How long have you served on the board?
I am just starting my second year. I began in January 2020.
What particular “talent” or interest do you bring to the board?
Objectivity, experience, and the desire to help.
How old were you when you joined the union?
I first joined on a quarterly basis in college. In 1974 I joined Local 1, and in 1984, Dayton.
What locals have you belonged to?
I belonged briefly, in Canton, OH, and Columbus. Then Cincinnati and Dayton.
What instrument (s) do you play?
Flute, piccolo, and alt flute. I dabble in tin whistle and Native American flutes.
What part of town do you live in?
Are any of your family musicians?
Yes, lots! My parents, particularly my mom, were quite talented. My sister is a violinist, my brother plays horn. And many more among my extended family.
How have you seen the union change since you joined?
Yes. When I joined there was a 6 month waiting period before a newcomer could accept work. That has changed, as well as the union’s responsiveness to musicians’ needs. There is more personal and material support to negotiating teams for smaller orchestras now, as well as for the larger ones. I think the Union has become more flexible and user-friendly over the years. On the other hand, there are not as many “gigs” now. There are not as many touring acts and shows that use local musicians, or even live music. This makes it quite difficult to be a full time musician unless you play in an orchestra or have a steady position in a show or other venue.
What are the union’s biggest challenges now?
Most musicians, whether they are members or not, have benefited from the union’s work in raising wages, creating reasonable working conditions, and demanding respect for our profession. It is difficult for some players to understand the strength that comes with solidarity, and the need to maintain and foster unity through each of us contributing.. We flourish as much as we do because of those who joined together before us, and stood strong to achieve better wages and conditions.
What is your vision for the union in the coming years?
We need to continue to increase our membership, and the value of that membership. We should try to bring in more members of the rock musician community, as well as part-time musicians, and continually emphasize that the relatively small financial contribution each of us makes to the union gives large rewards for all. To the public, we should take every opportunity to raise awareness of the wonder and magic of live music (the pandemic has helped everyone realize this!); and thereby help musicians achieve the respect we deserve in the form of material compensation.