Episode 6 // Sara Duchovnay - Fine Jewelry Curator & Soprano
Sara and I chat about her experiences as an entrepreneur and operatic soloist, the challenges of building businesses, and why classical musicians should be more like Rhianna (for real).
In this conversation with Sara, I mention an blog post called Million Dollar Voice, linked here. In this article, tenor Zach Finkelstein provides an incredibly detailed breakdown of why a professional singing career is a million dollar investment, and I highly recommend checking it out.
Sara Duchovnay is a professional opera singer who has turned a decade-long obsession with antique diamonds and estate fine jewelry into a successful dual career as fine jewelry curator and owner of songbirdsaraantiquejewelry.com. The two sides of her professional life work together in perfect harmony; while performing lead roles with opera companies around the country and traveling alongside her husband, tenor Clay Hilley, Sara has been able to source inventory from all over the world and offer her clients some of the most exquisite and distinctive pieces available anywhere. Though travel and performances have been limited in these pandemic times, she has been able to call upon her contacts and continues to grow her business...no one forgets an opera singing jewelry dealer!
Sara holds a Bachelor of Music from the Hartt School of Music and a Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She is a GIA Applied Jewelry Professional and is in the process of studying to become a GIA Graduate Gemologist.Support the show (https://buymeacoff.ee/doublerspodcast)
View all episodes
11. Episode 11 // Aleks Ozolins - Software Support Pro & Hornist58:46Ever wondered how to get into tech without going to a bootcamp? In this episode, Aleks shares his journey into the tech world after fifteen years as a freelancer in NYC - and how a cycling accident shifted his mindset toward being open to a double career. Aleks Ozolins is a freelance French horn player in New York City and software support specialist at Knack. As a freelance musician, he’s performed with a wide variety of ensembles - from Broadway shows including Les Miserables, Wicked, and Phantom of the Opera, to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Chamber Orchestra of New York, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Pops. Recording credits include releases on Sony Classical, NAXOS, and the original Broadway cast recording of Dr. Zhivago.Aleks’ passion for technology developed in parallel with his artistic pursuits. His lifelong relationship with computers led him into his own business providing tech support for colleagues in the music industry. After Covid cleared his calendar, he decided to move full-time into the tech space. Aleks now works as the Weekend Success Lead at Knack, a no-code database development platform. On a Thursday-Monday schedule, Aleks works through customer issues during his weekday hours, and monitors company infrastructure and provides emergency support to enterprise customers on weekends.A New Jersey native, Aleks holds a Bachelor’s in Music Education from The College of New Jersey along with a Master of Music in Orchestral Performance and an Artist Diploma from the Manhattan School of Music. Support the show (https://buymeacoff.ee/doublerspodcast)
10. Episode 10 // Vanessa Young - Yoga Instructor, Doula & Harpist40:05Two questions for you this week - have you ever heard of a yoga class with a live harpist? And what the heck is a doula?Vanessa Young-Miller is a professional harpist, yoga instructor and birth doula in the D.C./Maryland/Virginia (DMV) area. While her husband (JG Miller, horn) embarked on Army basic training she began a yoga training in Los Angeles, CA finding a niche in playing harp for live yoga classes. Soon after moving to Maryland, she found herself intrigued by prenatal yoga and preparing to start a family. After the birth of their first child, her passion for all things birth, postpartum and parenthood began eventually leading to learning to be a birth support person (doula) after the birth of their second child. Now three young kids deep she practices the harmony of juggling her multiple hats as well as being an avid social justice activist and abolitionist. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Vanessa received her Bachelor of Music at Eastman School of Music and her Masters of Music from Carnegie Mellon University. She has performed with a variety of ensembles and artists including Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Ithaca Ballet Company, Debut Orchestra, Ben Folds, and John Williams. She currently teaches harp at elite private all girls school Holton Arms, teaches yoga at Whole Yoga Studio and has a solo doula practice. Support the show (https://buymeacoff.ee/doublerspodcast)
9. Episode 9 // J.G. Miller - SFC, US Army Field Band56:46Did you know that a military musician does more than play their instrument? As JG Miller shares in this week's episode, life in a military band is all about saying yes to new challenges and staying flexible! In addition to his responsibilities as horn player, JG also works as a CompTIA Sec+ certified assistant information management officer, Unit Training NCO, and arranges for his quintet, the Federal Brass. From Mozart to military history, cyber security to climate change advocacy, intellectual property law, healthy living, movie music, The Who, technology, vehicle maintenance and everything else in between, J.G. Miller has had a wide swath of careers and follows the guiding star of chasing happiness above all.For more information on the US Army Field Band, check out their website here: https://www.armyfieldband.com/Support the show (https://buymeacoff.ee/doublerspodcast)
8. Episode 8 // John Hong - Clarinetist, Writer & Marketing Consultant58:00How does spending on $8500 you don't have as a grad student jump start your career? In this episode, John Hong shares how one swipe of a credit card started the journey into his current pursuits. A clarinetist turned writer and artistic marketing consultant, John Hong nurtures an obsession with clear, simple, and human communication. Consulting since 2018, his clientele includes GRAMMY® winners, non-profit executives, orchestra CEOs, and instrumentalists, ensembles, conductors, and composers from every major continent. He is an occasional freelance writer on the people and issues surrounding classical music, praised by New Yorker contributor Steve Smith for “having his thumb square on the pulse of what moves the public to open up a story.” Find him on Twitter: @John_Hong.(On a personal note, I can attest to his skills as a writer - John wrote the bio on my website!)Support the show (https://buymeacoff.ee/doublerspodcast)
7. Episode 7 // Atse Theodros - Brass Repair Tech & Trumpeter44:12Atse Theodros is a freelance trumpet player and brass repair tech at J. Landress Brass in New York City. After apprenticing at the shop during his last year of study at Manhattan School of Music, Atse has spent the last 5 years carving out his niche as a member of the small but mighty team. J. Landress Brass, Manhattan's only brass shop, is in high demand for cleaning, repairs, and instrument sales for NYC's busy freelancers. As a brass tech, Atse is involved in cleaning, repairs, polishing, and general triage when a player walks through the door with a non-functioning horn and says "I've got a show at 8!".Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, Atse holds a Bachelor’s in Music Education degree from the University of Florida, earning certification to teach K-12 in the state of Florida. Atse earned a Master of Music degree as well as a Professional Studies Certificate at Manhattan School of Music in the Orchestral Performance Program, studying under Mark Gould and Ethan Bensdorf. Other primary teachers include Vincent Penzarella, Thomas Smith, and Dr. Joyce Davis. He is an active musician in the greater New York and Florida regions. Orchestral experience includes a position as Associate Principal/3rd Trumpet with the Ocala Symphony Orchestra in Ocala, Florida. Atse has performed under the baton of such conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Kurt Masur and participated in master classes with James Thompson, Thomas Hooten, and Michael Sachs. Atse maintains an active lifestyle, enjoying various sports such as football and basketball in time outside of music as well.Support the show (https://buymeacoff.ee/doublerspodcast)
5. Episode 5 // Beth Lano - PR/Marketing Pro & Hornist48:19Beth Lano has maintained a very successful career as a French horn player while working as a marketing, advertising, and public relations professional. After moving to Las Vegas in 1982, Beth spent five years in the traveling orchestra backing Wayne Newton, followed by a two-year stint in the orchestra for Bally’s “Jubilee!” show, where she was also assistant conductor. In 1986, she began playing with Frank Sinatra, and toured with both his East and West coast orchestras. She also toured with Ann-Margret and Johnny Mathis.In 1989, Beth began her public relations career working as Director of Public Relations for the Musicians Union of Las Vegas during a serious labor dispute. At the end of the strike, she continued her career as an independent publicist for various arts and labor organizations, eventually joining local public relations and advertising agencies.She continued to freelance in music and public relations throughout the 1990s, and during this time became an award-winning voice actor. She also became a morning radio DJ, hosting a daily lifestyle/entertainment show and a nightly show. She later became an announcer for Nevada Public Radio.Beth was solo horn in “Monty Python’s Spamalot” at Wynn Las Vegas, and principal horn in “Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular” at the Venetian Resort and Hotel. She has performed with many entertainers appearing in Las Vegas, including Tony Bennett, the Who, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Seal, Andrea Bocelli, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Kelly Clarkson, Cheap Trick, and many others. She can be heard on several critically-acclaimed jazz recordings, most notably Carl Saunders’ “Eclecticism”, Harry Skoler’s “A Work of Heart”, and Paul Broadnax’ “Here’s to Joe”, a tribute to Las Vegas jazz legend Joe Williams.Beth is currently Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Music, where she is also an adjunct instructor of horn. She is associate principal horn with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, an active freelancer, private horn instructor, and voice actor. Support the show (https://buymeacoff.ee/doublerspodcast)
4. Episode 4 // Lauren Yu - Software Engineer & Bassoonist34:10Lauren Yu is a bassoonist and software engineer in the DC metropolitan area. She is a founding member of the Breaking Winds Bassoon Quartet, a well-known chamber ensemble that has an international following. With her quartet, Lauren has presented performances and masterclasses all over the world, most notably at the International Double Reed Society Conferences in Spain and Japan, the International Beijing Bassoon Festival and countless secondary schools and universities throughout the continental United States. She has arranged and transcribed a variety of classical and popular music, some of which has been published through TrevCo Music Publishing.An alumna of Eastman School of Music and Yale University, Lauren has performed with many orchestras, including the Buffalo Philharmonic, the South Florida Symphony, the Williamsburg Symphony, YOA Orchestra of the Americas and Santo Domingo Sinfonia.After grad school, Lauren began tutoring to help supplement my freelancing career. She says, "While I love teaching math and playing bassoon, I ultimately decided I wanted a different career path - something that combined the aspects of math and music that I love most: problem solving and creativity."Enter coding. After some careful consideration and several online courses, she was hooked. She decided to make the commitment and attend a bootcamp at the Flatiron School, followed by a short program with Collab Lab. She quickly landed in internship at at Data Society in Washington, DC and after a few months was hired as a full-time software engineer. Support the show (https://buymeacoff.ee/doublerspodcast)
3. Episode 3 // Ryan Walsh - Wine Tasting Connoisseur & Oboist30:03Ryan Walsh is an oboist and wine tasting connoisseur currently based in Pittsburgh after 17 years in New York City. Most recently, Ryan was the oboe/English horn player for the Broadway National Tour of Les Misérables. When not on tour, Ryan regularly appears with ensembles including the New York Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, American Ballet Theater, American Symphony, and on Broadway in “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812”. Ryan is also an active studio musician, appearing on the soundtracks for “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, “The Goldfinch”, “The Good Liar”, “West Side Story”, Disney’s “Noelle”, and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”.Ryan is also leads professional wine tastings! Cultivating his love for wine as a waiter during a gap year before graduate school, Ryan nurtured this interest and fully leaned into the world of virtual tastings post-pandemic era. He works through several companies, and also runs his own business On The Nose Tastings. In this episode, Ryan shares how he got into the world of wine tasting and events, how he's previously balanced these interests with a busy oboe career, and how he's adapted since his tour closed in March. Support the show (https://buymeacoff.ee/doublerspodcast)