I joined Local 802 to become a member of a wider musical community. I hope to meet talented and skilled colleagues and friends with whom to bond and make music. As a freelancer, I’ve played with many groups, including the Montclair Orchestra, Symphony of Westchester and Manhattan Symphonie. My goal is to play regularly in even more ensembles, including chamber music groups. My favorite recent performance was a production of Verdi’s “Aida.” I’d been waiting for nearly 20 years to be able to play in that opera, and I was finally able to release all the expression and energy that I’d gathered and stored in anticipation. I began violin with Suzuki lessons as a young child, then took up the viola when the intermediate orchestra at Third Street Music School needed violinists to play viola. I’d always loved lower-pitched strings anyway, and the viola’s tone and mystery fascinated me. Music has carried me through the most difficult parts of my life as well as some of the happiest. I have an innate spiritual connection with music; harmonies affect me in very powerful, personal ways. Music will always be my rock, and it’s a calling that I can’t ignore. During this challenging time, what is heartening is the amount of never-before-seen online collaboration taking place between musicians near and far, whether in the next town, or an ocean way. Although these virtual collaborations could have happened at any time prior to the pandemic, this has been forced on us as our only way to make music together. I am greatly thankful for this, and I have been putting together small online music projects together with friends in Texas, Colorado, New Hampshire, and as far away as Japan, to name a few. We are playing everything from music for Sunday church services to the traditional music of the countries our heritages represent.
(This interview was updated online after the print version of Allegro went to press.)