Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.

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Orchestra News

Lexington Philharmonic Avoids Strike

The Lexington Philharmonic narrowly avoided a strike of its season-opening concert in September. Salaries were not the issue, but rather, musicians opposed changes to work rules. The most significant among these included management’s call for the removal of the peer-review process, through which musicians have the final say on the dismissal of fellow orchestra members, […]


Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic Sees Gains in New Contract

Musicians and management of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic (NPP) recently negotiated a new contract, which took effect in October and will last through August 2016. The CBA offers musicians modest increases in compensation and benefits. The musicians’ negotiating team included Local 45 (Allentown, PA) President Janice Galassi, who served as chief negotiator; Local 140 (Wilkes-Barre, […]


Dallas Symphony Orchestra Ratifies Contract

Members of Dallas Symphony Orchestra approved a new two-year contract, with a start date retroactive to September 1, 2013. Musicians will receive a 1% base salary increase in 2013, as well as a one-time $750 bonus, and will see a 2% increase in 2014. If the orchestra is able to meet its fundraising goals, the […]


Pacific Symphony Reaches Contract Agreement

After more than a year of negotiations, musicians of the Pacific Symphony reached an agreement with management in early October. The previous contract expired in August 2012 and the musicians continued to play and talk throughout the past season. The four-year agreement is retroactive to August 2012 and lasts through August 2016. Over the life […]


Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Reports Deficit

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) reported a $1.8 million deficit for its recently concluded fiscal year, citing a drop in donations as the cause. The orchestra had ended its previous two fiscal years with balanced budgets thanks to large, last-minute gifts. MSO currently depends on donations to cover 70% of its budget, and management has noted […]


Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra Ratifies Agreements

After several months of negotiations, the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra ratified four-year contracts with both its employers: the Kennedy Center and the Washington National Opera (WNO). In the Kennedy Center agreement, the weekly performance scales for ballet will continue to match the National Symphony Orchestra’s (NSO) weekly scales throughout the contract, which include increases […]


Minnesota Orchestra Loses Music Director

As a result of the ongoing musician lockout, Minnesota Orchestra Music Director Osmo Vänskä resigned from his position October 1, after orchestra management canceled scheduled concerts at Carnegie Hall. Vänskä had warned that he would leave the orchestra if it was not able begin rehearsing in time to save those concerts. This was a devastating […]






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