‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 119, No. 7July, 2019

Luke Stence

I joined Local 802 because I believe that in order for musicians to have fair and safe working conditions, it’s crucial for us to have a collective voice. My musical goal in NYC is to develop an active freelance career and play in a wide variety of ensembles and venues. One of my favorite NYC gigs was performing Bach cantatas and original music by Aaron Jay Kernis at the Chelsea Music Festival last summer. Ken David and Melinda Lee Masur put together a fantastic group of musicians and it was very exciting to be a part of it. I am originally from Austin but moved to the city in 2010 to study at the Manhattan School of Music with David J. Grossman and Orin O’Brien. I then went to Yale to earn an M.M. and M.M.A., studying with Donald Palma. I currently live upstate in the Hudson Valley where I am a member of the Orchestra Now. I am also a substitute musician with the New Haven Symphony, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra and the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. I have performed as a guest musician with Talea Ensemble and was twice a fellow at the Music Academy of the West. My principal instrument is double bass. I feel that music is a living art form – it has a power to bring people together and express things that cannot be said with words. — Luke Stence,