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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John Michael Smith

Regional Orchestra Players’ Association President and Member of Local 30-73 (St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN)


Third Time’s the Charm: ROPA to Meet In-Person

Most of our Regional Orchestra Players’ Association (ROPA) orchestras have gotten back to work over the past several months. There are lots of side letter agreements, contract extensions, and COVID protocols to deal with. I expect the next year will be full of negotiations and rollbacks of COVID protocols as we continue to return to live performing. There will likely be a new “normal” for our concerts and way of doing business, having been affected by two years of the pandemic, Zoom, streaming, and the many other adjustments that had to be made to keep the music going. There will need to be a great deal of patience and understanding for everyone as the playing field for many of our orchestras may well have changed.

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You’re Invited to Attend the ROPA Summer Conference Online

by John Michael Smith, ROPA President and Member of Local 30-73 (St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN) After surveying our Regional Orchestra Players Association (ROPA) orchestra delegates and local officers, the ROPA Executive Board made the decision that we were not ready for an in-person annual conference this summer. As a result, the 38th annual ROPA Conference will […]

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ROPA Update and Hopes for an In-Person Conference in 2021

To prepare for writing this article in International Musician, I looked back at my report in last year’s April issue of IM, which annually features the AFM Symphonic Services Division (SSD) and the symphonic AFM player conferences. At the time I wrote that article, we were a little over a week into the national pandemic […]

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ROPA Notes: Annual Conference and Returning to Work

The 37th Annual Regional Orchestra Players’ Association (ROPA) Conference will be held online this summer. Dates and times will be adjusted for online virtual meetings, but we expect much of the conference will be held during the originally scheduled dates of July 27-30. We hope that by having the conference online, many more ROPA orchestra […]

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