Patrick Posey was born in Columbus, Ohio, and grew up in Woodbridge, Va. He attended Louisiana State University where he received a bachelor’s in saxophone performance and then went on to the University of Michigan, where he earned a master’s in saxophone performance. Before coming to Juilliard, Patrick was a visiting assistant professor of saxophone at the University of New Mexico.
How long have you worked at Juilliard, and what do you remember about your first day? What is one of your favorite memories from your years here?
I’ve worked here for five years; on the first day, I met so many people, including Dr. Polisi and Dean Clapp … I was overwhelmed by how nice everyone was. I have many favorite memories, but a highlight was the Juilliard Orchestra’s performance of John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 1 in Carnegie Hall in close proximity to World AIDS Day—the members of the orchestra unanimously decided to wear red ribbons at the event, which was quite moving.
What job at Juilliard would you like to try out for a day and why?
Joan Warren’s job [vice president for enrollment management], just to get to spend a day in that office with that view of Broadway! My office in New Mexico had a fantastic view of a mountain range to the east, and I miss having a constant connection to the sunlight.
What is the strangest or most memorable job you’ve ever had and what made it so?
When I was 15 I worked for a Subway restaurant. I had to mix the tuna salad—large quantities of processed tuna and mayo, two of my least favorite things in the world. My hands smelled for weeks afterward.
If out of the blue your boss said to take the day off, what would you do with your free time?
Clean my apartment and catch up on bills.
Do you still pursue music? If so, how do you balance your job and your artistic endeavors?
I play the saxophone regularly, in orchestral and chamber settings. Since coming here I’ve played recital tours in Russia and Germany, as well as at Carnegie and other venues around New York City. Of course I’d like to play more but feel I’ve found a good balance between job and art, as the art tends to be more fun since I’m not solely relying on it to put bread on the table.
What other pursuits are you passionate about?
I love traveling and enjoy anything outdoors. Living in Albuquerque was great, because you could drive 20 miles in any direction and be the only person in the world. I also love spicy food and wandering the city aimlessly in search of unknown treasures.
Where do you most like to travel and what draws you to that place?
I love spending time in European cities; rich in history and culture. There tends to be an enormous public respect for efficiency and aesthetic.
What might people be surprised to know about you?
I’m a huge college football fan and follow the L.S.U. Tigers rabidly. I try to get to Baton Rouge for a game every year, and try to keep my fall Saturdays as free as possible. Just today I said no to a gig because it takes place during a game.
What is your favorite thing about New York City?
I love the different varieties of people and their cultures. Food, art, dress—there’s room for anything here. Also, everyone is constantly striving to be the best. The bar keeps being raised and we go right along with it. It can be a difficult journey, but rewarding in the end.
What CDs are you listening to these days … and what can you tell us about them?
Radiohead’s Kid A, John Coltrane’s My Favorite Things, and Bernard Haitink’s recording of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 with the Concertgebouw Orchestra—great music and great performances have so many similarities, once you’re willing to look past stylistic differences.