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Discussion Panel

Driving for Dollars

0 Tal Skloot

As the producer and director of the documentary “Freeway Philharmonic” I have a bit of an outsider perspective. Out of interest I recently reviewed some of the original interview questions I asked the musicians in 2005. “Do you enjoy this lifestyle and what are the rewards?”, “”What are your goals for the future?”, What are

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Driving for Dollars

0 Todd Jelen

I have been freelancing and driving all over the Northeastern Ohio area since I was 18. I was lucky to have teachers early on who are in the freelance scene to refer me for gigs. I play in the Akron and Canton Symphonies in Ohio, and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra in Madison, Wisconsin, as well

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Driving for Dollars

0 Marjorie Goldberg

I have been a freelance violist in Philadelphia since 1988. I went to the Hartt School of Music in West Hartford, CT and then returned to Philadelphia. I grew up in the Philadelphia area where my first and only violin teacher was a freelance musician and teacher, so to me this always seemed like a

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Driving for Dollars

0 Kale Cumings

I have been freelancing in the San Francisco Bay area for a little over ten years. Most of my work is in regional size orchestras, occasional subbing with the San Francisco Symphony or Ballet, and various casual jobs. For me, the driving varies in terms of the hardship and stress it adds to my life.

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Driving for Dollars

0 Christine Coyle

I am Christine Coyle, a cellist. I perform with with at least 5 different groups regularly, plus two different teaching jobs and a wedding gig group which does over 100 weddings a year. My shortest commute is 20 miles and my longest is 225. Of course the 225 group is my favorite to perform with.

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Driving for Dollars

0 Bruce Chrisp

I am one of the musicians featured in the the film Freeway Philharmonic created by Tal Skloot [one of our panelists] and Steven Baigel. Six of the musicians featured in the film went to a public showing at a small movie theater in El Cerrito, California last Tuesday. It was the first time I had

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Driving for Dollars

0 Paul Castillo

I’ve been a Driving for Dollars musician in Southern California since college, and it’s fair to say that I “cut my teeth” on the Los Angeles free-lance music scene. My primary clarinet teachers and mentors were free-lance musicians, so I really grew up with it. Becoming a free-lance musician was my first choice - I

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Driving for Dollars

0 Meredith Brown

I never meant to have this freeway philharmonic lifestyle, but am lucky in that most of the time, I enjoy what I’m doing! Right now I have contracts in nine orchestras (for which I can’t hope to satisfy all my requirements, there are far too many conflicts) and teach at two universities, Cal State East

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Driving for Dollars

0 Ann Drinan

For many months Polyphonic has been planning to hold a February discussion about freelance musicians who play in multiple orchestras in different cities — the “Driving for Dollars” musicians. Imagine our surprise and pleasure when we read of a new documentary about Driving for Dollars musicians, The Freeway Philharmonic, released just last Sunday (January 27,

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The Short End of the Stick

0 Geoffrey Moull

In a nutshell, programming is a straightforward procedure accomplished through complex means; straightforward in that it’s no more than selecting just the right combination of works that ‘fit’ together, but complex because it requires a vast knowledge of the repertoire. I had the fortune in my younger years in Germany to work as an assistant

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The Short End of the Stick

0 Andrew Massey

The thing that intrigues me about this question is that it is directed to conductors. It is certainly true that conductors, especially Music Directors, often do get to plan programs, but there is no necessary connection between conducting and programming. Most of us have served as cover conductors for a number of years, and you

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The Short End of the Stick

0 Neal Gittleman

So music directors talk about visions for seasons, eh? For me, the programming process sometimes makes me feel like one of Frank Herbert’s Guild Navigators, trying to find a safe path through the information overload of an infinite array of options. So maybe it IS a matter of vision, though not in the sense meant

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The Short End of the Stick

0

Programming is planned on many different levels, both short-term and long-term. The most important consideration is the music which the orchestra needs to play. At its foundation, an orchestra must play the core Classical/early Romantic repertoire regularly in order to stay in shape musically. Developing a unified conception of style in these works lays the

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The Short End of the Stick

0 JoAnn Falletta

The programming of a season is one of the most complicated but ultimately one of the most satisfying challenges of working as a music director. Many factors go into the selection of repertoire: 1. Pieces that are especially interesting to the players, often including works they have not done before. I receive a large number

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The Short End of the Stick

0 Robert Levine

Orchestra musicians are always curious about how a particular program or series gets put together. We realize that the Music Director consults with the Artistic Administrator and other staff members, and perhaps a Board Programming Committee, to finalize the season. But Music Directors often talk about a vision for tying a season together. Ann served

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The Short End of the Stick

0 Geoffrey Moull

My home orchestra has some of the best-behaved musicians on the continent, so I’ll have to think about this one. In general, I find orchestras are always on their best behaviour at concert-time, those little annoyances that make our leadership life difficult are essentially rehearsal-related. As important as contract negotiations and other non-musical administrative matters

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The Short End of the Stick

0 Neal Gittleman

Wow, you’re really asking us to put our feet in it this time… But with all the obvious caveats about generalizing and stereotyping, I’ll try to wade in… 1. Everyone coming to work prepared. It never ceases to amaze me that ANY professional musicians show up to a first rehearsal not having looked at their

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The Short End of the Stick

0

Thinking back on all of the orchestras I have conducted, there are attitudes which stand out among players with whom I have worked. The orchestral musicians who seem happiest are those whose motivation for making music comes from within themselves. Those people who come to rehearsals and performances playing their best, giving their all because

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The Short End of the Stick

0 JoAnn Falletta

I must say that no one has ever asked me this question before, and I spent a good deal of time thinking about it. What are five things that I feel could change about behavior of musicians that would help create a better work environment? (as much as I pondered this, I could only come

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The Short End of the Stick

0 William Eddins

That’s a great question. I think I have a somewhat broad assessment of this question because in living memory I’ve played in orchestras as an Orchestral Keyboardist, and I have also appeared as a Guest Soloist as well as conducting. You notice different things from the three different situations. Here would be a short list:

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