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January 28, 1979 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-01-28
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Page 8-Sunday, January 28., 1979-The Michigan Daily



(Continued from Page 5)
"The biggest problem we have right
now with the members is not that
anybody is against us. It's that they feel
it's not worth their time, or they're
afraid to get involved, or they think
we're wasting our time because you
can't buck city hall when city hall is the
One person who is not afraid or
apathetic is Jean Clark, 49, who works
at the Mirrex plant in -Mount Clemens.
Clark is a member of the TDU Steering
Committee and she ran for trustee in
her Local 376. She is the chief steward
at the plant and since the management
at Mirrex has become aware of her af-
filition with the TDU she has been
"I haven't been allowed to leave my
department unless I have permission
from my foreman," said Clark. "We
had some campaign literature at the
plant that was mailed out to the local
members. It was about a TDU candidate
for office. The owner called me aside
and asked me if I had been passing out
the literature. And that's when the per-

sonnel manager, the company man now
not a Teamster official, said I was in-
volved in an organization that was
trying to overthrow the union."
As steward Clark tried to contact the
local's business agent Eddie Petroff, jr.
about a dispute over vacation time and
another grievance that had been filed a
year earlier. No words of the result of
the grievance application had been
received by Clark. Petroff never an-
swered her inquiry. Clark wrote to the
Teamsters' international headquarters
in Washington, D.C. The "Inter-
national" told Clark they were going to
investigate Local 376.
HEN, 10 DAYS later, Petroff
called a meeting and attempted
to fire Clark. Petroff issued an
ultimatum: either Clark was fired or he
would quit. The members, although the
TDU is in the clear minority, at Local
376, called Petroff's bluff.
Eddie Petroff, Jr, earns $40,000 per
year. His father, Eddie Petroff, Sr., the
secretary-treasurer of the local, earns
$58,000 a year. Neither salary includes
expenses. Both Petroffs' drive

Cadillacs the Teamsters purchased for
$13,000 apiece.
The Teamsters' hierarchy knows the
potential threat TDU poses to their con-
tinued autocratic rule. Several mem-
bers of the TDU have been ordered
lucrative contracts, like the ones the
Petroffs have. But according to Paff
and Camarata, none of the TDU mem-
bers have been bought off.
Despite the high stakes with which
the TDU is playing and the con-
siderable influence of the Mafia in the
Teamsters Union, Camarata and Paff
say TDU members remain unafraid.
Camarata was attacked by a union
goon at the Teamsters' convention in
1976. But Camarata, who has already
announced that he will be a candidate
for the Teamsters' presidency in 1981,
is an enormous man whose steel-eyed
glare could push an eighteen wheeler
up a hill.
"I think people' take normal
precautions," said Camarata. "But I
don't think the people who work in the
TDU live in any kind of fear. It slows
you down too much if you worry about

being offed every time you go to a union
meeting or something."
"They aren't using violence because
it would only shine more of a light on
the situation," said Paff. "They know
we're not going to go away anyway.
There's no one person they can bump
off here and put-an end to things."
Ignoring the obvious personal
dangers they face, Paff, Camarata,
Urman, and Clark are content to make
small gains, day by day for the TDU. At
the 1976 convention in Las Vegas
Camarata was the only delegate of-
ficially representing the TDU. Paff is
convinced 200 TDU delegates is not a
far-fetched figure for the 1981 conven-
"What we're hoping is that we can get
enough backing to split things up at the
top," said Paff. "Right now it's a solid
monolith up there. But Pete's
challenging Fitz in 1981, and, while 51
per cent of the vote really isn't possible,
10 per cent of the vote for Camarata
,would be a fantastic change. I think we
can do it. But until then, it's going to be
like preaching the gospel."

music school

(Continued from Page 3)
HERE IS A visible unity among
these students who find it quite
within the ordinary to suddenly
break into an unsolicited operatic solo
or open a spit valve whenever and
wherever necessary. The music studen-
ts have built their own society within
the Music School, perched up on the
pastoral North Campus.The students
attend classes, rehearsals, and do their
counterpart to homework-prac-
ticing-within this single building. In-
deed, the Music School has its own
variation on the flyers and adver-
tisements plastered throughout the
fishbowl for the benefit of LSA students.
Of course, these notices all pertain to
music: scholarships, music camps, and
job auditions, including one for an
organist at the Grace Moravian Church
of Westland, Michigan.
The students know each other well,
which could only be expected of persons
who spend 40 hours or more per week in
the same building. There are cliques
and rivalries, but underlying all these
relationships- is a visceral understan-
ding of what it is like to practice at least
four hours a day, and, more important,
what is is like to want to. Despite this
bond, however, there are never-
wracking pressures and competition.
"I've never really thought about
where the pressure comes from, but
everybody just knows it's there," says
Ellen Foster, a junior performance
major in piano. "It can be a real
grind." The reason for this competitive
atmosphere is quite obvious to vocal
performance major- Norma Gentile:
"Where there is a lot of people who
want to be on stage, and the stage only
holds so many people, there's going to
be competition. Everything becomes
one big-audition.-
rock films
(Continued from Page 7)
more Sgt. Peppers, but there are now
young, talented, and commercially
successful directors-like Scorsese,
Brian De Palma, or George Lucas (let
us not forget American Graffiti)-with
rock and roll in their blood. The
majority-not all-of 1978 rock films
were jokes. But the future promises
movies that are the sublime extensions
of rock music they have the potential to,

University Symphony Orches-
tra (USO), there is a certain
satisfaction in having attained the top
of at least one level of competition.
Those not as good are relegated to the
University Philharmonia, a fine en-
semble which, nevertheless, rates at
least one notch below the Symphony.
But even those in the USO are not free
from the scrutiny of their peers,
professors, and, least of all, them-
The ranking of players in the Univer-
sity orchestra is not as rigid as in
professional orchestras, where one
musician is chosen as the principle
player of a section while the rest are
ranked by ability and seated accor-
dingly. In the USO, the seating rotates
for each performance, although the
best players generally sit near the front
of their sections. But despite this
rotation, it is obvious to orchestra
members, conductors, and private in-
structors just who is better than whom.
Every year the Music School presents
two concerto concerts, for which
students are selected to-perform single
concerto movements with full or-
chestral accompaniment. Several
weeks ago approximately 90 students,
previously screened by Music School
professors, auditioned in a competition
to choose 30 finalists, all of whom have a
chance at one of the eight or' nine
coveted solo openings. Brandfonbrener
made it to the finals performing
Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations, one
of the most difficult pieces in the stan-
dard cello literature.
For two weeks conversation in the
lounges has centered on who did and did
not make it to the finals, as well as
some heavy speculation as to who will
win. "I knew it, he played the Rococo
Variations, didn't he?" remarked one
violinist, while a disgruntled clarmetist
suggested an alternative concerto con-
cert featuring all the losers in the com-
"You can't take it too seriously,"
says Brandfonbrener of the somewhat.
arbitrary rankings formulated by his
peers. "After a few years you get to
know a lot of the people who are playing
and there are just -certain accepted
levels of playing. A lot of it is word-of-
mouth, and sometimes just aesthetic

"I think everyone is competitive to a
certain degree," says Ellen Foster,
before settling dQwn at a black Stein-
way. "But there's really no point in
competing with others, because there's
always going to be someone better than
you." And as she speaks these noble
words the pianist in the next practice
room completes a dramatic chord
progression from one end of the
keyboard to the other. Foster losesx
some of her composure, and blurts out
suddenly: "See, that makes me mad,
really mad! That guy can play octaves
all the way down and I can't! But all I
can do is push myself; I can't do
anything about him."
Most of the time, a student must be
his or her own competition, judge, and
coach. During the hours spent in those
tiny muffled chambers one is locked in-
to his own world, and some even tape
paper across the small windows to
eliminate all possible distractions. On-
ce a week the results of practicing are
evaluated-praised or ground into the
dirt. For many performance majors
their entire week revolves around the
ominous ritual of this one-hour private
lesson. Although many claim they get
along well with their teachers; a
nagging fear of criticism remains even
for students who know it is "good" for
S COTT EYERLY, a music compo-
sition major, says he has
observed quite a few nervous
performance majors sweat it out before
their lessons. "I've heard horror stories
from performance majors," says
Eyerly, "and know of a few cases of
people who've had lessons stopped
when the teacher says, 'Obviously,

you're not prepared.' But it's never
anything physical."
Claims Eyerly, "It's inherent in the
arts that you're criticized all the time.
You might start out with a glass jaw,
but you learn to take it."
But the criticism is harder to take-
given that at least ten years of a
musician's life has been devoted to
creating the subject of critical derision.
Unlike the competitive aspects of law
or medical school, music students are
being evaluated not just for their
"work," but for their art-for a
veritable part of themselves.
"There have been traumatic
situations in every player's life," says
Brandfonbrener. "You just can't spend
1 or 12 years practicing as I have and
not feel something-playing is very
much a part of your personality."
Walking down the corridors of the
.Music School, it is hard to imagine why
anyone would go to Hill Auditorium,
much less pay rhoney, to hear these in-
struments that are now frenetically
playing one measure or three-note
phrase over and over- and over. But
Brandfonbrener compares music to
dance, in that the dancer's graceful,
seemingly effortless- movements com-
prise some of the most grueling
physical exertion imaginable. In music,
similarly, a mathematically-precise
discipline lays the groundwork for rap-
turous emotional expression.
And although Ellen Foster uses wor-
ds like "grinding" to describe her piano
studies, she says that ,the barely-
noticeable day-to-day improvements
somehow make that grind worthwhile.
"It's a means to an end," she says,
"and of course the end is worth it, or
else, I wouldn't be doing this.


The endless
refrain of
Music School

Judy Rakowsky

Owen Gleiberman

Rock and
roll on

tackles Orwe
in '1985'

Cover photo by Andy Freeberg

Supplement to The Michigan Daily

e .

Ann Arbor, Michigan-Sunday, January 28, 1979


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