An Orchestra in the Movies

It’s time for another Editor’s Choice, and it’s 90+ degrees here in Connecticut, with the humidity soaring off the charts. Too hot to consider something serious, so I thought I’d draw your attention to a fun article I wrote a few years ago when the New Haven Symphony (NHSO) and yours truly were in a movie with Robert (Bobby) DeNiro.

The movie was Everybody’s Fine, a Christmas offering that came and went in the theaters in about 2 weeks. The premise is that DeNiro, an aging widower, goes to visit his three kids unannounced. His son (played by Sam Rockwell) had told him that he’s the conductor of an orchestra when, in actuality, he plays percussion — the bass drum specifically. Our part of the movie was shot at Yale University’s Woolsey Hall, where the NHSO performs.

It was an interesting and long day, for which I got paid a little over $200, I believe. However, I’d like to thank the AFM for watching out for us, because the residual checks I received for several years afterwards amounted to a very significant chunk of change.

The article is full of photos, quotes, and amusing anecdotes. One of my favorites: during a break, I couldn’t resist and went over to Sam Rockwell and Scott Cohen (playing the conductor) who were sitting on the edge of the stage, and told them my favorite drummer joke. “What do you call a drummer without a girlfriend? Homeless.” They both just stared at me, with absolutely not a glimmer of comprehension.

But then, I probably wouldn’t get an actor joke.

About the author

Ann Drinan
Ann Drinan

Ann Drinan, Senior Editor, has been a member of the Hartford Symphony viola section for over 30 years. She is a former Chair of the Orchestra Committee, former member of the HSO Board, and has served on many HSO committees. She is also the Executive Director of CONCORA (CT Choral Artists), a professional chorus based in Hartford and New Britain, founded by Artistic Director Richard Coffey. Ann was a member of the Advisory Board of the Symphony Orchestra Institute (SOI), and was the HSO ROPA delegate for 14 years, serving as both Vice President and President of ROPA. In addition to playing the viola and running CONCORA, Ann is a professional writer and editor, and has worked as a consultant and technical writer for software companies in a wide variety of industries for over 3 decades. (She worked for the Yale Computer Science Department in the late 70s, and thus has been on the Internet, then called the DARPAnet, since 1977!) She is married to Algis Kaupas, a sound recordist, and lives a block from Long Island Sound in Branford CT. Together they create websites for musicians:

Ann holds a BA in Music from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MA in International Relations from Yale University.

Read Ann Drinan's blog here.

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