Seems like everyone is blogging these days. Most seem self serving and boastful, that's why I have hesitated. Hopefully, I'll post something of interest and can stimulate a dialogue.
The thing that has been foremost in my mind these days is how a middle aged man can alter his career and his view (opinion) of himself. Many people judge who they are by what they do. SO much of my own self impression was (is!) tied up into being the tubist of the San Jose Symphony. When that went away, I had a heckuva time figuring out who the hell I was. Working 40 weeks, sitting next to my best friend, Phil Zahorsky, was a life I loved and the only one for which I was really prepared. I LOVED that life. Went to work in the same place, parked in the same place, knew what to expect from week to week. We even had a lot of fun in the trombone section. I was so fortunate in that both John Russell (2nd trombone) & Phil were students of our principal trombonist, Bob Szabo, that we knew each other so well and we really enjoyed each others' company. Even as Bob was readying to retire, I still felt like the new guy in the section.
After the San Jose Symphony went bankrupt, not only did I have to find work, but I was struggling with self image. LUCKILY, Phil passed the baton of the Ohlone Wind Orchestra to me, AND I had been made Personnel Manager of the Ballet Orchestra, here in San Jose. At the same time, I was hired to conduct the El Camino Youth Symphony's wind orchestra.
To make a VERY long story short, I became more of a conductor, and less of a tubist. As of now, I get about 13 weeks' work with the new Symphony & Ballet and I have 4 wonderful ensembles to conduct: The OWO, the Ohlone Community Band, the newly formed Silicon Valley Brass Band & the terrific Ohlone Tuba Ensemble.
In January of 2008, I was installed as President of the Musicians Union, Local 153; I LOVE this. The Union has been very good to me and I love serving. I feel like I can actually help out my fellow professional musicians, rather than just sitting around, complaining about stuff.
Over the next weeks, I'll post more info about our ensembles and bands, brass & Union happenings in the South Bay.