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


Home » Officer Columns » A New Era for RMA Los Angeles

A New Era for RMA Los Angeles


Steve-Dressby Steve Dress, President of the Recording Musicians Association,
Los Angeles (RMALA)

It is a great pleasure to be elected president of the Recording Musicians Association, Los Angeles (RMALA) Chapter. I am honored to serve and represent our diverse membership, which consists of instrumentalists, orchestrators, composers, copyists, contractors, songwriters, and pop stars, as well as our local officers, to name a few. With more than 700 members in an ever-changing industry, our board’s responsibilities are numerous. With the many disciplines working under our contracts, the needs and concerns of our members come from all angles.

Our board of directors reflects this multifaceted membership in order to fairly represent our members from all walks of the recording industry. As such, the board enthusiastically welcomes two new officers—Secretary Donald T. Foster and Treasurer Tom Rizzo, as well as new Board Director John Wakefield. Their distinct abilities and perspectives will be an invaluable asset to our community.

I look forward to continuing the legacy of RMA’s involvement in shaping our livelihoods. Since its inception, RMA has been committed to advocating and protecting the professional interests of its member recording musicians by being an active voice with our sister guilds and unions. By doing so, we have created sustainable sources of income and negotiated benefits for countless talented and hardworking musicians. Recently, RMA has been pivotal in implementing affordable and effective health care options, which are now more accessible by an exponential number of our colleagues locally and nationally.

Today, we continue to help our union identify and organize employment in all recording disciplines. We participate in contract negotiations by providing real-time data and hands-on experience from the workplace. We support and thank our union representation for their recent studio lawsuits. On a national level, some of our crucial concerns involve pension, wages, residual streams, and healthcare. Locally, RMA continues to advocate for musicians in the union’s search for a singular health care option here in Los Angeles. Looking forward, we should also focus our attention on outsourcing, as well as potential new forms of employment.

With this new term, it is our goal to bring even more positive changes by making decisions through a well-informed membership. RMA is the conduit by which member concerns can be relayed to our union and vice-versa. Serving the multifaceted needs and concerns of our community is our top priority. However, in order to maximize our strength and potential, we must be united in our commitment to remain well informed on the trends of our profession and industry. When there is a knowledgeable membership, the player conference has a stronger platform for our union to make the best decisions possible.

Looking to the future, RMALA will continue its commitment to our membership in propelling our industry forward for many years to come. I encourage all our members to become engaged and proactive participants in this process, whether it is by attending meetings, contract negotiations, or speaking directly with our Board, every action makes a difference. I look forward to working with all of you, as well as welcoming all new members, in our pledge for continued activism.

As your new president, I encourage transparency through open dialogue. Please feel free to reach out to me with any and all concerns and ideas.

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