I was at a choir rehearsal recently, led by a guest conductor.
At some point he mentioned he had recently been conducting some "nice young Baptists," but his tone was...strange. I couldn't put my finger on it. I was waiting for him to insert a comment about Baptists being nice (or not.) But regardless of the fact that I can't adequately describe what it was in his tone or precise wording that made me anticipate this, I didn't have to, because sure enough, a couple girls behind me picked up on this "tone," and inserted that sort of comment.
A few minutes later, (the piece we were singing had something to do with the tragedy of war,) he started going off about how he had a choir member in another choir who had been shipped off to Iraq, blah blah blah, and how terrible it was; making no secret of his political opinions in the matter. In fact, he closed his soliloquy by saying, "well, I mean, maybe that's just my opinion."
Regardless of MY personal opinion, I felt so unwelcome by this supposedly "professional" person who makes no secret of his opinion in political or religious things.
(I ended up leaving, as a result partly of just feeling unwelcome, as well as not liking the piece we were singing, and having a lot to do at home.)
But seriously, I would NEVER even reference anything remotely political while conducting my choir. In fact, I have on occasion tried to "clear the air" after someone else unnecessarily brings up something political (even something like politics/groups within the church.)
But to do otherwise while in such a position of authority is really...tacky. certainly unprofessional.
I seriously thought about going up to the conductor during the break and mentioning that I thought it was inappropriate, but the reason I didn't is that I knew I wouldn't have been able to put my finger on any actual wording he used that was inappropriate, because it was just his tone!
I mean, my brother was over in Iraq and you don't see me getting up on my high horse about it...
I hate it when people assume that the whole world agrees with him!
(lol, I just realized the irony of the post below this... However, certainly the difference is when one is in a "professional" position!)