The Rose Conducting Baton – update released for BBC Proms

We are excited to announce the release of a new update to James Rose’s conducting baton, which will make its debut at the BBC Proms on 27th August 2018.

Version 3.0 comes with improvements to comfort and precision to allow James more freedom in his conducting. It also comes with an official name… introducing the Rose Conducting Baton!

Where it all began

James RoseConductor and composer James Rose approached Drake Music’s DMLab programme in 2015 with a request to make an accessible baton to allow him to progress with his conducting career.

James conducts with his head and needed an improved baton which would allow him to develop his technique. Together we developed a prototype which adapted James’ glasses to allow a genuine conductor’s baton to be attached.

Part of innovating new accessible musical tools, instruments and technology is assessing those new tools in use and checking whether they are meeting the users needs in the best way possible. From this we then refine the design for the new piece of kit and develop it further.

 Updating the baton for precision & comfort

Over time James discovered that there was too much movement in how the baton was connected to his glasses which wasn’t allowing for the dexterity and precision of movement he needed.

We put him in touch with Luis Zayas, a regular member of the DMLab London hackmeets, who has come up with a more secure fitting for James, which will enable greater control as a conductor.

Once they had created the new design we brought them together with Queen Mary University of London who 3D-printed the baton itself using the latest technology.

This lighter baton is more comfortable to use and will allow James to further develop his technical skill and artistry as a conductor.

The Rose Conducting Baton was developed in partnership by James Rose, Luis Zayas and Drake Music, with additional support from the EPSRC+AHRC Media and Arts Technology Centre for Doctoral Training at Queen Mary University of London and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

BBC Proms

This has all been completed in time for James’ upcoming performance with BSO Resound at the BBC Proms.

Prom 59 is a relaxed performance and is a landmark moment in disability music history. It is the first time a disabled-led ensemble has performed at the BBC Proms.

Carien Meijer, Chief Executive of Drake Music commented:

“It is a genuinely thrilling moment for disabled musicians, to see this fantastic new ensemble from Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, led by James Rose, performing at the BBC Proms.

Drake Music has been working with James since 2015 to develop the tools he needed to do his job: being a creative, expressive and talented conductor.

We are delighted that version 3.0 of the Rose Conducting Baton is ready and in place in time for this historic event.”

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