I played with Ted in the American Russian Youth Orchestra (see my crazy gig story about this trip), which was a really insane trip. The next fall I saw Ted in the lobby of Orchestra Hall in Chicago. When I asked him what he was doing in town (he was in the New World Symphony the last I had heard) he told me that he had gotten into “the orchestra”, which I interpreted as meaning the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (the training orchestra of which I was a member).
“Hey, congratulations on getting into Civic!” I said. “It’s really hard to get a spot in that.”
Ted later won another audition for the CSO, moving from section percussion to principal percussion. To most musicians with classical music training, this would be the pinnacle of the music world.
I really respect and admire Ted’s ability to forge his own path in the world of music, ignoring the conventions of most of the classical music community. He played in rock bands during his time in the Chicago Symphony, first in the cover band Hoochie Suit, and then later doing originals in another band. Quiting a job like this to pursue his rock career speaks volumes about Ted’s commitment to his convictions. Extremely admirable.