‘Why we joined the union’

Volume CX, No. 12December, 2010

Keith Bishop

Chihiro Shibayama

I joined Local 802 after I recently won an audition for Radio City Christmas Spectacular 2010. This is my second year out of school and I hadn’t done any union work, so this was my time to join Local 802. New York City offers so many possibilities that nowhere else does. As a freelancer, my goal is to continue to be a part of many orchestras, chamber groups, opera companies, contemporary music groups in NYC and beyond, as well as teaching and creating my own shows with my group – Multicultural Sonic Evolution (MuSE) – to better the world with power of music. Most of work I get usually come from recommendations from my colleagues. My principal instruments are percussion and timpani.
–Chihiro Shibayama

I joined Local 802 and moved to New York hoping to work subbing on Broadway shows. I play saxophone and also flute, clarinet, oboe, English horn and bassoon. For the past dozen years or so, I’ve been living in the Los Angeles area, playing jazz in the bands of Mike Barone, Steve Hufstetter, Clare Fischer, Bob Florence, Ladd MacIntosh and Bill Watrous and working in pit orchestras at the La Jolla Playhouse, Pantages and Ahmanson Theatres. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, I toured with Buddy Rich and Woody Herman, as well as the shows “Cats,” “Les Miserables,” “La Cage aux Folles,” “Dreamgirls,” “Fosse,” “West Side Story” and “Evita.” I also played saxophone regularly with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. I have served on the music faculties of Carnegie-Mellon and Duquesne Universities in Pittsburgh, as well as at Saddleback, Orange Coast and Irvine Valley Colleges in California. I am also a composer and arranger; many of my charts are published by the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press.
–Keith Bishop

I rejoined Local 802 so I could play at the Gateway Playhouse in Bellport. This summer I played guitar on “Altar Boyz,” and guitars and banjo on “Avenue Q” at the Gateway. I also played guitar and banjo on “Annie” at Hofstra University this summer as well. I’ll play any show, but I love shows that push the envelope, like “Hair,” “Tommy,” “Rent” and “Naked Boys Singing.” If there’s ever a revival of “Oh! Calcutta!” I’d be your man. I have been playing musicals on Long Island and downtown NYC for over 30 years from East Hampton’s John Drew Theatre to Center Stage in Chelsea. All my gigs have been through word of mouth. My main instruments are the six and 12 string guitar, but I also double on banjo, mandolin, ukulele and electric sitar (in “Aida”).
–Ray Sabatello

I joined Local 802 to reach out to others. My musical goal in New York City is to encourage people through music. I get my gigs through people and word of mouth. My principal instrument is my voice.
–Lavonne Wright