‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 112, No. 4April, 2012

Matt Oestreicher

Sarah Brett England

Adam Forman

Justin Rothberg

Paul Won Jin Cho

Josh Ortiz

Andy Karl

Mark Van Ziegler

I joined local 802 because now I’m back in New York playing keyboards and guitar in the house band at the Apollo Theater. I am very thankful for this. I got the gig thanks to music director Onree Gill as well as Jeff Gitelman from the band The Stepkids. My musical goal in NYC is to continue to play with this band for a long time.

–Matt Oestreicher

I joined Local 802 because I’ve been doing more work in New York City, as well as for the networking opportunities. I hope to eventually play on Broadway, but am happy to be steadily working on my way there! I was recently the music director for the show “Shanghai Lil’s” at the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre. I saw the job posting on the Internet, and I interviewed, auditioned, and got the gig! I am a pianist and can play and program synthesizers. I am also a music director and an arranger.

–Sarah Brett England

I joined Local 802 to start playing more professional gigs with good musicians. I’m interested in getting involved in Broadway, working with composers, and having a more active role in the musical community. My principal instruments are drums and percussion.

–Adam Forman

I joined the union because it’s important for musicians to get paid correctly for their talented and hard work! My musical goal in NYC is to play as much good music with other talented musicians as possible. My most recent gig was playing at the Canal Room in Manhattan with rock/pop artist Sdoun. I started playing with him six years ago ago when we met at a jam session at Smoke. I play guitar and other fretted stringed instruments.

–Justin Rothberg

I am currently a fellow at the Academy, which presents music to wide and diverse audiences. My musical goal in NYC is to continue this kind of outreach by performing at public schools, hospitals, correctional facilities and homeless shelters, as well as on traditional concert stages. Music is the language of our soul; it speaks to literary every single human being on earth. I am excited to share music in the world’s cultural capital. My principal instrument is clarinet (including bass clarinet and E-flat clarinet).

–Paul Won Jin Cho

I joined Local 802 because I’ve been producing music for T.V. The union is a great way to get all the benefits when working in broadcast television. My musical goal in NYC is to keep producing and gigging. I want to keep meeting talented people. Always represent where you come from: NYC is my home for the last 22 years and there’s no other place like it. You make it here, you make it anywhere. I just finished a tour with rising Latin pop artist Domenic Marte. I got the gig through one of their musicians. My principal instrument is keyboards and piano.

–Josh Ortiz

I joined local 802 last fall when I took over the principal role of Tommy DeVito in “Jersey Boys” on Broadway. This role requires several live guitar playing moments on stage. My goal in NYC has always been to be a part of the entertainment business as an actor, but now my goals can broaden because of my ability to use my musicianship as a career opportunity – with Local 802 behind me! I am also an alumnus of BMI as a music theatre composer and the doors of opportunity are ready to open. I got the “Jersey Boys” gig after several callbacks. Each time I brought my guitar in to play a tune of my choice. (I wasn’t the best player…but I wasn’t the worst.) I’ve practiced quite a bit since then and have a much better knowledge of the instrument now. In the show I play guitar, but piano has always been my home base when it comes to music.

–Andy Karl

I moved to New York last year after several years doing Broadway shows in Vegas (“Spamalot”) and on tour in North America (“Avenue Q” and “Legally Blonde”), South America (“Cats”), and Japan (“Swing!”). I play double bass and electric bass and transferred from AFM Local 369 (Las Vegas). I’m hoping to get involved in the rock, jazz, classical, and improvised music scenes. This is certainly the city for anything and everything!

–Mark Van Ziegler