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The Principal Violinist - Key Leader

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April 27, 2021
1 min read
Article Contents

In the earliest formal orchestras, the "principal violinist" was considered the leader of not only the string section but of all of the sections. 

The principal demonstrated leadership through a high standard of playing, that all other players would key to during a performance.

As these early orchestras grew in size, the effectiveness of the principal began to wain.  There was a latency experienced by the players furthest from them which caused the entire group to fall out of sync with their other constituents.

This challenge paved the way for a new position, one that we now know today as the "conductor".

The Point?

As our organizations grow, it's imperative that we (myself included) move from the "do'er" (principal violinist) to the observer/visionary (conductor) - for only then, can you fully align your team's efforts and ensure the music you make together is the very best it can be. 

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Joseph Caulkins

Joseph Caulkins

Artistic Director, Key Chorale
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