I still can’t believe that I won the Battle of the Batons competition last Saturday night!
The Panama City Pops Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Eddie Rackley, invited Rep. Jimmy Patronis Jr., Jim Hayden, the owner of The Bagel Maker and me to compete for the title of “The Baddest, Maddest Guest Conductor”. They presented each of us with handmade batons prior to our performance, a souvenir of our evening at the Pops!
The idea was to help raise some funds for the orchestra. Both Jim Hayden and Jimmy Patronis Jr. were fantastic competitors, and I think either of them could have won it.
The three of us had a good time backstage prior to our performances. Watching the orchestra and conductor from that vantage point was very interesting, but I think we were all a little nervous. Eddie Rackley is such an accomplished conductor. Watching him conduct so masterfully, we realized that we could never really do what he was doing.
But we tried anyway. Jimmy Patronis Jr. went first, then it was my turn, and Jim Hayden finished it all up. I was impressed by both of those guys and their composure. It is not as easy as it looks, but the orchestra gave us a lot of “wiggle” room. They sounded great, in spite of my lack of conducting skills.
Somehow, I was voted (via dollar donations) as the winner! Thanks to all of the people who voted for me, and special thanks to the Panama City Pops. What a great orchestra. If you haven’t been to one of their performances – go! You will not be disappointed. Their next concert will be on March 16th.
All in all, I tried to “conduct” myself in an appropriate manner and I definitely had a great time!