Allison made her conducting debut at the annual Tuba Christmas Concert yesterday in Ayer, MA.
The concert is a Russell favorite because it features an all tuba orchestra which, in my opinion, is the coolest band makeup in the history of bands. Towards the end of the concert they asked if any kids wanted to guest conduct and Allison decided to go for it without any prompting from me.
She took my hand and together we walked onto the stage. Allison didn't appear to mind the audience, but seemed a little nervous in the presence of the orchestra. Tuba players are usually pretty big guys and to a 3 year old girl I'm sure they seemed enormous. Even so, she seemed happy as the conductor gave her a quick lesson in leading the orchestra.
Then with a wave of her wand, the orchestra was off playing an up tempo "We Wish You a Merry Christmas!"
I was, and still am, beside myself with pride. Not only was she brave enough to get up in front of a crowd and conduct a bunch of burly tuba players, but she handled them with grace and seemed to enjoy the experience.
On the way home that night she fell asleep. As I carried her from the car to her bed she woke for a moment and quietly asked "Daddy, can I conduct again next year?" I said "Yes sweetie." Then she put her head back on my shoulder and with an even softer "Thanks Daddy" she went back to sleep.