Why Did You Join the Union?

Volume CVIII, No. 5May, 2008

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

I am a sax player and lead a jazz quartet called Seeker. I also play in many of the rehearsal big bands around town. My main focus now is being a participant in the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop where I have the opportunity to compose and arrange for a big band under the direction of Jim McNeely. The union offers me the chance to be in touch with all the union players in town, and also provides rehearsal space at an affordable rate. I don’t really see myself doing a lot of union jobs; I see myself taking advantage of the amenities the union has to offer.

Candace DeBartolo 

I moved here about six years ago from Cleveland. I play drums and percussion. New York is such a wonderful place and I’ve always wanted to play here. About five months ago I had the honor of accompanying Sonny Rollins on a 21-day European tour. Bob Cranshaw was the bassist. He’s helped and encouraged me to take the necessary steps to join Local 802. There have been many jobs in the past that were offered to me in which I was unable to participate because at the time I was a non-member. I realize that the scene may be different than it was 20 years ago, but paying into a pension now will help later. It’s smart. I would love to play on Broadway (or Off Broadway) someday.

Jerome Jennings

I joined Local 802 because it was required by the New York City Ballet, which I will be joining as of the spring season on bassoon. In coming to New York City, I would like to develop diverse musical skills in a concentrated atmosphere of excellence. I can think of no better place than here. I am interested in conducting, playing fiddle in jazz and bluegrass settings, and composition. To my mind, the New York City music world is large enough to encompass all of these interests. 

Harrison Hollingsworth

I joined Local 802 in order to pursue my career as a pit musician. I have a deep love for music and for theatre and aspire to be performing on Broadway as a reed player. Never having been able to choose just one instrument led me to the pit scene at a pretty young age, and I’ve been hooked ever since. My primary instrument is oboe, but my artillery also includes flute, clarinet and saxophone.

Jeremy Clayton