Why did you join the union?

Volume CIX, No. 5May, 2009

From time to time, as space permits, Allegro will spotlight some new or readmitted members.

I am a violinist, electric violinist, conductor, composer and teacher. I’ve been the concertmaster of regional orchestras as well as a recitalist and soloist. I joined the union because it is the correct thing to do; when I lived in Southeast, I didn’t have this opportunity. My goal is to become known as soon as possible because my creativity and making a living depends heavily on this.

Alex Bosch

I’m a vocalist and guitarist. I joined Local 802 because I’m a professional musician and it made sense to me become part of the greater whole in hopes we may further our collective goals. The idea of having a pension plan and other benefits appeals to me as well. My musical goal in New York City is to play the best venues, be a great draw, sell a million CD’s and win a Grammy award.

Murali Coryell

I just moved back to New York after having grown up here. I lived in Israel and worked as a conductor in Israel, Indiana and Montana. My main instrument is viola, although I have played in many ensembles on French horn and baritone horn. My goal in New York is to make music, whether as a conductor or violist playing chamber music and in an orchestra. It is great to be back.

Thomas Elefant

I am a jazz vocalist and bandleader, currently performing with my Jazzin’ All Star Ensemble in the New York/New Jersey metro areas. I am interested in performances in New York City for greater exposure. I’m also looking for access to club dates, concerts, restaurants, jazz festivals and workshops. The reason I joined Local 802 is because I wanted to be in the loop as to the rules, policies and procedures. I learned from the jazz masters how they did not receive proper compensation for performing, having insurance, and respected for their musical contributions and dedication.

Carrie Jackson 

I am proud to join the fine members of Local 802, and hope that they will come see me perform at the Manhattan Theatre Club for the run of “Ruined.” I am a Chicago-based musician and composer, born in Congo, and am promoting my works to support the people of Africa in their struggle for peaceful co-existence.

Simon Kashama

I joined Local 802 because I just moved to New York City and I thought it would be a good way to meet other musicians in town. My goal is to play as much as I can, anywhere and everywhere, and to go listen to all kinds of music! My principal instrument is the harp.

Megan Levin

I play acoustic and electric guitars. Like any true working musician, my goals are multifaceted. I aspire to further develop a career in the Broadway pit orchestras; I debuted in 2008 as a sub on “Grease.” I’m signed to Late Set Records, and I aspire to book appearances at the Blue Note and elsewhere. I play every Sunday at the Bar Next Door at La Lanterna; I want to grow the club’s reputation for great jazz. I also provide music for events.

Peter Mazza 

I’m a guitarist. I was hired by the nonprofit organization “Midori and Friends” to teach guitar classes in New York public schools. A friend of mine who I’ve played and hung out with for years recommended me for the job. Membership in the union is a requirement for employment. After living in New Jersey for a couple years while pursuing my Master’s, I’m looking for new ways to be a part of the New York scene. I’m interested in surviving as a performer and educator in the greatest and most musically challenging city in the world. I’ve lived in a few different parts of the world, and I’ve never felt as musically stimulated as I do when I’m in New York.

Matt Panayides

I am a freelance violinist, working towards getting a steady job in an orchestra. I was originally planning to join Local 802 because my friends recommended it; at the same time, I got a call from the National Art Center in Ottawa to play a concert with them and they required me to join the union. 

Cecee Pantikian

I play piano. Why did I join Local 802? I couldn’t resist the temptation of being on the same stage with Jane Fonda. My musical goal in New York City is to stay employed and have fun! I got my gig because the wonderful Diane Walsh was looking for somebody who knew the Beethoven Diabelli variations. I do.

Matei Varga