From brass to baton, the beat goes on for Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest conductor

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By David Pierini

Staff Photographer

Playing a brass instrument and conducting an orchestra are two of the more muscular jobs in music.

At 73, Jay Friedman does both.

The Oak Park resident is the principal trombonist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and has played with the orchestra for 51 years. Most brass players don't last past their 40s or 50s, he said.

Friedman also conducts the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest, a job he has held for 17 years.

"I never expected to play this long but as long as I can play at a certain level or above, why stop now?" Friedman said. "It's still a challenge and I still enjoy it."


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