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American Federation of Musicians, Local 66/
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra;
International Association of Theatrical and Stage Employees,
Local 25/Eastman Theater

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As orchestral musicians we’re used to working as a group
And as a team.
For us the union is important because we work as a team.
We’re individuals, but the final product is the result
Of a group effort,
And everybody is as important as the other —
Which is the basis for the union movement.

There’s two aspects —
One is serving the arts,
Including music,
And I happen to enjoy that.
That’s kind of an aside.
The other aspect
Is sharing that with other people,
Because people’s lives
Are just not very rich
In this culture.
The fact that I enjoy what I do —
That’s icing on the cake.
When you can bring people
Who don’t think they can enjoy
This kind of music
To an enjoyment of it —
That’s a real breakthrough
For them.

We’re responsible for everything
That goes on behind the scenes of the orchestra —
From loading the equipment into the truck
To driving to the locations to setting up.
We’re responsible for the chairs, the stands,
Transportation of the instruments.
We have to make sure that there’s enough light on stage,
That it’s not too much light,
That it’s warm enough, that it’s not too hot,
That if it’s too hot, then we can cool it.
We have to be doctors and nurses.
We have to deal with conductors and/or soloists.
A certain conductor likes this variety of beer,
We’d better make sure we have it.
We’re like glorified baby-sitters.
It’s something different every day.