It is truly amazing how many times and how much I can practice something and think I have it down and then as soon as I get in front of real people it all goes out the door. Going first for this episode may have been my downfall, but that is no excuse. I had such problems with the transition from slow to fast again. It really helped when we all got to stop and take turns working that section. I guess I thought that slowing down and just having eye contact with the group would be enough for them to see that we were going to move back to the original tempo. In reality, it is so important to be clear on the prep beat. I think I figured out that when I make the 4 pattern, instead of scooping from the bottom, I need to come over the top so I have the room to create a clear prep in the new tempo.
One thing I have learned through these conducting episode experiences is that it is very easy to practice things the way you think they will turn out, but until you get in front of real people and have to evoke real sound you won't know what will actually happen.