Man of La Mancha!

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Man of La Mancha!

This production of Man of La Mancha, at the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, CT, is touching and incredibly well-staged. Here are a few things that make this special production work from an inside view!

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 New Season, New Complaints

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New Season, New Complaints

It’s officially fall! With this new season often comes that wave of dread when the black ink layers upon itself and you wonder “how am I going to play THIS much music?” If it doesn’t come in these crucial months, it can get extremely depressing and frustrating, and it seems like there’s no way to ever just be happy. Is there ever a state of being a musician where there’s no reason to complain?

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What’s in a Union?

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What’s in a Union?

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?”

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Playing While Under Duress

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Playing While Under Duress

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.

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The Legacy of Aretha Franklin: Musicianship

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The Legacy of Aretha Franklin: Musicianship

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.

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An American Hero: A World War II Musical

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An American Hero: A World War II Musical

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.

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Redefining Success

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Redefining Success

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.

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Playing On No Sleep!

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Playing On No Sleep!

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.

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On Being a Kind Freelancer

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On Being a Kind Freelancer

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.

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Makeover!

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Makeover!

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!

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Playing Like it's the End of the World

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Playing Like it's the End of the World

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. 

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Reality Show Realness

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Reality Show Realness

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.

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Is My Orchestral Dream Dead?

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Is My Orchestral Dream Dead?

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?

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One Step Away From...

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One Step Away From...

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!

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To Humblybeg or Humblebrag?

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To Humblybeg or Humblebrag?

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?

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