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, Symphonic Services Division

Update from the SSD Director

Find out what has been going on in the Symphonic Services Division amidst COVID-19 with this update from the SSD Director Rochelle Skolnick.


In Times of Crisis – Finding New Ways to Communicate

by Deborah Newmark, AFM Director of Symphonic Electronic Media As I write this, we are 15 months into the COVID-19 pandemic and on the threshold of transitioning back to normal in the US. At the start of the pandemic, as musicians all over the world were sent home without any idea of when they would […]


Symphony+ Equals Streaming Success

The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (ASO) won two awards from The Capital Gazette’s Style magazine Best of Anne Arundel County (MD) for: Best Virtual Event and Best Interactive Entertainment for Symphony+, the live-streaming program broadcast of performances into listeners’ homes instead of at Maryland Hall. “To launch our new season in 2020, we had to reimagine the complete […]


Virtual Holiday Variety Show Wins Regional Emmys

The variety show Virtual Holiday Spectacular (VHS) earned the musicians of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Indiana Symphony Orchestra three regional Emmys. Spearheaded by Andy Lott, principal trumpet of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Local 58 (Fort Wayne, IN), the event was nominated for four Emmys in the 52nd Annual Lower Great Lakes Chapter, and […]


Solidarity All Around: Musicians Rally to Support Philharmonic Players

Fort Wayne Philharmonic musicians and many members of the community were out in full force for the May Day Rally to Restore Music outside the Allen County Courthouse.  Musicians were furloughed in 2020, during the pandemic, but the Philharmonic has been negotiating with orchestra management for a new contract since 2019.  Musicians came from Detroit, Dayton, […]


Philadelphia Orchestra Begins In-Person Concerts in the Fall

The Philadelphia Orchestra has announced that it will perform for live audiences at Verizon Hall this fall. The concerts will be about one hour long with no intermission. Only about half of the hall will be sold, in pods of two, three, and four, to allow for social distancing. Ensemble sizes will be limited as well.  […]


Boston Pops Perform Virtual Concerts Through the Spring

The Boston Pops announced in late April that its spring season will be presented entirely online, with six weekly concert streams beginning on May 6.  Programs will feature newly recorded content, as well as historic performances from the archives, including a legendary program with Ella Fitzgerald. The spring season opened with the orchestra—whose musicians are […]


San Francisco Opera Stages a Drive-In Production

This spring, the San Francisco Opera presented a three-week run of The Barber of Seville—in the parking lot of a Marin park. The company constructed an open-air stage and also simulcast the opera on a giant screen for a drive-in audience of up to 400 cars.  The orchestra pit of 18 San Francisco Opera Orchestra players, represented by Local […]


New York Philharmonic Gives Concert for Indoor Audience

In mid-April, exactly 400 days after its last live indoor performance, the New York Philharmonic welcomed an audience for a concert at the Shed in New York City. The orchestra’s home venue at Lincoln Center is currently closed for renovations.  Led by guest conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Philharmonic, whose musicians are members of Local 802 (New York […]


Met and Dallas Symphony Orchestra Hold Joint Benefit Concerts

Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) organized a unique collaboration, inviting musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra to join the DSO on stage for concerts April 30 and May 1. The Met musicians, represented by Local 802 (New York City), have not performed together in over a year, since the COVID-19 shutdowns, and have gone nearly that […]








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