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“As accustomed as I am to appearing in public, never could I have imagined standing in front of an audience of 1,500 and facing the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, baton in hand,” says Keith Martin ’69, senior news anchor for Channel 28 Eyewitness News in Scranton. He served as guest conductor April 19 at Scranton Cultural Center during the annual “Conductor’s Challenge.”

Martin says he practiced with a conductor beforehand. A colonel in the Pennsylvania National Guard, he wore dress blues for the performance. “I had the drummers create the street-beat. I marched onstage, gave a salute, and led the orchestra in the National Emblem March,” he says. “It was such an honor for me–I was about an inch off the ground.”

Adding to the magic of the evening was the fact that Martin’s mother, Jeanne Madden, made her professional musical debut on the same stage. “She sang on that stage with the Lafayette College Glee Club Choir in 1933. She went on to study at the Metropolitan Opera and later was signed by Warner Brothers.” Jeanne’s brother, Ralph Madden, was a Lafayette student at the time and had arranged the performance.

Martin, who received an A.B. in philosophy and Russian, expects to retire this year from the National Guard. His news career included covering the Gulf War live and producing a documentary in Vietnam.

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles