Creating in a Pandemic: Thomas Derthick

Musician Thomas Derthick

“At this moment, every professional musician in America is unemployed,” says Thomas Derthick, principal bassist with the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera.

Despite canceled concerts and postponed symphonies, Derthick says he’s more fortunate than most as he’s also a professor at Sacramento State and University of the Pacific in Stockton, where he teaches double bass virtually.

“I’ve witnessed secondhand the heartbreak of all of my professional colleagues, not just in the Philharmonic and the Choral Society, but also the other orchestras such as Fresno Philharmonic, the Modesto Symphony, the Fresno Community Chorus,” says Derthick, who’s also the president of the American Federation of Musicians Local 12 chapter.

He adds that a lot of orchestras across Northern California are hurting, but that supporters of the arts can keep music alive by donating the cost of tickets that have already been purchased.

“The cost of that ticket will go back to the organization,” he says. “You’ll get a tax deduction, of course. But most of all, that cash will help keep the doors open for the arts organizations. This is true for theater, for dance and for anything else. The sooner we can share our work in person, in the flesh, in the room with an acoustic, with people, the better for humanity.”

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