‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 113, No. 11December, 2013

Top row: Misuzu Tanaka, Steve Goulding and Mariam Adam. Bottom row: Todd Sullivan, Gwendolyn Smith Nguyen and Colin Welford.

Top row: Misuzu Tanaka, Steve Goulding and Mariam Adam. Bottom row: Todd Sullivan, Gwendolyn Smith Nguyen and Colin Welford.

I joined Local 802 after I returned to NYC for the first time since my student years at Juilliard. I would like to network with as many musicians as I can. My musical goal in NYC is to perform chamber music with a variety of instrumentalists in a variety of settings. I earned all my degrees in solo piano performance, but I have the most experience and passion in collaborating with other musicians. My principal instrument is piano.

–Misuzu Tanaka

I joined Local 802 because my band is getting ready to do TV and other union-related work. My musical goal in NYC is to play for more than 15 people. One of my most notable recent gigs was playing in Judd Apatow’s 2012 movie “This is 40.” Graham Parker and the Rumour, a band I last played in 30 years ago, recently reformed and was featured in the film. My principal instrument is drums.

–Steve Goulding

I rejoined Local 802 because I’m getting opportunities to perform more in New York, something I haven’t been able to do for some time due to touring schedules. I look forward to making more music with the greatest musicians around: NYC has only the best! I’m a clarinetist and chamber musician, and a founding member of the Grammy-nominated woodwind quintet Imani Winds. I also play in the TransAtlantic Ensemble and the AdZel Duo. I give master classes all over the world. Recently, I played on Chick Corea’s 2012 album “The Continents: Concerto for Jazz Quintet and Chamber Orchestra” and Wayne Shorter’s 2013 album “Without a Net.”

–Mariam Adam

I rejoined Local 802 after my friend Kiku Enomoto asked me to sub on her Broadway show and convinced me to come out of my New York exile! Prior to that, I was working for the past two years as the conductor and arranger for the Boston String Quartet, which performs with backup orchestras. My musical goal in NYC is to perform with the Met orchestra, if only for once in my life, and even if I have to hire the group myself and sit in the back of the section. One of my recent gigs on violin was as a soloist with two chamber orchestras, performing concertos for their concert series. I was also the orchestrator for a new production called “The Selchie.” I was referred to the composer by my friend and business partner, composer/arranger Lanny Meyers. My principal instrument is violin.

–Todd Sullivan

I joined Local 802 after I moved to NYC from Montreal, where I was a member of the Quebec Musicians’ Guild (AFM Local 406). As principal cellist for La Pieta and as a chamber musician with Jeunesses Musicales du Canada, I also played and recorded with top Quebec artists (Corneille, Mario Pelchat) as well as visiting artists such as Diana Krall and Pink Martini. Events I’ve played at include the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the inauguration of the Governor General of Canada, and the Canadian Juno awards. Classically trained at the New England Conservatory and Cleveland Institute of Music, I love the diverse musical performances that I have been involved in, and I hope to continue that in New York City. My principal instrument is the cello.

–Gwendolyn Smith Nguyen

I rejoined Local 802 as soon as I arrived back in New York after living and working in other parts of the country for several years – so now I belong to three AFM locals! My musical goal is to above all get musically creative again in New York. I’m looking for the right Broadway show to music direct, and also hope to help workshop new works, as well as continue to orchestrate and compose. My most substantial recent gigs were as music director of “Billy Elliot” (in Chicago and Toronto) and for “Wicked” for its four-year run in Chicago. These positions came about for me through a network of musician colleagues from other gigs in the past. It included, in particular, the help of the musical contractor Michael Keller, with whom I had worked on “The Lion King” on Broadway. My principal instrument is a silent one: conducting. But I am often a pianist when they ask me to actually make noise.

–Colin Welford