... What Now?


In this episode David Patterson talks about the realities of working in academia as a musicologist and the work he’s now doing as an independent scholar.

David’s bio
David Patterson holds degrees in Music History and Historical Musicology from the University of Arizona and Columbia University. He has taught at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Chicago, and University of Maryland at College Park. For much of his career he has focused on the works of John Cage, having written articles, book chapters and made presentations at many conferences over the past twenty years. In 2004, he left academia and became an independent scholar. More recently, David has been researching the music of William Cary Wright, father of the acclaimed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

David's photo

Links for this episode
Chronicle of Higher Education
American Musicological Society
Maynard Solomon
National Coalition of Independent Scholars
Society for American Music
David’s Kickstarter page
Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
Unity Temple
Morgan Stanley
Roth IRA

David on learning about money
“I wish I had known when I was a graduate student that that was the time to not necessarily make a lot of money, or make any money, but to learn about money. What’s an IRA? What’s a 401K? What’s the difference between putting your money in Morgan Stanley or Vanguard? If they sell you the same product, do they charge you the same prices? And those differences, if you know, they can add up to a difference of tens of thousands of dollars. People are very, very careful about everything else in their lives, it seems, but when it comes to retirement or investing or what they do with something as important as their money, they are probably a lot like I was, where you sort of throw a dart in the dark and see where it lands.”

Read More

In this episode Megan and I talked about her experience in working at Busch Gardens, Music & Arts Center, a little about the musician’s union, and finally, life in the circus!

Megan’s bio
Megan O’Malley has performed with multiple ensembles in a wide variety of musical styles. She currently works for Feld Entertainment as a trombonist with Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus. In 2011, she was employed by Busch Gardens Williamsburg as an interactive performer and musician.


Megan’s performances include appearances with the Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and Durham Symphony Orchestras on both tenor and bass trombone. In early 2008 she was principal trombonist with the Jubilee Symphony Orchestra of New York, and performed occasionally with the Westfield Symphony Orchestra of New Jersey. Ms. O’Malley has performed with many notable ensembles including the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, the Imperial Brass, the Princeton Brass Band, and the Montclair Citadel Brass Band. During her undergraduate studies, she made regular appearances with the Butler Symphony and Theater Guild and participated in the Keystone Wind Ensemble’s 2006 recording session. From 2003 to 2006, she was employed by WJS Productions as a trombonist and assistant manager for the Knoebels Brass Band.

In addition to professional and academic ensembles, Ms. O’Malley has enjoyed performing as a soloist for various community groups and local churches, including the Wyoming Seminary summer music camp, the Salvation Army’s Queen City Brass Band, and St. Paul’s Cathedral in Scranton.

Ms. O’Malley has earned a master of music degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), and a bachelor of fine arts degree from Indiana University of PA (IUP). Her previous teachers include James Miller, Tony Mazzocchi, Mark Freeh, Christian Dickinson, Kevin Henry, and Todd Hunter.


Links for this episode
Knoebels Park
Busch Gardens Williamsburg auditions
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay auditions
Busch Gardens (Sea World Parks) & Entertainment:
Music and Arts Center
Guitar Center
Sam Ash
Feld Entertainment
American Federation of Musicians

More about Megan
Megan’s blog
Linked In
Video of the Busch Gardens show

Megan on life in the circus
“It’s very traditional ‘circus’. It’s very magical that way. The people are really special, they are really resourceful, they are really unique. They are very hardworking and are very proud of what they do and it’s awesome to be a part of an environment like that. It’s way cool. All the good definitely outweighs the very little bad or inconvenience of living on a train and traveling to a new city each week. The inconvenience of that doesn’t even compare to the benefits of working in a job like this.”

Read More