‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 117, No. 2February, 2017

Sarah Elizabeth Haines

I joined the union because I was asked to play a beautiful, wacky Off Broadway musical called “Iowa” by Jenny Schwartz and Todd Almond, which appeared at Playwrights Horizons. It was a tremendous opportunity for me to play my own show after subbing on numerous smaller productions. The requirement to join Local 802 was a no-brainer. My musical goal is a fairly broad one: I would simply like to continue to make vital, relevant and beautiful music in many different genres with my extremely talented friends and colleagues, and to make a living doing so. Recently I had the opportunity to record the original cast recording of the very show for which I joined the union, and I’m so excited that it happened, because the show is so weird and wonderful. I have had so many opportunities to record in different studios in New York City and the surrounding area for all different types of artists and arrangers and bands, and I absolutely love being a studio musician. It’s honestly some of my favorite work. Music is important to me because it is something we all share. We don’t necessarily have to like all of the same music, or even any of the same music, but it’s a language that everyone speaks in some way, and it can transcend any spoken language barrier. It’s a connector. I think we need that these days. My primary instrument is viola, but I double on violin as well as being a vocalist.