We’re happy to announce the winners of the Cape Symphony’s Baton Hero Competition, our amateur conducting contest. The entrants chose piece of classical or pops symphonic music in the public domain (written before 1924) and submitted a YouTube video. Jung-Ho Pak reviewed the videos and handed out these very special awards to the deserving winners.
Watch the video featuring Jung-Ho's interviews with the winners and their entries.
Daniel Day is awarded “Most Imbued with the Joy of Conducting” for his conducting of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.” Daniel is a percussionist with the Seacoast Wind Ensemble in Maine and New Hampshire. Their entire summer season was canceled due to the pandemic, so when Daniel saw our contest on Facebook, he thought it would be a way to get back into music.
Lee Yaffa wins the “Closest Incarnation of the Legendary George Szell” award for his video in which he conducts “Farandole” from “L’Arlésienne” by Georges Bizet. George Szell was a critically acclaimed conductor who put the Cleveland Orchestra on the map. Lee’s performance was one of the most believable; his “audience” throws flowers to him!
For her entry, Jo Brisbane conducted the first movement of “Winter” by Antonio Vivaldi. Jo’s artistic interpretation includes the use of fans she had from a performance at the Cotuit Center for the Arts, and dressing in white to evoke winter. Jung-Ho awards Jo the “Most Beautifully Creative and Inspiring Interpretation.” Her video instantly put a smile on our faces.
Peter Gaines receives the “Most Free Furtwengler-esque Baton Technique” Furtwangler, named after Wilhelm Furtwangler, one of the most important conductors of the 20th century. Peter’s conducting is very expressive and artistic, like the former conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. In his entry video, Peter conducts “La Gazza Ladra” (The Thieving Magpie) by Gioachino Rossini.
Oliver Roycroft wins “Most Physically Involved and Focused Conducting” for his active conducting, putting his whole body and soul into his performance. Oliver lives in Brewster and works at Maplewood Senior Living in the dining room. This wonderful young man conducts the famous “1812 Overture” by Pyotr Tchaikovsky with great intensity. Oliver says, “I’ve always been a music lover.”
The “Most Ready to Take the Podium if Jung-Ho Gets Hit by a Bus” award goes to Andrew Milne. Andrew conducted “Overture to the Nutcracker” by Tchaikovsky. Andrew is the choral director for the Harvard, MA public schools, and holds a BA in Music and a Master’s in Music and Choral Conducting. He’s definitely the contestant with the most qualifications, as well as a tuxedo!
Troy Clarkson conducts Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, first movement. Troy, too, is ready with his tuxedo, and Jung-Ho was highly impressed with his professional style of conducting, handing him the “Most Maestro-like and Maybe Should Have Done it As a Career” award. For his day job, Troy is the Chief Financial Officer for the City of Brockton, commuting from his home in Falmouth.
Thanks to all of our contestants for participating. We love your enthusiasm!