Conducting a Tune

Photo by Katy GARRETSON
Photo by Katy GARRETSON

Marc Stirdivant, senior administrative analyst for the City of Glendale, Community Services & Parks Dept., enthusiastically took the baton during the final performance of the season of the Glendale Pops on Friday.

Stirdivant was the lucky winner in a fundraising raffle for Glendale Arts that offered a chance to conduct the Glendale Pops. Stirdivant, whose background is in film, led the orchestra in “Baby Elephant Walk,” written by Henry Mancini. Stirdivant said conducting an orchestra “has always been a bucket list item for me.”

“A couple weeks ago, [Pops conductor Matt Catingub] emailed to say it would be ‘Baby Elephant Walk’,” recalled Stirdivant. “I was thrilled with that choice because it was a fun number, it would be easy to conduct, and it was a Mancini tune!”

Stirdivant had worked with Mancini on a comedy Stirdivant produced in 1988 called “Without a Clue.”

“We figured there could be no one better to write the music for a bumbling detective than Henry Mancini,” Stirdivant said. “Hank was enormously talented (as everyone knows) but was also a truly lovely gentleman. It was a great pleasure to have worked with him – and an honor for me to get to conduct one of his most famous tunes.”