‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 114, No. 4April, 2014


Top row, from left: Diana Eynon Hessinger, Joseph Morant Jr. (GENII), Antoinette Montague. Bottom row: Annette Homann and Tania Stavreva

I joined Local 802 because I’ve recently returned to playing clarinet again, after spending eight years running my own stained glass studio. I look forward to finding opportunities as a sub on A and Bb clarinet for classical, show and pops orchestras. I’ve had the opportunity to work with many accomplished union musicians in the past, and I value the benefits that membership brings. My teachers include Dr. Michael Caputo, Jack Kreiselman, Guy DePlus and Anthony Gigliotti. One of my recent classical performances was with the New York Korean Chamber Orchestra, playing clarinet in their performance at Carnegie Hall. I also subbed for over 10 years on many performances with Dean Karahalis and the Concert Pops of Long Island. In addition to clarinet, I began studies on the cello in 2009. I am currently working towards professional proficiency on that instrument, studying with Gerall Hieser and Karen Pinoci, and playing in community orchestras and chamber music ensembles.

–Diana Eynon Hessinger

I joined Local 802 because my dad (the phenomenal trumpet player Joey Morant) has been a member for years and he always told me what a great organization it’s been for him. My musical goals in New York City are big and many – from forming a heavy music band with family members (including super drummer Amadeus Morant), to writing and producing for other talented artists. My primary instrument is my voice; my secondary axes are trumpet and guitar. My stage name is GENII.

–Joseph Morant Jr. (GENII)

I joined Local 802 to be a part of something that will help me as a musician. Not only have I joined, but I have encouraged several other singers to join as well. We can all help each other preserve and protect music. My musical goals in NYC are to become a better musician, get a great booking agent, and perform all over the area. One of my recent gigs was at Flushing Town Hall, where I played my own show called “Here’s to the Ladies Who Bling and Swing.” Other notable gigs were with the Queens Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Jimmy Heath and with Band of Bones at the Zinc Bar.

–Antoinette Montague

I was previously a member of AFM Local 547 (Calgary, Canada) while I was on tour with the violin show Barrage. After coming back to NYC and living here for a while, I was thinking about rejoining Local 802 to be officially part of the NYC music community again. I then was offered a concert with the North South Chamber Orchestra that required union membership, so I saw that as a sign to rejoin! I love to play different music styles as well as improvise. I like to combine different elements with my performance, such as dancing, singing and acting. I recently have gotten opportunities to do that. It would be my dream to do that full-time. My principal instrument is violin.

–Annette Homann

I joined Local 802 because it is a great opportunity to be a part of a musicians’ union and know that there is an organization and musical community that stands for musicians’ rights and offers benefits to its members. My musical goal is to be surrounded by great music and great people, and to participate in unique collaborations. In NYC, you can hear the best music from all musical genres. The dynamic and competitive atmosphere is very inspiring. One of my favorite recent gigs was at the Cornelia Street Café. My principal instrument is piano. I started to play the age of 4; I always remember playing.

–Tania Stavreva