Students at a prestigious northeastern university are demanding the school’s orchestra conductor cease and desist from using either his hands, or his baton, when conducting the university orchestra.
“The abrupt hand movements and the brandishing of a baton are triggering extreme anxiety in some of the student audience members,” says Arnold Lane, a spokesperson for the group demanding the maestro lay down his baton. “We’re requesting the maestro consider alternative, less fear-producing methods of conducting, such as raising and lowering his eyebrows.”
“Well the baton’s got to go, for sure,” says one cisgender female student who wished to remain anonymous. “I mean it’s like he’s up there waving a big penis around, isn’t it?”
“I’m terrified he’s going to turn around and beat me with it,” added her male friend.
The students' demands come on the heels of the group’s successful effort to have applause banned and replaced with “jazz hands,” considered a more sensitive approach to showing appreciation.
Orchestra members are, naturally, skeptical of eyebrow conducting. “The maestro’s eyebrows are actually quite bushy and menacing,” commented one member. “I actually think a gentle bending or wagging of the index fingers might be the least triggering method.”
Students are planning demonstrations and performance interruptions until their demands are satisfied.