The holidays are a time of celebration and this blog entrée is to celebrate Mr. Fred Martinez. In addition to being a pit musician at the Pikes Peak Center, he has been a principal reed player in the orchestra pit at the Fine Arts Center for the past 20 years; yes 20 years. He was a music educator for over 30 years, teaching music to middle school kids. He was a member of the Norad Band, stationed at Peterson Field. He has performed with both the Colorado Springs Symphony and Denver Symphony. He has performed in Las Vegas with Bob Hope, Nancy Wilson, Mel Torme, and The Temptations. He was honored as being the Colorado Jazz Educator of the Year, and in addition to his talents as a musician he has served at the orchestra contractor for the Fine Arts Center Theatre Company for the past ten years.
Fred called me the other day and informed me that he would like to step down as being our contractor, primarily for health reasons. For those of you who don’t know what a contractor does, they are sort of a mixture of being the casting director and stage manager for the orchestra players. The contractor works with the Musical Director/Conductor of each musical to find out what players are needed and then he starts making phone calls, calling the very best musicians in Colorado Springs (which, thankfully a lot a great musicians in this town) to find out there schedules, conflicts, etc. The contractor then works with the producer to solidify contractual arrangements for each player, and works with the Musical Director in arranging rehearsal and performances schedules, making sure the orchestra is in the building when they are needed and informs the producer when breaks required and when the players fee changes for the standard rate into overtime. Once the show opens the contractor also coordinates any substitute players and makes sure that the orchestra gets paid on time. It’s a big job, and Fred has been great to work with. I will not go so far as to say we will never again see him in our pit, because I am still holding out that might still happen. But in the meantime we will miss you Fred.
In addition to his musical talents Fred is a very accomplished artist. His original jewelry designs can be found at many local art galleries. So, the next time you see a Fred Martinez piece of jewelry remember that’s that reed player who used to be the contractor for the Fine Arts Center Theatre Company Orchestra.
Thanks for everything Fred.