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.
November 4, 2016Jay Blumenthal - Secretary-Treasurer
A concern expressed to me by many delegates attending the AFM Convention last June was who would become the AFM director of Symphonic Services Division (SSD), if I became the secretary-treasurer. Indeed, filling the director position with the right individual presented a challenge, but as it turned out, there were several qualified applicants.
An important aspect of filling this position was soliciting input from the symphonic player conferences. To do so, applicant résumés were shared with the governing boards of ICSOM, ROPA, and OCSM/OMOSC. Each symphonic player conference had an opportunity to weigh in with their preference(s).
It gives me great pleasure to announce that Rochelle Skolnick, SSD counsel, has been chosen to fill the SSD director position. Rochelle brings a wealth of knowledge and experience. She is a symphonic musician who understands first-hand the daily challenges symphonic musicians face in the workplace. She has a commanding knowledge of labor law, which she will continue to use to guide local officers, executive boards, SSD negotiators, and orchestra committees.
Having worked closely with Rochelle over the past five-plus years, I know her to be a warm and compassionate person, willing to defend the rights of musicians when called upon to do so. Having served as SSD counsel, Rochelle is familiar with the various types of orchestral issues that SSD is asked to address. Consequently, she was able to “hit the ground running” when she became the SSD director on October 24th. Rochelle can be reached at email@example.com or (212)869-1330
X1-220. I wish Rochelle all the best in her new position and have every confidence she will be excellent as our new director.
Since the retirement of Lew Mancini (who had become an AFM institution over the years having served as chief operating officer), many of Lew’s responsibilities were temporarily transferred to Assistant to the President Kenneth Shirk. Ken has done an amazing job and remains an indispensable resource for the AFM. Thank you, Ken! I am so grateful for your many contributions.
Several duties, which were transferred to Shirk, will now be assumed by Jonathan Ferrone, our new AFM assistant secretary. Jonathan has served as a Local 16-248 (Newark/Paterson, NJ) executive board member, secretary-treasurer, and most recently president. He is a trombonist who has performed throughout the New York metropolitan area. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 869-1330 X1-253.
It gives me great pleasure to announce that our AFM publication, International Musician has won three 2016 Media Awards from the International Labor Communications Association (ILCA):
1st Place: Writing: Best Profile: National/International—“Allen Toussaint Reveals Why He’d Never Leave the Big Easy,” by Cherie Yurco (April 2015)
2nd Place: General Excellence: Print Publication: State/Other—International Musician (October 2015/November 2015)
3rd Place: Writing: Best Labor History: National/International—“Remembering the Greatest Labor Songwriter the Nation Has Ever Known,” by Cherie Yurco (November 2015)
Additionally, I would like to congratulate Local 802 (New York City) and Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) who were also honored with ILCA Awards this year. Congratulations to all those who contributed articles, submitted photos, or helped design these publications during 2015.