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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Orchestra News

Memphis Symphony Orchestra Saves Season

The Memphis Symphony Orchestra (MSO), which announced this in March that it was close to depleting its cash reserves, has raised enough money to finish its 2013-2014 season. MSO held several benefit concerts and received two $100,000 donations since its public appeal.


San Diego Opera Hanging On

The San Diego Opera’s board of directors may take steps to try and save the company through a reorganization plan, according to a San Diego Union-Tribune report.


Oregon Symphony Sets Ticket Sales Record

The Oregon Symphony announced that it brought in more than $7 million in ticket sales this season, setting an organizational record and comprising 50% of the orchestra’s budget. Ticket sale revenue was at $5.5 million at this time last year.  As part of a contract negotiated last year, the musicians have been involved in working […]


Huston Symphony Sees Increase in New Contract

The Houston Symphony reached a four-year contract agreement calling for musician salary increases of 2.85% annually, which will bring salaries to $97,240 by the end of the term. The agreement was reached ahead of schedule and goes into effect October 5. The contract will allow for additional concerts and expanded community and education activities.


How a Strike in Washington Changed the American Orchestra

In the middle of the 20th century, managers and music directors of American symphony orchestras held autocratic power over their institutions. Nowhere was this more true than in Washington, DC, where the National Symphony was performing under its second music director, Howard Mitchell. Mitchell had been the orchestra’s principal cellist when he was appointed music […]


Music at the Oscars

The AFM proudly congratulates all its members who worked on Oscar-nominated films. Frozen won Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song. Its score composer, Christophe Beck, is a member of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA). Captain Phillips received six nominations, including Best Picture. Score composer Henry Jackman is a member of Local 47. Saving […]


International Federation of Musicians (FIM) Conference

The 3rd International Federation of Musicians (FIM) International Orchestra Conference (IOC) was held from February 24-26 in Oslo, Norway. The American Federation of Musicians sent a five-person delegation consisting of AFM President Ray Hair, AFM Symphonic Services Division Director Jay Blumenthal, International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians Chair Bruce Ridge, Regional Orchestra Players’ Association […]


Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Delays Iran Trip

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) has postponed its trip to Iran, which was planned for the late August/early September time frame. The joint project with the Pittsburgh-based American Middle East Institute will now most likely take place within six months of the original date. The delay was attributed to complicated preparations. The delay will also give […]


Milwaukee Raises Needed Funds

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra announced it has successfully completed its $5 million emergency fundraising drive thanks to 1,408 new individual donors who made average contributions of $340.25 each. The campaign, which began in December, was necessary to pay off a $2 million shortfall and plan a balanced budget for the 2014-2015 season.


Believing in the Mission

As the Minnesota Orchestra returns to work, I am filled with the hope that this year will bring some semblance of normalcy to the symphonic world. If there is anything positive to have come out of the tragic and unprecedented events in Minnesota, it has to be the incredible solidarity and resolve demonstrated by the […]








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