‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 112, No. 1January, 2012

James Olmstead

Billur Kibritcioglu

Chris Autore

Eric Joseph Stockton

Virginia Pike

I rejoined Local 802 to take advantage of what the union has to offer: security and networking. I have reached most of my goals in performance, teaching and publishing. I recently played drum set for the Nassau County Pops Orchestra; I got the gig by reputation. My principal instruments are tympani, drums, vibes and percussion.

–Michael Yeni

I joined Local 802 because, after two years of accompanying and music directing in NYC, I got my first union gig with the North Shore Music Theatre for the musical “Footloose.” My musical goal in New York City is to realize my potential as a pianist and music director, and what better place to do this than New York? More specifically, I would love to play in the pit for a Broadway or Off Broadway show. My most recent gig is as an accompanist and music director at the Steinhardt School at NYU. I subbed for lessons over the last year, and after accompanying a senior recital in the spring, Prof. Michael Ricciardone asked me to be a part of his classes and shows (with an upcoming production of “Most Happy Fella”). My principal instruments are piano and keyboards.

–James Olmstead

I joined Local 802 to take advantage of union benefits and services and get acquainted with members of the classical music community to further develop my career and express my talents. I am a Turkish-American violinist and teacher. I earned my master’s degree in string/violin performance from Boston Conservatory. Currently, I am a graduate student at Purchase College of Music (SUNY) in the artist diploma program. I’ve performed solo, chamber and orchestral music in numerous academic and cultural events both in Turkey and the U.S. I plan to perfect my musical competencies and professional artistry in violin towards my ultimate professional goal of becoming a solo or ensemble performer, as well as serving as a dedicated member of the violin faculty, after completing my graduate program of study at Purchase successfully.

–Billur Kibritcioglu

I joined Local 802 because I am seeking work in Manhattan. I live and work in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area. My musical goal is to hook up with a good agency that will let me come to New York once to twice a month to fill in for musicians who need a night off occasionally. Eventually I will consider moving to NYC. My most recent gig is Maggiano’s in Boca Raton, Florida. I inherited the job from a fellow musician. My principal instruments are piano and keyboards.

–Chris Autore

I re-joined Local 802 after relocating to NYC from Arizona this summer. I’ve been working as a sub for Jeff Barone at the Big Apple Circus, which is covered by a Local 802 contract. I believe in the idea that there is strength in numbers. My goals are to work on Broadway, tour as a sideman with an artist or a show, and do more recording. My most recent gig was recording with a singer/songwriter as a lead guitarist. I got the gig by seeing a listing she had on Craigslist. She hired someone else to play that show but I went to the gig and introduced myself. I stayed in touch and eventually she called me to play a gig with her and then she hired me to play on her record. My principal instruments is guitar, but I double on mandolin and banjo.

–Eric Joseph Stockton

I re-joined Local 802 because after eight years of choral conducting and musical directing in churches, I am now re-entering the musical theatre world. My goal is to get more work as a pianist/keyboard player and musical director in musical theatre, while also writing my own music. I earned an MFA from NYU in musical theatre writing, and I’m getting back into writing for musical theatre again, after focusing more on choral music for the past several years. I’m working on a couple of works-in-progress at the moment as a music assistant and a pianist. I got those gigs through a friend of a friend.

–Virginia Pike