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An Assignment Secured, A Life Transformed

An Assignment Secured, A Life Transformed

BY GERALD BUSBY | In April 1976, when I was 41 years old, my life was in the tempestuous and exhilarating stages of becoming a composer. Still, I was anxiously riddled about what to do next. At the time, I was living with my boyfriend, Rafe Blasi, in a loft on Seventh Avenue and West […]

Outing the Atonal Music of Mr. Copland

Outing the Atonal Music of Mr. Copland

BY GERALD BUSBY | At a recent concert featuring the serial music of Aaron Copland (1900-1990), Adam Tendler played “Piano Fantasy” — a piece I first heard 60 years ago. William Masselos was the pianist on that occasion, and he hammered home the stiff angularity of the music as if force-feeding the audience something they […]

A Taste For Danger Transformed

A Taste For Danger Transformed

BY GERALD BUSBY | Growing up in Tyler, Texas, I never missed a service at the First Baptist Church. I especially liked Sunday School, which began at 9 a.m., with kids my age gathering to sing gospel songs from a small spiral-bound hymnal called “Youth Sings,” immediately followed by prayers of face-wrenching sincerity in Jesus’ name. […]

Hustling Books and Expanding My Territory

BY GERALD BUSBY | As a typist in an advertising agency and the proud occupant of a tiny $50-dollar-a-month apartment at the corner of Spring and Mulberry Streets in Little Italy, I felt like I belonged in New York. It was 1963 and I had voted for John F. Kennedy and followed his presidency with an […]

Pride Wangled From My Audiences

Pride Wangled From My Audiences

BY GERALD BUSBY | I came out while a junior at Yale in 1959, when a gay witch hunt brought me face-to-face with the campus police. The practice back then was to “catch” one of us expressing himself orally in a public restroom and then coerce him to reveal his cohorts. Shades of the House Un-American […]