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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Home » Officer Columns » Secretary-Treasurer » Bidding Farewell to Ray Petch


Bidding Farewell to Ray Petch

  -  former AFM International Secretary-Treasurer

AFM Vice President from Canada Alan Willaert and I recently attended the funeral of Vice President from Canada Emeritus Ray Petch, 80, who passed away February 1, after a brief illness. Ray served with us in many capacities. He had many passions, but his one true love was music. Ray spent most of his years as a professional jazz pianist in Calgary, and while doing so, also began his music administration career, serving as the president and secretary-treasurer of the Calgary Musicians’ Association (Local 547) before moving to Toronto to serve as the AFM Vice President from Canada.

In 1997, Ray retired from his music administration career and moved back to Calgary with his wife Dorothy. He resumed writing music and playing piano in two local big bands until he retired this past December. Ray continued to volunteer in the capacity of a diplomat, steering the AFM through some rough seas. His calm disposition helped to solve what seemed insurmountable problems on both sides of the border.

The memorial celebration of Ray’s life included a wonderful group of local musicians playing a prelude of soft music, while his daughter led the services. There was a candle lighting and eulogy given by AFM Vice President from Canada Emeritus Dave Jandrisch. Ray’s 17-year-old niece played piano and sang a moving tribute. A slide presentation of Ray’s life was followed by a jam session. The reception was a sad but joyous celebration of a gentle giant in the AFM. Goodbye, brother Ray Petch.







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