‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 115, No. 2February, 2015


Top row, from left: Adam Cochran, Natalia Kaminska-Palarczyk, Renata C. Steve. Bottom row, from left: Jon Carroll, Leo Traversa, Johanna Aguilera.

I joined Local 802 as part of the company of a Broadway-bound show called “The Last Goodbye” (directed by Alex Timbers), which combines “Romeo and Juliet” with Jeff Buckley tunes. I’m the guitarist and frontman of the onstage band. I’m an actor and a composer as well, and my goal is to continue building a career that synthesizes all three of these things into something exciting and unique: a performing, composing, actor-musician – or, in German, a gesamtkunsttheatremensch. (Am I right?) I composed music for an experimental piece called “Juárez: A Documentary Mythology” with Theatre Mitu, which I joined while still in college at NYU. For this show, which played at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, I also appeared as an actor. I’m principally a guitarist and singer, but fake my way pretty convincingly on some other things (drum kit, singing saw, etc.).

Adam Cochran

I joined Local 802 because I was offered a union gig I couldn’t turn down! My musical goal in New York City is to spend as much time practicing and performing my flute, and as little time as possible doing all the other stuff. Last year, I performed a concert with Il Volo at Radio City Music Hall, through a contact in Los Angeles. My principal instruments are flute and piccolo.

Natalia Kaminska-Palarczyk

I joined Local 802 after I recently moved to NYC from Hartford, Conn., where I was a member of AFM Local 400. New York City is an amazing scene for musicians and I hope to take advantage of the opportunities to play in a variety of styles and ensembles. Last year, I was fortunate to get a call to play at Radio City Music Hall with Il Volo. I was recommended by a string player who I knew from Connecticut. My principal instrument is violin, which I love for its versatility in both classical and pop music.

Renata C. Steve

I rejoined Local 802 because I was offered some union work and wanted to be able to take part in the opportunity. I look forward to more in the future. One recent gig was with Dave Chamberlain’s brass group Hora Decima. It’s a great group to play with and it’s always quite a bit of fun! My main instrument is French horn.

Jon Carroll

I rejoined Local 802 after being on the road for a few years. I’ve been a longtime member of the union. My musical goal is to continue to freelance with a wide variety of the great musicians of NYC, in a multitude of styles and genres, in and out of the country. I would also like to get a grant to travel throughout Africa, meet local musicians, record with them and write about it. I would also like to make my own CD. One of my favorite recent gigs was working for Carnegie Hall’s Weil Institute in its Musical Connections program. As a teaching artist, I spent time each week in prisons, hospitals, juvenile detention centers, homeless shelters and senior citizen centers, not only playing but also conducting songwriting programs. It’s extremely rewarding to feel like you’re contributing something to your community through music. My principal instrument is electric bass but I also play some upright bass, as well as guitar.

Leo Traversa

I joined Local 802 because I heard so much about it. A nice reference told me it is a great way to protect myself as a musician and it is also a great way to network. My musical goals are to teach music, and to seek opportunities as a clarinet player. My favorite recent gig was playing second clarinet with the Gateway Orchestra under Ida Anglan alongside first clarinetist Silvio Scamboni. It was a great way to meet other musicians. We played Brahms’ Symphony No. 1, and I love Brahms. My principal instruments are B flat clarinet and A clarinet.

Johanna Aguilera