‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 117, No. 5May, 2017

Jordan Barmore

I joined Local 802 because I believe in professional musicians uniting for fair wages, rehearsal times, contracts, and business. I was born and raised in Brooklyn. A part of my pride in this city has to do with its wealth of culture and diversity. I strive to be a part of that culture and spread a love of art music to my students and audiences in order to preserve and advance art music for years to come. I am primarily a performer and instructor, but I enjoy composition and arranging when an opportunity presents itself. For example, when I performed in a string quintet recently, an audience member picked up my business card, visited my web site and reached out to me about a kind of garden party they were throwing. I was commissioned to compose, arrange and perform a set for this event and it ended up being an excellent experience. One of the necessities of freelance work is being open to stepping outside of your comfort zone. While I don’t generally consider myself a composer, I am able to do it – and when you are willing to take a gig outside of your comfort zone, you typically walk away a better musician because of it. I had the great fortune to perform under Maestro Murry Sidlin as principal double bass for a concert in his “Defiant Requiem” tour of Verdi’s Requiem. This concert, which tells the story of the German concentration camp at Terezin, had several survivors of Terezin present at the performance. I was given the opportunity to meet with one of the survivors and she told me that music was what carried her through that atrocity. I walked away from that concert a different person and I have never looked at music quite the same again. I thought, “If music has the ability to carry a person out of the depths of hell itself, what greatness can it add to all of our lives?” To be a conduit of this great art is such a privilege and so I am dedicated to keeping it alive. My principal instruments are double bass and electric bass.