Perhaps the chief requirement of [the conductor] is that he be humble before the composer; that he never interpose himself between the music and the audience; that all his efforts, however strenuous or glamorous, be made in the service of the composer's meaning - the music itself, which, after all, is the whole reason for the conductor's existence. - Leonard Bernstein
My conducting story
I was always interested in conducting from a young age. How was it that one person could convince 60 people to play the way they envisioned the music? It was fascinating. So I took a semester of conducting when I first entered college. I already had a baton that I found and would practice my patterns whilst reading many scores. It wasn't until I got to Cleveland State University that I truly started with the baton at the ready. After a couple of semesters with conducting lessons, I found myself gifted two opportunities to be on the podium. Only time will tell what awaits me next in this regard.