Democratic primaries for state elections have just happened in New York and, while politics are very much on everyone’s minds these days, it turns out that the musicians’ union here, Local 802, is having elections of its own. As a non-employed musician pondering the candidates, I ask myself “What should I be getting from the union?”
I can't pick and choose when I'll get called to play on someone else's show or be given the opportunity to learn someone else's book, so I make do with what I have. And yes, sometimes that means playing through extreme pain that ISN'T a muscle injury that occurred from overuse of my embouchure.
Most of my summer was spent wrestling with the new Patterson Triple I got at the beginning of May. One thing I've learned is that trying horns always works in three phases for me.
If someone asked me what I knew about Aretha Franklin, I could rattle off the top five hits, just like anyone else, but I knew very little about her life. What I read was both shocking and inspiring. I'm honoring her legacy by sharing some of the things about her that moved me.
One of the most gratifying projects I've been a part of this summer was working in the pit of An American Hero: A World War II Musical as a part of the New York Musical Festival, or NYMF Kenneth L. Stilson did a great job writing a book that makes you feel like you're hanging out in a time from long ago, and Cody Cole wrote music that is funny, dramatic, and haunting at times. He pulls from many sources of inspiration, and melds them together pretty seamlessly.
Many of us classical musicians are programmed from the get go to pursue traditional careers. This can result in many talented people questioning whether or not the classical dream was really theirs in the first place.
A friend of mine, a violinist and conductor named David Bousso, has died. When a friend leaves you, what are you supposed to do?
Ever tried to get a practice session in when you haven't had enough sleep? Here are a few things I do to get myself through a rough morning and still continue on to have a productive day.
Some recent conversations I've been having with colleagues have got me thinking about the importance of being kind to others that we meet on the job, on social media, and especially those who are often not kind to us.
Spring has finally sprung here in NYC. With the change of seasons comes the inevitable wardrobe switch from hats to sunglasses, parkas to anoraks, boots to fun flats and, as an added accessory for me, a new brand of horn!
This sentiment has guided almost every major musical decision I've made in my career. From choosing summer festivals to reading scores, I often ask myself: "if this is the last time I get to play this piece, is this the decision I want to go out on?" It has permeated the way I listen to music, and it's probably what keeps me locked into the passion I have for being a horn player.
The babies are asleep, the toys are picked up, the kitchen is cleaned, and it's too late to practice anymore. As is my wont to do, I started wondering why I can't get enough of this seemingly junky TV.
Today's snow day couldn't have come at a better time, because I was running on fumes by the end of last week. Here's a snapshot from a day that made me think "Whew, it's good to be a horn player!".
This past month was full of many missed opportunities and many incredible disappointments. Some say that the orchestral dream is dead, but on my end, it's just as alive as it's ever been...but should it be?
Sometimes it's a link to a news article, and sometimes it's an inspirational banner, but the message is the same: don't quit because your big break could be around the corner. ..they offend me so much that I've taken to the blog!
When the cards are not in your favor, what's the best way to turn the tide? Is it better to put those cards on the table in front of your colleagues, or is a brave face the side to show?
In some cases, these posts serve to keep me accountable in the things I'm working on and the goals I'm striving towards. Here are my big three resolutions as a musician for this year.
I'm discovering that almost everyone has a part-time or side gig to supplement their freelancing career. Maybe I'm new at this myself and I'm still learning interviewing skills, but why don't musicians feel comfortable talking about their side gigs?
We are the bulk of the people working in the industry, and I think we deserved to be celebrated in our own time, not after we embark on a path that redefines who we are. We are directly in touch with our audiences and we have the power to shape the way people see classical music in a hands-on way, on a daily basis. We're working, we're living, and sometimes we're freaking out: we're the Musicians of Now. And we're awesome.