Gordon Gerrard's first season as the musical director of the Regina Symphony Orchestra is nearing its end and any success, he feels, lies in his approach to the music and players.
"It's really important that you start with respect," Gerrard told CBC Radio's Saskatchewan Weekend on Sunday. "There's not a difference in status."
Gerrard took on the role of maestro back in August. He said his first hope heading into the job was to solidify the relationship and rapport between him and the players.
"I think that is one of the things that I'm happiest about a year later," he said.
Gerrard distances himself from the "autocratic" maestros of old, who he said often conducted with disastrous results in terms of player-conductor relationships.
"I try very hard to make sure that we still get things done, which means there's someone that has to make a decision — and that's me — but that's it's always done in a respectful way," he said.
It wasn't a quick process either. Gerrard, before he was musical director, was a collaborator with the RSO and made some appearances and contributions before becoming a full-time member. The process took about two years, he said.
"When you finally get there, you finally start your first concert as a music director, it's a pretty great feeling," he said.
On May 6, the RSO will wrap up the final performance of its five-part Shumiatcher Pops series. The next weekend, May 13, the RSO wraps up its season and its Masterworks series.