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


Articles, Orchestra News

New York City Ballet Orchestra Ratifies a New Three-Year Contract

In early June, the New York City Ballet Orchestra ratified a three-year contract that is retroactive to September 1, 2017 and runs through August 2020.

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Expands Season with New CBA

In late June, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) musicians, members of Local 8 (Milwaukee, WI), and management reached a four-year contract agreement that will cover the 2018-2019 season through the 2022-2023 season.

Grand Rapids Symphony Receives Community Engagement Grant

The Grand Rapids Symphony has been awarded a grant of $1.1 million from the Wege Foundation to engage new and diverse audiences with live orchestra music.

Orchestras and Programming Selected for SHIFT 2020 at Kennedy Center

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Washington Performing Arts have announced the four orchestras selected to participate in the third SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras, to take place March 23-29, 2020.

Pokrovsky Opera Orchestra Protests Carry-on Refusal

When the Pokrovsky Opera orchestra musicians were not allowed to bring their instrument cases on board their flight from Latvia to Moscow, Russia, they improvised.

Nashville Symphony Contract Provides Increases Each Year

The Nashville Symphony Orchestra and its musicians, members of Local 257 (Nashville, TN), have announced a new four-year contract that goes into effect August 1.

Spokane Symphony Ratifies Three-Year Contract

In June, Spokane Symphony management and its musicians, members of Local 105 (Spokane, WA), ratified a new three-year contract.

Orchestra Librarians: Unrecognized Musicians No More

If you are a musician in an AFM represented symphony orchestra, you rely upon the services of one or more professional music librarians who ensure that you have legible, accurately marked sheet music on your stand at all rehearsals and performances, and that parts are made available to you in advance so you can arrive at the first rehearsal for a new program prepared for the work ahead. For some musicians, that is the extent of their interaction with their orchestra librarians.

Coalition of Unions Stands Up to Disney

For at least 30 years, we at Local 7 (Orange County, CA) have been scratching our heads wondering why unions that bargain with Disneyland don’t put their heads together, exchange information, and support one another. As it turns out, other unions have been thinking the same thing.

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Completes Amicable Contract Negotiations

Musicians and management of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra announced in early March that they had reached agreement on a three-year contract extension through the 2020-2021 season. Reflecting a renewed sense of collaboration and trust between the two sides, the negotiation process was conducted quietly and the agreement was reached six months ahead of schedule.