‘Why we joined the union’

Volume CX, No. 3March, 2010

John Castleman

Gloria Shih

Eric Puente

Joe Burcaw

Tom Bergeron

I’m glad to be a member. As a previous member of AFM Local 389 (Orlando), I benefited from a first-rate collective bargaining agreement involving a permanent position I held for 10 years prior to my move to New York. I wanted to continue because the union has done so much for me. My musical goal is to capture the same enjoyment of music as my children do when they are playing with their favorite toys. I think everything else will fall into place after that. I won my current trumpet job because of an audition search published in the International Musician.
– John Castleman

I joined Local 802 when I recently began teaching at the Children’s Orchestra Society. I am a concert pianist. Ever since I formed the Gracieux Trio in 2003, my desire has been to have a career in chamber music performance. Our piano trio has toured several countries (Japan, Taiwan, Germany) and we have grown as artists both individually and as a group. To me, playing chamber music is an expressive type of communication that is unlike any other language. It also lets me have the opportunity to learn from people with various perspectives.
– Gloria Shih

I joined Local 802 in order to be able to win opportunities to sub on Broadway. My musical goal in New York City is to perform and record year-round. I’m getting my gigs by networking with friends who are already members of the union. My principal instrument is drums.
– Eric Puente

I joined Local 802 so that my voice can be heard through a vehicle representing the best interest of musician’s rights. My musical goal in New York City is to sustain my income through my craft, whether it’s live performance, engineering or studio sessions. I got my gig by being in the right place at the right time. My principal instrument is bass guitar.
– Joe Burcaw

As expected, my recent move to New York City has been my most exciting career move yet. The breadth and quality of what’s happening here is unparalleled, and it is proving to be the perfect landing for me to explore my artistic voice. The city is especially thrilling for trumpet players like me who have an equal love for classical orchestras, jazz trios, contemporary chamber ensembles, salsa bands, big bands, dance bands, and most of all creative combinations of any of the above! It’s always been clear to me that anybody who’s anybody in town is a member of Local 802, which is why I made 322 West 48th Street one of my first stops. I’m looking forward to meeting and learning from the many talented musicians here.
– Tom Bergeron