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When is sick too sick?

The show must go on. 
Having said that, I came down with a nasty cold this last Monday. Tonight is my middle school choir concert. I have gone to work each day, even though I am losing my voice. I about had a panic attack this morning because my ears are crackling. That is a new one to me. You don't really need all the details, let's just say if it were not concert week, I would have stayed home yesterday and today.
But, how sick is too sick? When does a director simply not show up to rehearsals or concerts? I told the concerned kids that I would be there unless it was impossible - extreme nausea, for instance - and so I will be. But, when does a director simply let it go?
Replies (3): Threaded | Chronological
on March 16, 2016 9:46am
I think a fever and vomiting are reasons to not let the *show go on* but to hunker down and get well. With a concert, I would have to think about it.  I've conducted when my back has gone out (fall of 2009...can't forget it) under the influence of pain pills with my husband driving me to the venue and not recognizing my own parents immediately...but it was a good concert! I've conducted the day after I had food poisoning, with nothing in my stomache but tea and a few crackers......and my singers making sure I hydrated between sets by leading me off stage (we made it seemed like part of the concert) so I could do it....not one of my favorite experiences. :(   I've conducted with a wrapped sprained ankle and a stool I could lean on.
Conduct the concert tonight but take Thursday (and Friday) if you can. It sucks but you'll get through it!
on March 17, 2016 9:49am
Meanwhile, in polite-but-definite terms, remind administrators that Neti pots, non-drying antihistamines,  and ENT visits are an expense that is somewhat unique to singers.  Students can begin to learn safe gargle habits, hand-washing [unfortunately many do not have this habit ] preventives [like zinc, echinacea, airborne, kiwi, avoiding dairy & sugar], and safer vocal use.  (I know, not "real-world", but we have heightened their awareness. It is better if we at least try!  They will eventually adopt this and share the info with others.)
on March 18, 2016 9:07am
When doesn't one go? 1. You've been admilled to the hospital. 2. You can't even get to the bathroom without help. 3. Doctor's orders. 4. When you'd risk passing on what you have to others. What to do?  Keeping one step ahead of Murphy's Law is a challenge in every aspect of life, isn't it? If you have a separate accompanist, he or she might be able to drive from the piano. At the high school, college, or adult level, there may be a singer or two that could be brought along as a student or assistant conductor. That's a little extra work for the director, but can pay all kinds of dividends, even if no emergency occurrs. The reward is that the asssistant or student conductor gets to conduct a piece in the concert, or an occasional anthem. 
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