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, Recent News

Patrick Varriale: A Legacy of Dedication to Electronic Media Services

Recently, we tragically said goodbye to AFM Electronic Media Services Director Patrick Varriale who died suddenly on May 13. If you knew Pat Varriale, you knew of his deep love and dedication to the AFM, its member musicians, and his colleagues. He never missed an opportunity to recognize those who worked with him and looked […]


As Industry Shifts to Streaming, RMA Fights for Fair Compensation

In November, we will be going back to the table with the major film and TV studios, negotiating on behalf of the thousands of musicians whose livelihoods depend on preparing and performing music for motion pictures, broadcast TV, and streaming shows. This multi-billion-dollar corporate industry has been shifting steadily to streaming. Just this year, Amazon […]


102nd AFM Convention Rescheduled for 2023

The 102nd Convention of the American Federation of Musicians will be held at the Westgate Hotel & Casino (3000 Paradise Road; Las Vegas, NV 89109), beginning Monday, June 26, and concluding Thursday, June 29, 2023,


Orchestras and Musicians Stand with Ukraine

Within days of the first the Russian attack on Ukraine in February, support for the Ukrainian people fighting for their freedom began to ring out in performing arts venues worldwide. From the Ukrainian national anthem performed by the Metropolitan Opera and Orchestra while the opera house was lit up in blue and yellow, to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra recording and releasing a video performance of “Prayer for Ukraine,” musicians at countless AFM orchestras are using their art form to raise awareness and promote solidarity.


San Antonio Musicians Continue Strike Amid Broken Negotiations

Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony continue their strike, pushing for a fair contract for 72 full-time musicians. The musicians, members of Local 23 (San Antonio, TX), went on strike September 27 in response to management’s imposed contract that reduced the number of full-time musicians and cut wages. They have rejected the symphony board’s last offer […]


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, […]




Fort Worth Theater Embroiled in Union Dispute

Members of Local 72-147 (Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX) held an informational leafleting on February 11, before the 8 p.m. performance of Casa Mañana’s production of Matilda: the Musical. Casa Mañana Theatre is in the hot seat for replacing musicians with prerecorded tracks for the mainstage production of Matilda, a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the theater and Local 72-147. The union has […]


Texas AFL-CIO PRO Act Rally Highlights San Antonio Musicians’ Struggles

Major Texas unions, labor, and progressive groups gathered in San Antonio on February 18 to make noise for the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act and to deride its number one opponent in the US House, Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-D), who has come under fire for his record of voting against the interests of […]


Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Expands Fellowship for Black Musicians

Toward the end of December, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) announced a significant expansion of its preprofessional fellowship for Black musicians. Since 2007, the program has selected a new musician every two years for performance opportunities and professional development training. Now, multiple musicians will be accepted and provided with more extensive developmental support. The program […]


Mellon Foundation Increases Funding for National Alliance for Audition Support

The National Alliance for Audition Support (NAAS)—a partnership between the Sphinx Organization, New World Symphony, and the League of American Orchestras—has been awarded a grant of $1.95 million by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Created in 2018, NAAS is an unprecedented national and field-wide initiative with the long-term goal of increasing diversity in American orchestras. […]








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