I’ve gotten a couple of questions recently that I thought I would answer here:
How can I leave in the middle of January to go to Phoenix, run a race, and visit my sister and friends?
Well, firstly, since I work a variety of part time jobs, I can (within reason) set my own schedule. But it worked out since Monday (MLK day) is already a holiday, so I was already missing half the students that week (Monday is quite busy). So now I’m missing all the students that week. I don’t get paid when I miss, but I don’t think it’s fair of any of my jobs to expect me to fully commit my time to them without full time pay! I also don’t get paid sick leave or paid benefits. All of that is out of pocket.
What are these various groups I play with?
1. Chamber Project St. Louis: I am lucky to play with these guys (well, women, actually). They do primarily concerts. They play a variety of styles and ensembles—and they play all over town. I’ve played with them in the past at the Chapel and the Contemporary Art Museum. Most recently I was on Fox2 News with them.
2. Frantillo Strings: This is my group. We play paid jobs for weddings, ensembles, etc.
3. Serenade Music: My friend Ranya runs this group. I play a TON of weddings for her. It is also known as Serenade Strings.
4. Winter Opera St. Louis: Small start up opera company. I am concertmaster of the orchestra. It used to be called New Opera St. Louis.
5. Elegant Ensembles: I have played a few jobs for this group, and I am currently rehearsing for a chamber music concert coming up (Brahms and Mendelssohn), so it’s both concerts and weddings/other events.
Are you a professional musician or do you do this for fun?
Yes. To both. But it sounds much better since I am a professional. (That’s also why I charge more than college students. I also have taxes to pay!)
Why did you initially begin blogging, and how has the experience changed for you since you began?
Actually, this is my third or fourth blog. I initially began blogging because I thought it was an interesting thing to do, but I didn’t really want anyone to read it. Then I had a blog on which I posted my travels plus funny things that happened to me. This blog I thought would be initially professional in nature, but the thing is…the personal and professional blurs so much in my life (a musician’s work is never done…and we must bring our personal feelings into our music) that it seems natural to have moved into a more personal nature. I also actively court readers now, as I feel my blog is finally worth sharing with people. I try to keep a nice variety of topics, and I also generally try to keep a positive feel—it’s pretty indicative of who I am. I enjoy writing it for now, so there we are.
If you have any more questions for me, let me know!