As a (hopefully) up and coming conductor myself I am always interested in the different persepctives of players on how things should be done. So... how about an example of a conductor doing something really great... ...and an example of a conuctor doing it totally wrong (anonimity preserved and speculation prohibited!)? Pushing the ball: GOOD: Mike Fowles taking a more-or-less scratch band to 2nd at Butlins in six rehearsals. A professional attitude and meticulous level of planning from Mike instilled a sense of self-responsibility in the players and the whole quickly became greater than the sum of the parts. He approached the job assuming the band would win and no one dared to think or act otherwise. On the day there were a few more hiccups than normal and an extremely in-form Skelmanthorpe to beat, but 2nd was a real achievement and we all knew who had made it happen. The lesson was: be organised, be professional, no excuses. BAD: Preparing with a band for a major contest, we are all informed of three full-weekend rehearsals (ie 9-5) and that all of Easter Monday was also taken for band. A band of mostly amateur players can't give full concentration and physical effort for more than about 3 hours in my experience. Rehearsals seemed ill-planned with no particular set target and many players left with instruments going cold for 30 mins or more at a time. Each rehearsal started with a hymn warm-up, straight in to the test piece, starting at the beginning and muddling throught to the end with vague waffly criticism of poor playing and no methodical rehearsal of difficult passages. No specific improvement targets were set for players between rehearsals. The week before the contest the whole band is thoroughly bored and demotivated and aware that the piece sounds ropey. Sadly the conductor does not attach any urgency to fixing this, choosing to blame the players and complain that there were 'not enough rehearsals'. There were more hours spent on that piece than in any other contest build up I'd done in 20 years. I'm sure you can predict the result! The lessons was: motivation and self responsibility are led from the front even at a high level. Anyone else with examples they'd like to share?