>Max Kinchen

>The symphony began under the expert direction of conductor Alan Gilbert and soon I was caught up in the music, marveling at how engaged I was …
In the last movement, right as the piece was building to its big finish, somewhere, in the left front area of the auditorium, someone’s iphone began to go off. Alec Baldwin had asked us so nicely to turn them off and yet someone had not heeded his call! Some terrible soul had forgotten and was now disturbing the performance! Luckily, the music was building and so the ringer was drowned out by the instruments. I think we all hoped that the call would end and that would be the end of it. Oddly enough though, the ringer persisted, consistently for a good 5 or so minutes. Every so often, Alan Gilbert would give the slightest glance in the direction of the ringer as he conducted.
Another few minutes passed and still the ringer persisted, we were getting to a point in the piece where it was very quiet, with only some violins and a few wind instruments playing. It was supposed to be a quiet moment before the big finale and this persistent iphone ring was ruining the entire aesthetic of the piece. Finally, in a move that shocked the whole venue, Gilbert put down his baton and signaled the players to stop. The audience was dead silent for a moment, save of course for the terrible sound of the ringing phone. Then, suddenly there was the sound of a great shifting and rumbling as every single person in the hall reached for their pockets and made sure their phones were off. And still, the phone continued to ring.
“We’ll wait.” Gilbert said, sounding more like a chastising kindergarten teacher than a conductor. Myself and those around me cringed in embarrassment, both for ourselves and the nameless dolt who had forgotten to go to vibrate.
Gilbert continued to stare in the direction of the ringer, that was still ringing!
“Turn off the phone.” He said sternly.
Still the phone continued to ring.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.