Petters for the financial assistance provided to make this experience possible, as well as Music Department Director of Undergraduate Studies Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant for the help preparing for this masterclass and all instruction over the past two years. I feel completely changed as a conductor and musician as a result of this workshop and I cannot thank everyone enough."