Before Scott Barker learns how to play the fiddle, the 43-year-old will take his final bow with the D.C. Different Drummers' Capitol Pride Symphonic Band. Barker, artistic director for the DCDD for the past decade, will make his final performance with the group on Saturday, April 26, with a show titled Festivals.
''The day that I decided I was going to leave the band, I had a dream that night that I was going to be playing the fiddle,'' says the conductor, adding that his mother called the next day to tell him that his grandfather's estate had been settled, including a violin destined for Barker.
''The dream helped me deal with the loss of being conductor of this group, because it's been in my DNA for 10 years. It was very comforting for me.''
Barker's departure is not really about shifting musical gears, but about regaining some time for himself.
''I will regain flexibility,'' he says, adding that he plans to use that time to ''re-focus'' on his career as a public-affairs consultant, and also spend more time with his partner and their 3-year-old son.
''One of the things that I gave up the last 10 years was boating,'' he says. ''That's something that as [our son] gets older, I'm sure he'll enjoy doing.''
He'll also have time to share some of the fond memories from the years he spent with the D.C. Different Drummers, such as the group's 2006 trip to New Hampshire, where they performed for an unsuspecting, older straight audience.
''You should have heard the gasp when our vice president told them we were a gay and lesbian band from Washington D.C.,'' Barker says with a laugh. ''But at the end of the evening they gave us a standing ovation.''
Scott Barker's final performances with the D.C. Different Drummers are scheduled for 8 p.m. on Friday, April 25, and Saturday, April 26, at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 East Capitol St. NE. Tickets are $20. Visit www.dcdd.org.