‘I miss music’

Volume 120, No. 10November, 2020

Nate Mayland

I miss music. I miss musicians. I miss the casts. The wardrobe department. The stagehands. The electricians. The ushers. The stage managers.

Conductor cams. Black clothes. Schlepping. Click tracks. The jokes. The conversations. The doorman. Sitzprobes. Rehearsals. Emails. Texts. Mute drops. Clams.

The totally unparalleled thrill of a great gig where everyone plays great and someone still manages to steal the show.

I miss the tourists in Times Square. The subway. The turnstile. The smells. Even Pret. The billboards in Times Square. The Lower East Side. The restaurants. Pure Thai. Central Park.

Slicing through a crowd of tourists with an instrument on my back.

Music is an idea. It will always survive, but…

Rent is real. Entertainment workers are real. Live entertainment is not surviving Covid-19.

Massive across-the-board cancellations through 2021 have cut income for thousands and thousands of my friends to zero and I and we aren’t coming back until the virus is contained or we have a vaccine.

I’ve spent 26 years studying trombone professionally. I doubt I’ve missed 26 days of practice in that time. Every day. I live it. I love it. When I’m not practicing I’m writing or listening. I hear the math in it. I listen for the intangible. What is good? What swings? The more I learn the less I know. It’s my life.

I haven’t lost my job. We haven’t lost our jobs. We have lost our careers. We have lost our industry. Imagine a world without lawyers and law. (Please hold your applause.) Without vacation destinations. Without sports. Without teachers or schools. Can you? Live music is GONE.

It’s the Arts. Bread and Circus. We need the Arts to survive as a worthy society.

All I ask:




Nate Mayland has been a member of Local 802 since 2001. For more, see