Blonde woman wearing brown hat looking left, thinking. She has rings on her second and fourth fingers. Trees are behind her.

Minding Mindfulness

Tina the Trombonist lives in Big City, USA. She just got her Masters in Music from the Big City Conservatory this year. She joined the Big City Local of the American Federation of Musicians (the Musicians’ Union), and she has started to build her career as a freelance musician. Times are hard, the field is competitive, and let’s face it– her student loans aren’t going to pay for themselves. So you can imagine how thrilled Tina is when she receives the following email from Corinne the Contractor: Tina, I need a trombonist for a wedding … Continue Reading

View from stage left of the Kennedy Center Opera House orchestra pit. To the left is the audience, to the right is the red and gold silk curtain. Down the middle, there are music stands and stand lights leading to a red wall.

Pit Poetry and Prose

When I tell folks that I’m a member of a pit orchestra, they are often intrigued. What’s it like to play music down there? Can you see what’s happening onstage? How often do you perform? So, I thought it would be worthwhile to go in depth about what it’s like in the depths of the Kennedy Center’s theaters, where we perform opera, ballet, musical theater, and any other staged performances that call for live music. First, here are some basics that I’ve learned so far in my first three and a half seasons. During an opera, … Continue Reading

Ballerina leaps into male ballet dancer's arms in front of large company onstage during a performance.

Dollars and Sense

“I’d like to go, but tickets are just too expensive.” This has been expressed to me on numerous occasions since I began with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. At first, I was inclined as a newcomer to take their word for it. My responses were something like, “Yeah, that’s a shame.” Or even worse, “Oh really? I’m so sorry.” But as I explored the DC/Metro Area, this complaint started to seem unreasonable. And it eventually made me wonder: How does a Friday evening at the Kennedy Center Opera House differ in … Continue Reading

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