‘Why we joined the union’

Volume CX, No. 1January, 2010

Michael L. Breaux


Dan Wions


David Sherr


Irene Haberli


Allison Rae Kane

I left Local 802 three years ago to begin working on my doctorate in music education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I have now finished my coursework and have accepted a position at NYU in the music education division. As a former member of 802, I wanted to once again join the family of working musicians in New York since I’ve finally come home. On one level, I am living one of my life goals: moving back to New York so that I may teach in higher education. On another level, I want to get back into the freelance scene so that I can continue to perform. Classically, I’ve been trained as a bassoonist. I do not, however, play classical music exclusively. I find myself playing saxophones in recording sessions, big bands, or club dates as well as flute, oboe, or bassoon.
– Michael L. Breaux

I’m now at the point at which I’m getting frequent work in New York, but to get any more (or better paying) work requires 802 membership. I just wanted to be sure to build my contacts up before joining, as I knew that simply joining would not necessarily get me work. The positions I hold now I either won by audition or picked up along the freelance and networking/referral path. My musical goals are varied. Right now, I hold several positions in freelance orchestras, and do whatever work comes along outside of those groups, both on French Horn and solo cocktail piano. In addition to freelancing, I’m on the audition circuit. My immediate goals involve filling in on Broadway and other gigs of a similar pay scale. Beyond that, the sky’s the limit.
– Dan Wions

I began commuting between L.A. and New York a few years ago to study composition with Joel Thome and arranging with Bill Kirchner. I have worked as a doubling woodwind player in the recording studios in L.A., but I think that New York is probably the most receptive place of any to the kind of jazz/classical music I write. Please visit for some examples.
– David Sherr

I joined Local 802 because I moved to New York City last year – and I’ve been a member of various locals of the AFM for 17 years. My musical goal in New York City is to freelance. I love playing in orchestras and chamber groups of all kinds and genres. I moved here from Charleston, South Carolina, where I was assistant principal viola for seven seasons. I got that gig from an audition in 2001. I left in 2008. My principal instruments are viola and baroque viola.
– Sadie deWall

I moved here after spending several years freelancing in London, where I worked primarily as a classical trumpet player. New York has such diverse musical opportunities. I look forward to exploring all of the things that are out there and hopefully finding a niche of my own.
– Irene Haberli

I recently moved to New York City from Chicago where I was working professionally with Chicago’s renowned fringe theatre companies as a musical “Girl Friday” – doing everything from music directing, accompanying, re-arranging and transcribing charts to conducting and performing in pits. While doing all of this for the love of the art and for little to no pay (most theaters that produce musicals are non-union, as was I) was redeeming in a way, I moved to New York City and joined the union to gain the support of fellow musicians who understand the need for proper benefits and compensation. I’m a starry-eyed dreamer: my musical goal is to music-direct a show on Broadway! My principal instrument is piano. I’m excited to be a part of Local 802.
– Allison Rae Kane