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


Stephen Laifer

Fort Wayne Philharmonic Players’ Association

Hardworking Orchestra Committee Leads Effort to Save Season in Fort Wayne For orchestra musicians, the first line of communication with management is typically the orchestra committee (OC). Many times, the OC is also the first line of defense. Such was the case recently with Fort Wayne Philharmonic (FWP) in Indiana. The orchestra’s musicians, members of […]

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Quebec Musicians Achieve New Union Agreement 

For the musicians of the Orchestre symphonique de Québec (OSQ), ratifying a new AFM collective bargaining agreement on January 27 was the culmination of two solid years of hard work. The new four-year agreement marks the first contract negotiated in 15 years for the orchestra with Local 406 (Montreal, PQ), la Guilde des musiciens et […]

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New Orchestra for San Antonio Brings Fresh Approach

With astonishing speed, the musicians of the former San Antonio Symphony, Local 23 (San Antonio, TX) have launched a brand new organization.

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Violinist Inspired by Nature Says It’s Important to Give Back

Calling Sandra Wong of Local 1000 (Nongeographic), one quickly realizes the cell phone connection is slightly dodgy. “I live up in the foothills outside of Boulder, Colorado,” says Wong. “I’m off grid on a Jeep road, and my place is solar powered.” For some, this might be an inconvenience. For Wong, a violinist, it’s a […]

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Carol Jantsch: Philadelphia Orchestra Tuba Player Embraces Another Role Offstage

A typical orchestral tuba weighs about 25 pounds, which is less than you might expect. Local 77 (Philadelphia, PA) member Carol Jantsch, principal tuba of the Philadelphia Orchestra, has been used to lugging that weight around since she started playing the instrument at the age of 12. These days, though, she is carrying an added few pounds on top of that. Jantsch is expecting her first child—a girl—in late July.

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Houston Brass-Playing Couple Share a Life in Music

Theresa Hanebury and Nancy Goodearl of Local 65-699 (Houston, TX) When two of Houston’s busiest brass players, who also happen to be a couple, want to share some downtime together, it can sometimes require comparing calendars. It’s a scenario that will be familiar to just about every musician couple anywhere. Nancy Goodearl, a horn player […]

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Juliana Athayde: Rochester Philharmonic Concertmaster Brings New Concerto to Life

Premiering a new piece of music, as with any new work of art, is an awesome responsibility involving creativity and imagination—and sheer hard work. This month, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) Concertmaster Juliana Athayde of Local 66 (Rochester, NY) gave the world premiere of a new violin concerto by acclaimed Grammy-winning composer Roberto Sierra, who recently […]

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Violist Wendy Richman Expands Her Experiences Through Contemporary Music

Violist Wendy Richman of Locals 802 (New York City) and 47 (Los Angeles, CA) has made contemporary music her main focus on both coasts.

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Horn Player Tackles Diversity and Equity

Michiko Singh of Local 190 (Winnipeg, MB), a member WSO’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) committee, says that by reaching out to the community the orchestra is able to develop fresh ideas to bring people into the hall.

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John Lofton: Approaching Diversity from Both Ends

Considering how to increase diversity in North America’s orchestras often leads to a chicken-versus-egg dilemma: Tackle it from the top down with recruitment in conservatories and colleges? Or is it best addressed from the bottom up, investing in and improving grade school music programs in underserved areas? Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) member John Lofton, […]

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