When opera singer Neil Nelson is on stage, he credits his success to the conductor. Nelson says, "If you have a good leader, everything falls into place."
That good leader is musical director Sebrina Alfonso. She's among a few female conductors involved with a major professional orchestra. Alfonso is the South Florida Symphony Music Director.
"The generation that I am working with they are a lot younger than me, they are fine. I don't think they will have a problem if they have a woman or a man, it's getting the people that make the decisions," she says.
When she was 14 years old, she wanted to be a conductor. A mentor gave her some advice which she now passes on to others: "Just do it. You have to work hard."
That was almost 32 years ago. Her love for music is still in her heart, at times she's known to dance a little at the podium. "I love discovering what the music is about. What the composer's intention was. And then how I bring it to the audience," she says.
In the end, it's men and women working together. "The grandest moment for myself and for the musicians is when all of us see the energy that all of us are there together that's when you know you are given the ultimate performance," says Alfonso.
Neil Nelson added, "It's amazing I would say the cool thing, I don't see it as having a female conductor, I see it as having a good conductor."
Learn more at http://southfloridasymphony.org/