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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Member Profiles, On the Cover

Alana Wiesing: Timpanist Hurdles Traditional Roles


Alana Wiesing is one of the few Black women timpanists to hold a principal position in a symphony orchestra. She hopes to change that and encourage others to break barriers—and the proverbial glass ceiling. A member of Local 33 (Tucson, AZ), Wiesing plays principal timpani in the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and also serves as an […]




Recognizing a Lifetime of Continuing Service

As if 53 years manning the principal tuba chair of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) weren’t enough, along with being artistic director of both the ASO’s brass quintet and the Atlanta Brass Society, Michael Moore of Local 148-462 (Atlanta, GA) has dedicated most of those years to serving his colleagues in a dizzying number and […]


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Ronnie Milsap: Still Going Strong­


Iconic Musician Ronnie Milsap Is Ready to Hit the Road Legendary musician Ronnie Milsap of Local 257 (Nashville, TN) discovered his love for performing early on. By age 11, he was already a favorite at his family’s church. “I grew up in the Primitive Baptist Church and I started singing in church pretty early,” he […]




Former Detroit Symphony Fellow Embraces the Suzuki Life

You’ll often hear Suzuki teachers say that it’s not just a method, it’s more a philosophy of life. The Suzuki Method, founded in the post-WWII years by Japanese teacher Shinichi Suzuki, utilizes the concept of “character first, ability second,” with a goal of embracing the whole child and developing character rather than just the mastering […]


Walter Ostanek: Canada’s Prize-Winning Polka King Looks Ahead to Oktoberfest

In lockdown, during the pandemic, the esteemed accordionist Walter Ostanek of Local 298 (Niagara, ON) had to cancel all of his live shows. He says, “It’s been kind of quiet,” but he’s quick to add, “Once it opens up, I’ll be working; I’ll be getting back to music.” Never mention retirement to the 86-year-old, who […]


Life Member Genevieve Grant Marks 100th Birthday

Genevieve Grant was five years old when her family relocated from Vancouver, Washington to San Diego, California. She began playing violin at nine years old, when music lessons were offered in public school. Although no one in her family was musical, Grant says that every Saturday evening she would sit by the radio and listen […]


Cooking Up Ideas to Help Colleagues

Musicians Cook!, the cookbook she compiled with the help of some 300 other musicians—many also members of Local 802—is a labor of love created to help New York City-area colleagues facing dire straits. But it’s just the latest philanthropic endeavor for Youngstein, who has always believed in the power of giving back.


Michelle Seto: Chamber Orchestra Musician Comes Full Circle


When Michelle Seto of Local 406 (Montreal, PQ) joined Les Violons du Roy in 1992, the unique chamber orchestra had a very short season and minimal benefits for its musician members. Seto says that through hard work and solidarity, the group has achieved international acclaim and has elevated its status to being one of the […]




Strength of Unions: Cellist Inspires and Educates the Next Generation

Giovanna Moraga Clayton didn’t set out to be on the Local 47 (Los Angeles) executive board. But here she is. “Honestly, I never necessarily wanted to do it,” says the freelance cellist, who has been working in Los Angeles film and television studios for the last 14 years. “But when someone asked me to consider it, I had […]


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Dominic Trumfio


Chicago Theater Musician Creates Art in Every Color of the Rainbow Musicians often don’t wind up where they started when embarking on a chosen career path. And sometimes the place they wind up is even more fulfilling than the one they imagined. As a high school flutist, Chicago native Dominic Trumfio of Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL) might not have […]










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