‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 119, No. 2February, 2019

Nick Dinnerstein

I joined Local 802 to find great gig and performance opportunities in NYC as well as meet other musicians and take advantage of all the services the city has to offer. I was a member of AFM Local 9-535 (Boston) when I was subbing with the Boston Ballet. The union offered me advice on contracts and was always open to help me out however it could. I’d like to become an active and innovative contributor to the vibrant performing and teaching scenes in New York City. That means having a long-term teaching studio, playing new music, and organizing concerts and programs myself. One of my favorite recent gigs was playing for the annual Telemundo celebration. It was a fun, spare-no-expense celebration, with acrobats, dancers, an incredible sound system, as well as a full lineup of musicians. A fun story from my background: I originally picked cello as my instrument in third grade because it made me think of the theme from “Jaws”! I feel that music is a path to emotional and intellectual self-understanding and direct communication. One of the fascinating things about music is that the further you move towards a deep understanding of it, the more possibilities open up. At its best, it can fulfill every aspect of a person. It’s also one of the most wonderful bonding experiences and is a uniquely emotional art. As a teacher and performer, I feel that it brings me closer to others. I’m the cello teacher at Sage Music and teach piano (the Musicolor Method) at Park Slope Music Lessons. I also have a private studio. As a freelance performer, I often play with SPN Events. I also perform in solo recitals.