Songs of Support

Views from the board

Volume 120, No. 5May, 2020

Janet Axelrod

By Janet Axelrod

I don’t think I’m the only one who has had more offers for recording work in the past few weeks than in a long time. A particular offer was special. It came because I’m a third of the 802 Executive Board’s public relations committee. This committee was formed recently in response to an idea that Kyle Hoyt and I were riffing on, which went from how to say “thank you” to donors to the Local 802 Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund, to creating composer commissions to invite donors in.

Monica Davis joined in to make the committee a trio and away we went, along with Pete Donovan and a host of other talented Local 802 officers, staff and special guests. We have beautiful surprises coming your way.

As you’ve doubtless now experienced, recording at home on an iPhone is….challenging. Sound quality, extraneous noises, removing the general mess from the area, lighting, needing to sit because of an instrument change but having to start and stop the devices…all part of the task! When it’s for a great cause, we make the best with what we have.

We hope this project, 802 Emergency Relief Fund-Songs of Support, will be shared to those who can offer help in the form of a donation. It is clear that this is the time to be our kindest and most charitable selves, and we hope that the funding of the ERF will give solace and relief to our 802 musicians in need.

Check out the new Emergency Relief Fund Web site at, which will include links to our Facebook and YouTube pages. Our first project is on the cover of this month’s issue of Allegro and is reproduced below.

Janet Axelrod is a flutist and a member of the Local 802 Executive Board.



The 802 Executive Board Public Relations Committee has commissioned original songs to share, lift your spirits and spark your generosity. We introduce our first commission, “Where Would I Be Without You,” composed by Doug Besterman with lyrics by Marcy Heisler, performed by your Executive Board and friends, and featuring Betsy Wolfe and Sachal Vasandani on vocals. We hope that you appreciate the first effort of our campaign, the “802 Emergency Relief Fund-Songs of Support.” Please share it, sing it, and donate. Watch the video through to the end for the credits — you’ll be amazed who put this song together. To watch the video, donate or apply for help, start at