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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformanceThe Business of Music(Moderator: BGuttman) Relocating To St Pete Fl - Looking For Playing Opportunities
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Driswood

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« on: Nov 01, 2013, 01:51PM »

Hi All,

I'll be moving to St. Petersburg FL in about 4 to 6 months. Since I don't know anyone there, can anyone here suggest some folks to contact?

I currently play in 5 big bands, a brass quintet, and a variety band. Looking for anywhere to play - community concert band or big band, small combo, rock band. Doesn't have to pay - figure I have to play around, pay my dues, and meet some musicians.

Any help you can give me would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Jerry Walker
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« Reply #1 on: Nov 01, 2013, 02:43PM »

 There is a trombone group that rehearses I think in North Pinellas county called Bones South. https://www.facebook.com/BonesSouth I don't know much other groups based in that area as a bit north of that. Will you be moving here permanently?
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Driswood

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« Reply #2 on: Nov 02, 2013, 04:19AM »

Yes, Jox, I'm planning on moving there permanently. My wife is one of the five people in the world who are really FROM Florida! She was born in St Pete, raised in Orlando. Since I've retired from teaching, we're heading south!I'll be looking for as many playing opportunities as I can find, pay or not. Just need to play!

How far north of St Pete are you?

Jerry Walker
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« Reply #3 on: Nov 02, 2013, 08:07AM »

Yes, Jox, I'm planning on moving there permanently. My wife is one of the five people in the world who are really FROM Florida! She was born in St Pete, raised in Orlando. Since I've retired from teaching, we're heading south!I'll be looking for as many playing opportunities as I can find, pay or not. Just need to play!

How far north of St Pete are you?

Jerry Walker
I'm about an hour and a half. There are a few forum people that are from around the St Pete area. There's more playing opportunities down there than where I am. I'm sure you'll find some  :D
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« Reply #4 on: Nov 02, 2013, 08:24AM »

Hi Jerry

Well I live in St Pete. For playing opportunities I don't have many specifics. I hear about a few things but have little in the way of details.

There's a group called the "Second Time Around-ers" which is a HUGE collection of people who used to do marching band in HS and actually miss it.

The Tampa Bay Symphony and Sun Coast Symphony are local community orchestras.

St Petersburg College has a concert band that is quasi open to the public.

On the jazz side of things I hear of a few reading bands and dixieland clubs but know little beyond that.

On the "paying" side of things -- be aware, there is little or NO "middle tier" here. You have the top layer of The Florida Orchestra, Sarasota Orchestra, Sarasota Opera, Tampa Opera, St Pete Opera, Orlando Phil, Disney, the Broadway/Vegas style shows that come through the 5 major area regional venues, recording work in Orlando ---- and then not much 'til you hit the community and "kicks" groups I mentioned above. There is little to no "club date" work in Tampa/St Pete. (a little in Orlando and Sarasota) This area is not much into live music outside the major concert venues. Closest thing you could get on a regular basis would would be a "praise band" at a mega-church.

I've been working in Tampa/St Pete for two decades now and that's the best I can direct you to. (sorry) Don't know
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« Reply #5 on: Aug 19, 2014, 04:35AM »

Well, I'm here!! Have been in contact with some folks before moving. I'll be starting with Bones South next Tuesday, and with the St Petersburg Community Band in Sept. My former music supervisor has a big band in Clermont, and I'll be making the drive there occasionally.

Thanks for all the info, especially the lead on Bones South!

The search for more opportunities continues.   :)

Jerry Walker
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« Reply #6 on: Aug 19, 2014, 06:02AM »

My former music supervisor has a big band in Clermont, and I'll be making the drive there occasionally.
Hey Jerry,
I'm in Ocoee, which is about 20min east of Clermont. I wasn't aware of any big bands in the Clermont area. Do they have a website?

I'm not with any groups at the moment, but if you're interested in bands in the Orlando area just let me know.

Thanks,
Leo
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« Reply #7 on: Apr 23, 2017, 05:43PM »

Just searching thru posts on TF.org...harold a much belated thanks for pointing Jerry our way at Bones South...Jerry -very glad we're together ;-) ;-)
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« Reply #8 on: Apr 26, 2017, 06:07AM »

Too cold up there in those northern beaches for ya? (LOL)
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« Reply #9 on: Apr 26, 2017, 07:51AM »

Too cold up there in those northern beaches for ya? (LOL)

You know that there's a reason a lot of "snowbirds" retire to Florida.  I am of the opinion that as we age our ability to cope with cold weather decreases.  We need warmer homes and more coats.  I used to walk out in sub-zero (Celsius) weather with no coat but now that I've achieved geezerhood that's no longer an option.

Even Canadians seem to like to move south as they age. ;-) :-P
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« Reply #10 on: Apr 26, 2017, 10:07AM »

Even Canadians seem to like to move south as they age. ;-) :-P

Yes.  Yes, we do.
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« Reply #11 on: Apr 27, 2017, 06:03AM »

You know that there's a reason a lot of "snowbirds" retire to Florida.  I am of the opinion that as we age our ability to cope with cold weather decreases.  We need warmer homes and more coats.  I used to walk out in sub-zero (Celsius) weather with no coat but now that I've achieved geezerhood that's no longer an option.

Even Canadians seem to like to move south as they age. ;-) :-P

Lots of Canadians here. So many, that the concert band I play in plays both the Canadian and US national anthems before each concert. We have lots of snowbirds!

Two of my neighbors spend half the year here, the other half in Toronto. Guess which half?  :)

And I've achieved geezerhood status. Love warm, hate cold!

Jerry Walker
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« Reply #12 on: Apr 27, 2017, 06:04AM »

Too cold up there in those northern beaches for ya? (LOL)

You better believe it! I'd say move here, but you don't want your child in Florida schools.

Jerry
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« Reply #13 on: Apr 27, 2017, 07:04AM »

You better believe it! I'd say move here, but you don't want your child in Florida schools.

Well (...opening a can of worms here)... we honestly might rather have our child back in a US school for several reasons, and we'll probably be moving back down to the Maryland area.

The schools here in Ontario are failing our daughter, and my wife and I.

I told my wife that the schools are great in Canada, not to worry, etc. Well, just as in the US, it depends where you live.

In the Durham region, a suburb area on the east of Toronto, teachers are now issued Kevlar flak jackets if they want them. They're rightly afraid of all the violence.

https://www.durhamregion.com/news-story/7250240-evacuations-and-kevlar-parents-raise-the-alarm-about-violence-in-durham-schools/

We live up in Orangeville, which is north of Toronto, and is a bedroom commuter town much like Frederick, MD is to Washington. (Except, there is absolutely zero cultural/musical/artistically interesting activity in the Orangeville area... unless you're one of two cover band duos that play regularly. No multi-use theatre, no college with any kind of arts faculty, no ballet school (just the competitive stuff), etc. You really have to be in Toronto, or go to Toronto, to experience anything that even a smaller town like Frederick has happening for it's citizens)

Anyways...

Our daughters school board system doesn't hire any music teachers now... at all...none. There are two high schools where we are; one has a bit of a band program (like 10 kids), and the other is struggling to keep anything musical alive. They never hired another music teacher when the previous one retired (because it's not what the school board does anymore) and the French teacher took over the music program, which consists of teaching class guitar to a couple of students. The music teacher before him (who ran the jazz band because the retired music teacher didn't like jazz) was the volleyball coach... a nice guy who's a very amateur sax player who doesn't even know what a Blues progression is.

Our daughter's only exposure to music in her elementary school is through the love of music that her teacher posseses. That's this year. Next year, probably nothing, with no prospects of any exposure to the arts at all if we stay here.

The only option for the kids here is hocky, lacrosse, or soccer. That's fine for some people. But the school board is a disaster. (...I could really start dishing some dirt on the teachers union here and the atmosphere of extreme over-political-correctedness which ensures that all students are treated entirely as 'equals', but I'll save that for a beer and a visit.)

Because Ontario schools now don't believe there is such a thing as 'special needs' students (my wife was directly told this by our daughters' principle) that the stories like that in the Durham region are only the tip of the iceberg.

In my daughters' class, there are 3 boys (little over-priveleged hockey thugs on the town's travel team) who regularly call the history/social studies teacher a ***** and give her the finger telling her to **** off in class. This is in grade 3. And they're allowed to throw their desks around in class without the teacher being allowed to 'single them' out or even tell the parents that their children are being disruptive (we've been told this when we went for a meeting and wanted to know why are daughter is all of a sudden not liking school). She can't learn anything, because there isn't any way to get the 'special needs' kids in a class where they really need the hellp. (...the school board doesn't hire special needs teachers in our area). This is true....there is an autistic child in the class, who really needs some extra help and attention. He spends all day wandering the classroom and drawing on the board during class. But, there isn't where for him to go.

This in current Canada, in Ontario.... the backbone of the country. It's different in other provinces, but....

I substitute taught school in Yonkers, the Bronx, Manhattan, so I know how bad things can get. (...and Jerry, I know that you put in a lifetime of teaching.)

But, this is not the life we envisioned for us or our daughter. And, now, in Ontario, you can't move anywhere because the price of rents or real estate is out-of-this-world crazy... and people are lucky to be working any kind of job just where they are.

I'm lucky...getting paid to write music, do some production work, play my trombone and do some gigs. My wife has a crappy arts admin job working with some people who are entirely dependent on government funding for their existence.

Why did I write all this? I believe people have to know truths... not fake news.

So Jerry, we'll stay in touch and I'll let you know what we'll be doing! .... we just want our daughter to grow up with exposure to something besides hockey, and we just want to grow a little garden somewhere like we used to!
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« Reply #14 on: Apr 27, 2017, 08:36AM »

Unfortunately the upper grand school board is one of the most underfunded in southern Ontario.  The population of the school board area is sparse and fairly small (275,500 spread out over 1600 sq mi).  Half of that population is in one town, Guelph.  Add that to the fact that Fredrick has nearly 3 times the population of Orangeville, and you might get a better picture of why you have a lack of funding and support for the arts in Orangeville as compared to Frederick.

Some pertinent things about Orangeville (Wikipedia):
Quote
Orangeville hosts the annual Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival.

The Town Hall building contains the Orangeville Theatre. This facility hosts plays and concerts throughout the year.

Some pertinent things about Frederick (Wikipedia):
Quote
Frederick's relative proximity to Washington, D.C., has always been an important factor in the development of its local economy, as well as the presence of Fort Detrick, its largest employer.

As a result of continued and enhanced federal government investment, the Frederick area will likely maintain a continued growth pattern over the next decade.


I'm not saying things in Orangeville are not as you state, but it's not as you describe everywhere in Ontario.
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« Reply #15 on: Apr 27, 2017, 10:26AM »


I'm not saying things in Orangeville are not as you state, but it's not as you describe everywhere in Ontario.


True, there are some places in Ontario that have avoided what's going to happen... so far. But I don't see any bright future for any schools systems around here for supporting the arts. Non-hiring of arts teachers is a virus... it will just spread to all the other school boards over the next couple of years.

Why? The overwhelming emphasis amongst the teachers union is to just make as much money as possible for itself and it's members, because even teachers (that are making an average of $70 - 130,000) can't afford to live anywhere near Toronto now. School principals are shipped and traded around as if they're CEO's of corporations....just towing the company line and not being very indebted to the community they happen to be commuting to.

Our daughter's school really can't stand my wife and I now. We demand answers, want to know what's being taught, and like how do we get a real progress report card that not's just a politically-correct form letter in which only the students names are changed. The teachers aren't invested in the students, because the principals aren't, because the teachers union isn't, and the school boards arent'.

I feel like I'm living in Yonkers, NY....not within commuting distance of Toronto.

And, true, the O'ville Jazz Festival happens.... but it wouldn't happen at all if it weren't for it's majority of federal and provincial funding. Local businesses don't really contribute much at all...certainly nothing sustainable.

The arts need support, but from having lived over 20 years in the US, and now seeing Canada again the last couple of years, I'm very dismayed by the lack of private sector funding, or even public-minded thinking by the private sector.

My wife's been working in Guelph for an annual dance festival that happens there. She's lived and worked in NYC, DC, MD, and WV in arts admin and she can't believe the non-support from Guelph businesses towards the arts. She's trying to get funding, advertising, or anything she can from the business community. And this is in one of the supposed 'hippest' cities in Canada. Without any tax dollars and federal grants, the festival just wouldn't happen.

I love Canada, was born here, etc. etc.....but, I'm very worried for the country as far as people being able to grow up in an open-minded, well educated, well informed society.

There's a culture of greed, corrupt land developers, corrupt provincial politicians, corrupt Bay St. bankers, and so on that rivals anything in the US...if not worse, because there is less competition.

And now the Maple Leafs are out of the playoffs....

But life is not all grim up here in the North. We all just have to get people thinking about the things that really count in life.

OK... done with my news... onto other things!
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« Reply #16 on: Apr 28, 2017, 01:43PM »

cmiller - thanks for the details/info.

I grew up in a small bordertown north of Windsor that used to make cars :) Now I look at google maps and see what used to be neighborhoods with just driveways and trees nothing else - kind of weird.

Im 50 years old and seeing the changes from Michigan in the 70s and 80s to Florida 40+ years later.
I have 3 boys in schools here and helping where I can (math, reports, organization, etc).

Interesting to think how education and music education are changing. I could not convince my boys to take any music, however one of their friends came to the Trombone Fest, and having the chance to attend a couple of clinics with professors and listen to some people play made a great impact I think... at least I hope it helped.

thanks again - Allen
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« Reply #17 on: Apr 28, 2017, 03:26PM »

I know the original poster, Jerry Walker, from WV and MD.  He was a well respected music teacher and his wif made things happen in the arts too.

I have to razz him about wanting to live in the 'flatlands'!

As you say, things have changed drastically up here.

Hey... might end there with you guys! But my wife' s heart is in MD where are great friends are.

Sounds like Florida bone players are keeping the sounds alive.
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« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2017, 07:02AM »


Hey... might end there with you guys! But my wife' s heart is in MD where are great friends are.

Sounds like Florida bone players are keeping the sounds alive.

Cam, come on down! At least for a visit. I have a guest room on the beach. We can sit on the balcony and have that beer and conversation.

Jerry Walker
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« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2017, 06:05AM »

Cheers! Will get to work on that!
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