When I gave my speech on April 14th at the celebration of my 35 years at LCH, you may recall that I recited a litany of my other careers: statistical typist, preschool secretary, handbell teacher, notary public, computer specialist, wedding coordinator, parish administrator, etc. In that regard, I’m no different from many other church musicians who have other careers in order to pay the bills.
Did you know that the German baroque composer Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) was a lawyer while Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) was a priest? Alexander Borodin (1833-1887) was a doctor and a chemist. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) studied law while Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) was in the Russian Navy and Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881) was in the Army. The Swedish composer Franz Berwald (1796-1868) was a surgeon who opened an orthopedics clinic. How about the American composer Charles Ives (1874-1954)? He was a full-time insurance salesman.
And the contemporary composer, Philip Glass, worked as a plumber and a taxi driver. I found this great story from The Guardian:
Glass supported himself as a New York cabbie and as a plumber, occupations that often led to unusual encounters. “I had gone to install a dishwasher in a loft in SoHo,” he says. “While working, I suddenly heard a noise and looked up to find Robert Hughes, the art critic of Time magazine, staring at me in disbelief. ‘But you’re Philip Glass! What are you doing here?’ It was obvious that I was installing his dishwasher and I told him I would soon be finished. ‘But you are an artist,’ he protested. I explained that I was an artist but that I was sometimes a plumber as well and that he should go away and let me finish.”
Of course, my husband, Carl Crosier, has had dual careers as well. Besides his musical activities, his other full-time job has been as Chief Financial Officer (Controller) of St. Andrew’s Priory School where he has worked for the last 29 years. Previously he was the Controller of the House of Music retail store, and before that, he was the accountant for a real estate company and an insurance company.
So it should come as no surprise that the new LCH organist, Mark Wong, got another new job recently:
How many people know that for five years I was Mark Wong’s employee at Commercial Data Systems as a technical support specialist?