The Musicians’ Voice

Volume 112, No. 6June, 2012

The Musicians’ Voice is an open forum for discussion about the state of union affairs. The letters here do not necessarily express the views of Local 802. E-mail letters to or write to Allegro, Local 802, 322 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036. Letters must be no more than 300 words.

Let’s get out there and make a difference!

Thanks for your May Day coverage in the last issue of Allegro. As I marched with Local 802 in May Day this year, I was proud to be there, but a thought kept nagging me: where was everyone else from our union?

We have almost 10,000 members. But it’s always the same group of musicians who show up at these protests. Local 802 even paid some musicians to play for the march.

Just like the general public, it is a small minority of the community that bothers to do anything. The rest leave it to someone else to change things and push for benefits that all may reap.

People seem to prefer to “let someone else do it.” That goes for the environment, energy consumption, taxes, education – you name it.

I am getting discouraged fighting for issues that are important to all musicians when most musicians don’t seem to care. They complain but do nothing.

Let’s turn this around. Let’s all get active. Let’s get out there and make a difference!

–Michele Smith

Remembing Jane Taylor

Family, friends and colleagues mourn the death of bassoonist Jane Taylor on April 8 of a heart attack. For over 40 years, Jane was the heart and soul of the Dorian Wind Quintet and continued as its board chair after her retirement from the group.

I had the pleasure of playing with Jane for her final two years in the quintet and we became great friends. She was smart, kind, generous, loyal, positive, a quick wit and had a vast repertoire of jokes.

Jane’s life was music and she felt privileged and grateful to have had the career opportunities that she did.

A native New Yorker, Jane graduated from Music and Art High School and Queens College. She was a member of the American Symphony, New York City Opera Orchestra, Long Island Philharmonic and Lake George Opera Orchestra, among others.

She served on the faculties of Montclair State College, Mannes Pre-College, International Festival Institute at Round Top and the Chamber Music Conference at Bennington.

Jane was a dedicated teacher and chamber music coach and she influenced generations of musicians. The Dorian Quintet is a champion of new music and has commissioned dozens of works, many of which have been recorded by the group.

These are a part of Jane’s enduring legacy. She is greatly missed. A memorial concert is being planned for late September in Manhattan. Details to follow.

–Gretchen Pusch
[Editor’s note: Ms. Taylor’s obituary was published in our May issue.]

Recycling guitar strings

loved reading about Carmel Dean’s amazing guitar string recycling project in the April issue of Allegro. It’s great to know of any and all efforts to go green here on Broadway and around the country. Bravo, Carmel!

–John McDaniel

More accolades for Bill Crow

Thanks for your interview with Bill Crow in the April issue. I played with Bill Crow once or twice over the years and saw him a number of times with Mulligan’s big band and small group. I especially enjoyed the part in the interview where Bill’s friend Buzzy Bridgeford described playing swing as rolling a tire down the road. It’s the best description of swinging that I’ve ever heard.

I enjoy Bill’s writing and column very much. It’s been a pleasure.

–Phil Faieta

Music and inspiration

So many people think that music should be free. Others think music is something that happens when you punch a button or twist a knob. They don’t realize that music comes from people who have sacrificed their lives and given to the good of humanity. Musicians choose to communicate what is on the inside. They express themselves in the highest form, a language that transcends all. The union protects us and inspires us. Local 802 rocks!

–Patrick Colwell