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‘Why we joined the union’

The deciding factor in my rejoining Local 802 was an offer to sub on the Broadway show “Indecent,” but it was really just the little push I needed to once again become part of what I think of as an important organization for musicians. For a freelancer dealing with gigs of all types, the musicians’ union is a valuable resource. I’ve used it as a yardstick against which I can quote rates, fair practices, and the worth of all sorts of musical work (transcribing, chart-making, arranging), not just performing. I play a lot of world music (mostly Greek and Arabic), where the backgrounds and level of experience of the people who hire me vary widely. So the union provides some consistency as a reference. My favorite gigs are the ones involving inspiring music, working with people whom I enjoy being around, for a good wage. My goal is to continue to have more and more gigs that include all three. My principal instrument is violin, although I also play viola, baglama, kemanche and clawhammer banjo.

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