‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 119, No. 8September, 2019

Andrew P J Sak

I joined Local 802 to pursue my professional career as a musician and woodwind doubler on a more advanced and rewarding level. My musical goal in New York City is to play in as many pit and studio orchestras as possible. I wish to fully immerse myself in the instrumental scene of New York and grow and learn as much as possible while surrounding myself with the world’s best musicians. That being said, the star for which I am shooting the highest would most certainly be a Broadway pit orchestra. Studio work for film scores is also a major interest of mine. One of my favorite and recent gigs was recording a CD with the Brooklyn Wind Symphony, featuring the music of Michael Markowski. The Brooklyn Wind Symphony was one of my first substantial musical opportunities in the city, and having the chance to record a full selection of music by this talented composer was a dream come true! While I had experienced making personal, small-scale recordings in the past, I had never had the opportunity to do it to this degree. I would gladly and eagerly do it again. I started with the alto saxophone in the second grade, and when I began to lose interest, my middle school band director handed me a clarinet. The rest is history. I began teaching myself every instrument I could, and then I discovered the world of musical theatre and woodwind doubling just before high school. I performed as a doubler throughout the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, earned a B.Mus. in music education from Ithaca College, and taught public school choir, musical theatre and dance and instrumental music for two years in my hometown. But when it came to my personal performance, there was only one place where my soul could feel satisfied, and that was New York City. Now I live and work in New York, striving to perfect my craft as a doubler and experience as much of the musical scene as possible. Music is the language through which my soul speaks, and as corny as that sounds, it’s entirely accurate. Not only does it provide me with joy and spiritual and emotional balance, but it has the capability of providing the same for others through my performance and teaching. I learned much about myself through my teaching of music to children, and I want to extend those lessons through my personal and professional playing as well. I am currently freelancing while also working towards building my own woodwind studio. While the effective teaching of younger students is crucial, I also find it extremely important to provide the same opportunities for learning and growth to adults as well. No one is ever too old to start learning an instrument. — Andrew P J Sak,