‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 117, No. 7July, 2017

Craig Klonowski

I re-joined Local 802 because there is no better way to connect with other professional musicians and to ensure that when I do perform, I am part of the professional music community of New York City. I’m working toward a Broadway show, creating my own ensemble and being part of the greatest music scene in the world. I have created a string quintet, the Galactica Quintet, with the mission of re-imagining the boundaries of the string chamber ensemble. I have also co-founded the Half Full Institute, with a mission of bringing instruments, lessons and ensemble experiences to disadvantaged youth across the city. Most recently, I have had the privilege of playing principal double bass with the United Nations Symphony Orchestra. In these tough and sometimes confusing times, it is incredible to come together with people who have dedicated their lives to maintaining freedom, peace and human rights throughout the world, and to share that same spirit through music. Music has been important to me my whole life. Now as a public school orchestra teacher in Spanish Harlem, I have had the opportunity to share the same passion with my students, many of whom have never held an instrument before coming to my program. My principal instrument is double bass, but I also play upright electric, the other strings, and keyboards.